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Heesen Yachts transfers ownership to Dutch Foundation

Heesen Yachts has announced that the ownership of the company has been transferrred and is again in Dutch hands. All the company shares have been transferred from the group’s top Dutch holding company to an independent Dutch Foundation.

The board of the new owner consists of Arthur Brouwer and Anjo Joldersma, respectively the CEO and Chairman of the supervisory board. The objective of the Foundation is “to guarantee a successful future of the shipyard and the continuity of employment for the highly qualified employees of Heesen Yachts”. Heesen Yachts was owned by three Russian owners: oil billionaire Vagit Alekperov, his wife, and their son. “The shares were paid for with a loan. This is interest-free and will be repaid over a very long term”, says the spokesperson.

Why is this transfer now allowed? “The details of the transaction were not fully worked out at the earlier stage. In recent weeks, the details have been clarified, allowing the notary to understand the purpose of the transaction.” That is why the civil-law notary has now agreed to cooperate in the transaction. “It was clear that the transaction in no way violates sanctions or other laws.”

Heesen Yachts was owned by the wealthy Russian owner Vagit Alekperov, but wanted to get rid of him. Mr Alekperov was formerly Deputy Minister for Oil in the Soviet Union and made a fortune with the oil company Lukoil he founded. Recently, the businessman stepped down as CEO of the company. He is also seen as a friend of Russian President Putin. The company therefore feared the EU sanctions. To separate from him, Heesen wanted to transfer all shares of the Russian into a new foundation. But that failed initially.

Had Heesen Yachts not gotten rid of Mr Alekperov, it would have meant a huge problem for the yacht builder. According to the company itself, bankruptcy would have been inevitable and a thousand people would have ended up on the streets.