from "La Repubblica"
23-09-2007, pagina 53, sezione ECONOMIA


It is the Aston Martin of the seas, founded by legendary Don Aronow

Milan – Montezemolo had tried to make it. Not Confindustria Chairman Montezemolo, but his son Matteo with the Charme Fund. Than it was the turn of Paolo Vitelli, Chairman of Azimut: no way. Thumbs down also for Norberto Ferretti, number one of the ‘Made in Italy’ yachting. The reason for this was that Katrin Theodoli, Chairman of Magnum Marine, historical brand of the American luxury yachting, has never wanted to sell. Up to yesterday. Because now, the company, founded in Miami in 1966 by ingenious and adventurous designer Don Aronow, has found a new owner.
The Aston Martin’s of the sea, the fast, high performance boats that appear in the first series of Miami Vice, are namely about to be taken over by a group of six Italian managers working in the boating sector, lead by the Anglo-Italian entrepreneur Christian Tirabassi, with the assistance of a financial partner outside the sector. Their objective: to re-launch the Miami-based shipyard, famous all over the world for its elegant and fast boats (some models travel faster that 60 knots), by revitalizing the relationship with the most famous designers in the world (the group had a partnership with Pininfarina for several years) and significantly increasing the production up to 15 boats in 2008.
The operation, which has now been completely defined in the economic terms, must only be finalized. The agreed price for 80% of the company is of 20 million dollars, to be added to further 5 or 6 million for restructuring the Miami based shipyard and for marketing and communication activities. Katrin Theodoli will keep 20% of the company, as well as a key role in the relationship with the big customers and representing the brand both in the United States and in the rest of the world. Her son Giovanni Theodoli will keep on working in the company within the new managerial team.
The acquisition, carried out by Mr Tirabassi and the five managers currently working inside the top level yachting industry, on one side values the whole company at 25 million dollars, about twice as much as the previous offers. On the other side it lays stress on the restructuring of the productive side of the company, in order to be able to keep the brand alive and meet to the market demand.
So, an entirely Italian management. But the shipyard will remain well rooted in Miami, in its historical base. Also because the American image is vital for the success of Magnum Marine, a brand with the strength of a myth, but whose identity of producer of luxury open motoryachts from 44 to 80 feet in the high performance segment needs to be reinforced and reignited with life. Also by updating the existing model range.
Founded in 1966 by Aronow, whose life is described in the movie ‘The ThunderMan’, just presented in Cannes (Aronow was mysteriously killed in the Eighties in unknown circumstances), Magnum Marine was taken over in 1976 by Filippo Theodoli, who died in 1990. Since then, the company has been managed by his wife Katrin, up to the deal of these days. Katrin, as already mentioned, will maintain the guidance in the next few years, a strategic role in the re-launch of the brand.