Palma.—The Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, is buying the British yacht maker Sunseeker, whose yachts have appeared in several James Bond films, in the latest example of a trend for Chinese companies to acquire top luxury global brands.

The company said it had agreed to buy a 91.8 percent stake in privately held Sunseeker for £320m.
Chinese companies have started to acquire top international brands as a shortcut to global success. There is also growing demand for luxury in mainland China, where new marinas line the country's southern coast.

Set up in the 1970s, yacht builder Sunseeker, employs around 2'300 people in and around Poole, on the south coast of England. Following the acquisition, the firm would retain the base and existing workforce, Wanda said.

Prices for its luxury boats start at 400'000 pounds and its new top of the range 155 Yacht, costs 20 million pounds, with former Formula One boss, Eddie Jordan, the first customer.

Jonathan Syrett, Managing Director of Camper & Nicholsons Spain and Portugal, said yesterday that the industry was “very surprised” by the news. “But the Chinese have also bought the Ferretti Group as well. It's a growing nautical market, not so much China, but Asia, as a whole, new marinas, new wealth etc., hence why the Indians and the Asians are very interested in Western luxury brands.”