Moonen Yachts to boost production, after new owners’ identity is revealed


Moonen is to lift production to two to three superyachts a year, after its acquisition by Matthew and Louise Baxter.

Superyacht builder Moonen Yachts is to “scale up production” its CEO, Johan Dubbelman, has pledged after the new owners of the formerly bankrupt firm were revealed to be Australian industrialist couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter.

“We have trust in these new investors and have faith that they will establish a strong future for Moonen Yachts,” says Dubbelman. “Our aim is to scale up production efficiently and start two new-build projects in the upcoming six months. Following on with the current build, we will start a second 36 metre and a 44 metre, both new and future-proof timeless Moonen yachts with interiors designed by the award-winning renowned design houses, like Studio Indigo.”

Speculative building helped to cut delivery times while retaining the option of  customisation, which are big benefits for clients, he added. The market for 30- to 50- metre luxury yachts was said to be “solid”. Currently in build is the award winning 36-metre Martinique, which is 50% ready. The aim is to display the vessel at the Monaco Yacht Show 2020.

Speculative building

The Baxters decided to acquire the Dutch superyacht yard, based at Hertogenbosch, after a chance encounter with the Moonen 84 yacht, Aurora, while cruising in Pittwater harbour, Sydney, Australia. “It is a privilege to own a yard like Moonen,” said Matthew Baxter, executive chairman of the privately-owned AM Group of manufacturing companies, which he established in 1972.

“The brand has an impeccable pedigree, the yachts are true Dutch quality and the team is young, reliable, talented and very loyal to the company. These characteristics are fundamental for success.”

The yard had to ‘re-energise’

Baxter acknowledged the yard had to “re-energise”, but predicted a bright future based on “a strong strategic plan and a strong balance sheet”.

Most of the workforce has been retained and Moonen pledged to reinforce the cooperation with long-term strategic partners and subcontractors.

Meanwhile, Moonen Shipyards was declared bankrupt by a Dutch court on Friday July 12th, after its owner Mexican steel-making monolith Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) was said to be unable to meet the builder’s financial obligations.

Speaking after the bankruptcy declaration, Dubbelmann hinted at the existence of a new financial backer (the Baxters) that would enable the yacht builder to make a new start. “The aim of the new investor is to build two to three yachts per year,” said Dubbelmann in July.

Matthew and Louise Baxter were so impressed with the Moonen 84 yacht, Aurora, they bought the shipyard that build her.