Luxury cruise operator Ponant sold

Luxury cruise operator Ponant sold

French luxury cruise specialist Ponant is being sold for an estimated €550 million to a group with assets worth more than €30 billion.

Private equity firm Bridgepoint is selling the company to Artemis Group, the holding company of France’s billionaire Pinault family.

Artemis controls assets such as auction house Christie’s and Bordeaux wine estate Chateau Latour. The holding company also controls Kering with its fashion brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent.

The company’s chairman, Francois-Henri Pinault, is the son of French billionaire Francois Pinault and the husband of actress Selma Hayek.

Ponant is based in Marseilles and carries more than 30,000 passengers a year across its fleet of four ships and a sailing yacht.

Ponant was founded in 1988 and has been owned by Bridgepoint for three years.

Bridgeport said it has doubled Ponant’s annual revenue to €140 million and tripled its profits since 2012.

Bridgepoint partner Xavier Robert said: "The transformation and progress achieved by the company have been outstanding and we are proud to have worked with the management team and contributed to its success.

“The planned transaction ensures the continuity of the company's ambitions with the acquisition of our interests by a like-minded long-term shareholder."

Artemis said: "Demand in the luxury cruise market has been robust, buoyed by an affluent and international client base, particularly from North America and Southeast Asia,"

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