Yesterday Rich Lazzara teased us over twitter and on the Lazzara blog - something big was in the works. This morning it was announced Lazzara Yachts has entered into a partnership with The Crest Group LLC.
TAMPA, Florida, Jan. 24, 2011 – Lazzara Yacht Corporation, a legendary family name in yachting, announced it has received a capital investment from The Crest Group LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lazzara Yachts, a privately held company, is the worldwide leader in semi-custom pleasure yachts from 50’-130’. Built in Tampa, FL, Lazzara has continued to be on the leading edge of design and innovation in the yachting world.
Enrico Scarda, Managing Partner of The Crest Group LLC. said, “We couldn’t be happier to be able to join the Lazzara team. It is very obvious that the Lazzara family is dedicated to the continued innovation and development of exceptional yachts and we are glad to be able to be a part of it. We expect the newly structured company to continue the success that Lazzara Yachts has enjoyed in the past.”
Never heard of The Crest Group? Before this morning, we did not know who they were either. The Crest Group is a New York based LLC focused on commercial and residential real estate development. Mr. Scarda is a New York based lawyer (picked up his JD in 2000) with a bit of a financial education in his background (a BS in Finance in 1989). We are sure this move by the Crest Group has been looked at from every direction. We would also venture a guess, based on the coat of arms with what appears to be the initials "ES" , Mr. Scarda is the primary/sole partner of The Crest Group.
If innovation in the yachting industry is what helps differentiate Lazzara in a crowded and tough market, keeping the same vision with a new partner will likely be a determining factor in how successful this partnership is. From The Crest Group LLC website, it sounds like the Lazzara family has found a forward thinking partner.
In our residential division our philosophy is to develop communities that are "state of the art" in all respects. In th past year we have built beautiful customs homes and condominiums in premiere locations with exceptional results. Our residents boast about our product and we are proud of our achievements.
To be honest, we are not quite sure what to make of the partnership. At the 2009 Fort Lauderdale Show the Lazzara booth was one of the few manufacturers which was blowing the horn (indicating a sale). Our impression of their 2010 booth was positive (we were working on a good looking 84' "Double Trouble"), as there was a lot of foot traffic and we heard there were more than a few qualified buyers on the sales barge. However in the last 24 months, lots of boatyards and manufacturers have been put in a tough spot financially. So it is not clear if this is fully a move to spread the Lazzara name worldwide, or simply a way to reassure former/current/future owners Lazzara will be around for years to come.
If we take Lazzara and the Crest Group at their word (and we have no reason not to!), we think they should do well pushing their brand into new markets. The technology and innovation they pride themselves on is likely to be just as successful (if not more so) in markets which tend to lean towards the edgier and clean looks Lazzara has come to be known for. When compared to a company, like Hatteras, Lazzara certainly attracts a different type of customer. We are certainly looking forward to the seeing the 5(!) new models (Mr. Lazzara, we'd love a factory tour before they launch!) they plan to launch over the next two years.