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Sunseeker International
Industry Luxury motor yachts
Headquarters Poole, United Kingdom
Key people
Phil Popham (CEO), Robert Braithwaite (Founder and Managing Director)
Revenue £320 million (2013)
Owner Dalian Wanda Group
Number of employees
Approximately 2,230 (2008)
The Sunseeker factory on the Poole waterfront. The company makes luxury motoryachts, two of which are seen outside. Predator 95/100 is on the left.

Sunseeker International is a British luxury motor yacht manufacturer. Its headquarters and main assembly facility is in Poole Harbour, at Poole in Dorset, England. The company has been making motor boats since 1969.[2] Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group owns the company since 2013.[3] It is the largest UK-based luxury yachtmaker measured by 2012 revenues.[4]


Manufacturing is undertaken mainly in Poole, in seven production plants and shipyards. An additional deep-water shipyard is used to build the 105 yacht and larger vessels. In March 2007, the company announced a 500 job expansion program, with a new site on the Isle of Portland,[5] A new factory is being developed at New Quay Road, Poole.

In October 2002, Robert Braithwaite, the founder of Sunseeker International, was named Ernst & Young's UK Entrepreneur of the Year.[6]

In 2006 Robert Braithwaite led a £44 million MBO of the company, backed by Bank of Scotland.[7]

The company features in the 2008 Sunday Times list Profit Track 100 of the most profitable non-listed companies and in the Top Track 250 list of mid-sized non-listed companies.

In 2010, Irish private equity firm FL Partners took over ownership of Sunseeker through a debt restructuring deal after Sunseeker posted losses the previous year. [3][4]

On 19 June 2013 it was announced that the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group had agreed to buy a 91.8% stake in Sunseeker for £320M. As reported, it has been promised that the day-to-day running of Sunseeker in Poole will be unaffected, with its 2,500-strong workforce keeping their jobs. The deal is set to be sealed by mid-August. [5]

In January 2015, Phil Popham was appointed as the company's new Chief Executive Officer. [6]

Appearance in popular culture

Sunseeker boats have featured in the James Bond film series since 1999. The relationship began with The World Is Not Enough, famously chasing up the Thames in the pre-credits sequence, and continued through Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This latest outing showed Sunseeker's new 37m Yacht and the Superhawk 43; it also featured a cameo role for Sunseeker's then managing director, Robert Braithwaite, in one of Sunseeker's very first open-cockpit speedboats, the Sovereign 17. [8]


Sunseeker regularly updates its yacht collection with new yachts, or improved versions of already released yachts. Below is a description of one the yachts in the Sunseeker collection, their specifications and where they can be chartered.

Sunseeker Predator 115 (Launched 2013):

The Sunseeker Predator 115, also known as Chimera, was launched in spring 2013. Features: The Predator 115 has 5 cabins, meaning it has room for 10 guests. She also features a large on deck dining area and a spa tub. Specifications: The yacht is 34.5 metres in length, with a draft of 2.38 metres. She has a maximum speed of 24 knots and her cruising speed is 18 knots. Charter: The Predator 115 is available for charter in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. [9]

See also


  1. Sunday Times Top Track 250 list ,pub Oct 2008, Entry No. 88
  2. [1]
  3. Sunseeker Confirms Acquisition by Dalian Wanda
  4. Rapoza, Kenneth (19 June 2013). "Chinese Billionaire Buys 'James Bond' U.K. Yacht Maker". Forbes. Retrieved 13 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Luxury yacht maker's 500 new jobs". BBC News. 14 March 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Clark, Emma (8 October 2002). "Sunseeker scoops entrepreneur award". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sunday Times Top Track 250 List 2008
  8. James Bond 007 :: MI6 - The Home Of James Bond
  9. [2]

External links