Camper & Nicholsons Firm Changes Hands


In France, the Rodriguez Group, owners of Camper & Nicholsons International, the brokerage house has been declared formally bankrupt the by French authorities.

Now efforts are being made to complete the sale of the subsiduary company and so save the famous yachting brand.

The name of Camper & Nicholsons has, since the 1950s been closely associated with superyachts worldwide, and in 1992 crossed the Atlantic to make its mark with a string of offices in North America’s more celebrated yachting destinations.

The company can trace its history back to 1782 when a shipyard was founded in Gosport.  In 1809 the then 16-year-old William Camper, a great nephew of the founder, became an apprentice at the yard. It has however had a series of different owners since then and the Rodriguez Group purchased the company in 2001 with the brand name licenced to them in perpetuity by the brand owner; Nick Maris who stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Camper & Nicholsons Marinas in late 2012.

In 2013 an audit by the receivers in France valued the company at 17 million euros stating the valuation was based primarily on the goodwill of the Camper and Nicholson name. However, the company had posted a net loss over the past five years and was fighting two separate tax demands from the French government totalling a similar amount of around 17 million euros.

The name of Éric de Saintdo, who was the CEO of Rodriguez from 2011 to 2013 has been linked to a company Colosseum Services SA a used car sales organization with the backing of Italian-Swiss investors who have bid a figure understood to be 10 times that of the bid made by company’s current CEO, Michael Payne.

It is understood that Camper & Nicholsons will issue a statement once the transfer of shares has been completed. Speaking from Monaco Laurent Perignon the company’s Chief Operating Officer predicted that event would take place shortly and confirmed that the most likely purchaser was Colosseum and that that they had approached Éric de Saintdo to join the Colosseum team in order to answer the concern that some may have over the lack of experience in yachting matters.