If you thought that the story of the Dutch shipyards would end with sanctions and confiscations, then you were deeply mistaken. The most interesting, as we expected, is just beginning. Interparus will tell you what happened to one of the most profitable and influential Dutch shipyards.
Oh brave new world
Let's briefly remind the old-timers and tell the newcomers what all the fuss is about. While the “special operation” (war) on the territory of Ukraine was just beginning, a number of European shipyards managed to react almost immediately. Cancellations of orders for boats, yachts and superyachts have begun. Among other "gifts" were confiscations with arrests of yachts.
At the same time, the Dutch superyacht industry (with rare exceptions) did not show active interest in the topic. Moreover, I tried to slow down these processes. While the cannonade of a bloody and senseless war was already rumbling in Ukraine, the Dutch were baking about their money.
At the beginning of the war, many could not even think that all this would drag on. Moreover, there were no thoughts that Ukraine would survive. But Ukraine is still standing. For the fourth month now, the Russians have been taking Kyiv “in three days”. In such a situation, one could understand the Dutch - after all, business is a serious thing, and here are multimillion (if not billion) contracts. But the trouble is that today's war is not about "everything is not so simple here." Today's war is about the genocide of the Ukrainian people. And even a simple silence and an attempt to maintain neutrality is equated with complicity.
The Dutch did not immediately understand this. Over time, they nevertheless joined the general “movement” and also began to confiscate, arrest, withdraw contracts, etc. But that was only the beginning. Now a mechanism has been launched to search and sanction not only the ultimate beneficiaries of boats, but also entire shipyards.
Heesen Yachts and the dark backstage
The directors of Heesen Yachts, a shipyard specializing in superyachts, suddenly remembered that the ultimate beneficial owner of the shipyard ... was included in the British sanctions list.
Moreover, this person is a co-owner of a whole network of Russian companies. Among them are Lukoil, Langepasuraikogalymneft. He even noted himself as a co-owner of the Spartak football club. The name of this mysterious gentleman is Vagit Alekperov.
Without thinking twice, Heesen Yachts decided that there were enough reputational losses since the beginning of the war, and if Alekperov was left as a co-owner, then the reputation would simply end. By a unanimous decision of the entire board of directors, the ownership of Heesen Yachts was transferred to the Dutch. How beautifully it was described in a press release: “The well-known Dutch shipyard has again become Dutch for all 200%”.
Such a fate will await a number of Dutch shipyards, but in a smaller size. The Heesen example is illustrative. Everything in that press release was that “Heesen Yachts is financially healthy and profitable, and that jobs at the Oss and Winterswijk plants are fully saved. Heesen Yachts' order book is full and the company's staff will continue to work on the completion of 13 projects under construction.”
We are very interested in the fate of these “13 projects”, as well as the names of the final beneficiaries of these “projects”. Well, let's wait and see. The problem remains that no one will forget the reputational losses from the statements and actions of the shipyards at the beginning of the war. The entire superyacht industry has shown its true colors. A face that will change from an indifferent expression to a smile only if the glitter of coins looms on the horizon.
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