UPM-Kymmene sells Nautor to a group of highly qualified private investors

UPM-Kymmene Corporation and a group of private investors led by Mr. Leonardo Ferragamo have signed a letter of intent concerning the purchase of all shares in Oy Nautor Ab (Nautor), the producer of Swan yachts. The parties intend to finalize the transaction within the following weeks.
Nautor is the producer of the finest sailing yachts in the world. Located near Pietarsaari in Finland, it has since it was established in 1966 delivered almost 1700 yachts. The current range covers yachts from 40 to 112 feet, all constructed according to individual preferences. Swan yachts are designed by German Frers who is synonymous to elegance in yachting design. The quality is based on the long traditions of non-compromising craftmanship. The turnover of Nautor in 1997 was FIM 159 million. Nautor has been in the ownership of UPM-Kymmene since 1971.
Nautor will be acquired by a group of investors. Among them, Leonardo Ferragamo, executive and shareholder in Salvatore Ferragamo Italia and Mr. Peter Fazer, chairman and a shareholder in the Fazer Group.
The personalities, respective experiences, and nationalities of these investors will allow to reinforce Nautor's leadership, to give continuity as well as safeguard the Finnish origin of business, with expertise in the yachting market and to reserve to Nautor their capacity to guide international brands succesfully by longterm commitment.
Mr. Ferragamo, who is representing these investors all having a long-lasting interest in Nautor's Swan yachts says: "I believe that all new shareholders bring something valuable to the future of Nautor. Our goal is to produce Swans that even better meet the sailor's tastes and needs without any compromises in quality."
Mr. Ferragamo also adds: "Nautor is really a unique company. Due to its continued financial distress we need to have a strong commitment to the future and modern leadership of the company and start working immediately to improve its efficiency. Our aim is that to maintain the product as the expression of the Finnish construction art and ability in this field and to create more and more ambitious targets in the long run so as to avoid unnecessary dismissals. We are confident that we shall be able to find solutions through frank and objective discussions with the employees to balance the financial needs of the company and the interests of the employees."
Mr. Peter Fazer comments: "I am happy that such a solution was found that simultaneously enables the continuation of the boat building traditions in Finland and gives a perfect modern platform to develop the Swans. Being a Finn, I personally will seek to support the company by giving all local support I can offer."
Mr. Berndt Brunow of UPM-Kymmene, current chairman of Nautor comments: "We have had the opportunity to discuss with several interested buyer candidates for Nautor. In our opinion the new shareholders lead by Mr. Ferragamo have shown both the capacity to add to the business of Nautor and the desire to maintain production in Finland. We believe that this solution is the best for the future of both the employees and the products of Nautor. The decision of UPM-Kymmene to find a new owner for Nautor follows our ongoing aim to focus on our core business."
UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Mr. Leonardo Ferragamo and Mr. Peter Fazer
For further information, please contact:
UPM-Kymmene Corporation, Mr. Berndt Brunow, President, tel. +358 204 15 0015
Mr. Peter Fazer, tel. +358 9 876 2220