As part of what SBN understands to be a global expansion strategy by Middle East yacht builder Abu Dhabi MAR (ADM), the company has acquired an unspecified “controlling interest” in the German yard Nobiskrug for an undisclosed amount. The deal also includes the French yard CMN, whose owner is an ADM shareholder. The three yards will maintain their individual identities but work together in establishing what has been described “as a major presence in the superyacht market”.

An unnamed source suggested to SBN that ADM is also keen to expand into the refit market with the likelihood that it might invest in a Mediterranean refit operation but no timing for this was given. Last December ADM was the sole bidder for a 62 per cent stake in the Bijela shipyard, the largest in Montenegro. Bijela is ideally located to be a superyacht refit yard as it is very close to the recently opened Porto Montenegro facility at Tivat.

The strategy for the group of three yards and how they will work together is to be agreed at a marketing meeting in Abu Dhabi, which SBN understands will be held shortly. A spokesman told SBN that “no information about the financial aspects of the deal or the size of the controlling stake are being released on the instructions of the owners. “ADM is currently working on the conversion of two former Dutch frigates, which will become yachts of 141m (463ft) and 135m (443ft) respectively. The yard also has two other smaller yachts to build over the next two years. Currently ADM is employing some 600 at its yard, which is still being completed.

The combined output of the three yards, which already accounts for a substantial part of the global new-build order book, will already place the grouping of companies as one of the biggest builders of superyachts. Nobiskrug itself has five yachts under construction totalling some 350m (1148ft) and including two 74m (243ft) craft, one 73m (240ft) and one 68m (223ft). Facilities at the Nobiskrug yard, based at Rendsburg, include two drydocks of 151m (495ft) and 193m (633ft). Its most recent delivery was the 74m (243ft) motoryacht Siren. It is understood that its current order book extends into 2012.

As to CMN, the Cherbourg-located yard has recently delivered its “Line 60” designs, the Slipstream and the Cloud 9, and a spokesman told SBN that “we will shortly be constructing the hull of the next 60m boat.” He added that the company is “in the initial stages of developing a 65m design which will be ready in about six months.”