'Demand in the luxury cruise market has been robust, buoyed by an affluent and international client base, particularly from North America and Southeast Asia,' Artemis said Monday in a statement, adding it will 'provide the capital to fuel Ponant’s ambitions, its international expansion and the company’s next level of growth.'
The statement went on to say that 'Partnering closely with [Ponant] co-founder Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée and vice chairman Véronique Saadé, Artemis will continue to pursue Ponant’s winning strategy, while preserving its essence: refinement and excellence à la française.'
Artemis, chaired by François-Henri, Pinault’s son, is the controlling shareholder of the Kering group whose assets include the fashion brands Gucci and Saint-Laurent, auction house Christie’s and Bordeaux first growth wine estate Chateau Latour.
Founded in 1988 by Sauvée and headquartered in Marseille, Ponant has a fleet of four luxury mega-yachts introduced between 2010 and 2015 that carry 224 to 264 passengers each. The company also operates the 64-passenger, three-masted yacht Ponant.
Ponant is a leading cruise operator in the polar regions. In 2015, the company expects to carry more than 30,000 passengers, with revenues forecast to exceed €140m.
The company was valued at around €400m in recent media reports. However, Artemis did not disclose any financial details of its offer.