Boats Group Acquires Servicios Nauticos de Internet

by | Feb 27, 2014 | Boats Group, News

Deal strengthens Boats Group’s position as market leader in European online marine industry

Boats Group (Boats Group), the world leader in online boat sales, announced it has acquired Servicios Náuticos de Internet, S.L., owner and operator of the leading online boat sales portals Cosas de Barcos in Spain, iNautia in Italy and iNautia in France. The business was acquired from the Barcelona-based investment group, Grupo Intercom S.A.

Cosas de BarcosCosas de Barcos has more than 650 registered dealership customers and features more than 53,000 boats for sale, making it the clear market leader in Spain. The two iNautia portals also have a strong presence in France and Italy, making the acquisition an excellent fit with Boats Group’s brands, which have already developed strong positions in those regions. The three brands will be maintained under Boats Group’s ownership, and the business will continue to operate from its Barcelona headquarters.

This acquisition gives Boats Group an even stronger global presence, with more than 5,500 boat sales companies as customers, and market-leading online boat sales portals in 13 languages. Globally, Boats Group features more than 520,000 boats for sale worth an estimated $20.8 billion, and in Europe more than 140,000 boats for sale valued at an estimated $7.1 billion.

Spain, Italy and France represent a significant part of the recreational marine market in Europe. This move, orchestrated from Boats Group’s European base of operations in the U.K., reinforces Boats Group’s position as the world’s most popular marine website group. Boats Group recently launched an extensive sales and marketing effort in Germany, Europe’s wealthiest economy, and has added 125 new boat dealer clients in the last 10 months.

With more than 180 employees and its strong portfolio of national and international online brands (including market-leading web, YachtWorld and Boat Trader), Boats Group has always sought to provide the best online customer experience by offering the best advertising and software solutions. Boats Group today is the definitive information resource for boat buyers, sellers, dealers and boat manufacturers alike.

Ian Atkins, senior vice president and general manager of Boats Group, commented: “Boats Group has long held strong positions in all its global markets, with 23 localised websites in 13 languages attracting an average of more than 52 million unique visitors in 2013. The acquisition of Cosas de Barcos in Spain, iNautia in Italy and iNautia in France further extends this reach, creating an even stronger platform for us to continue our geographic expansion and organic sales growth.”

Atkins continued, “The timing of this deal is excellent, as the European leisure marine market is starting to show signs of a recovery. The U.S. has seen 6-7% growth for the last two years, and we now anticipate Europe starting to do the same.”

Oliver Winbolt, head of marketing at one of Boats Group’s large OEM customers, Fairline Boats, added: “We have been working closely with Boats Group to extend our capabilities across their range of portals, particularly YachtWorld, which help us deliver a wider online audience for our extensive range of 38-foot to 78-foot yachts. It’s great to see Boats Group continuing to expand its network, providing even better coverage for our dealer network as it continues to grow.”