Richard Hadida has announced the purchase of Oyster Yachts and all of its subsidiaries after the luxury boat builder went under in February


20 March 

Gaming software entrepreneur, Richard Hadida is the new owner of Oyster Yachts.

The British luxury yacht builder stopped production in February with the loss of some 380 employees at its UK sites at Southampton and Wroxham in Norfolk after the Dutch private equity firm, HTP Investments, announced it would no longer continue to financially support the company.

Hadida is now forming a management team, led by Oyster stalwart Paul Adamson, who captained Eddie Jordan’s Oyster 885, LUSH in the Oyster World Rally in 2014. Kim Stubbs, who was responsible for turning around the fortunes of Sunseeker, has also been brought in.

“It is going to be difficult, but with common sense and creativity we can turn this business around,” stressed Hadida, who is the founder and creative directive of Evolution Gaming.

“Oyster is the Bentley of the Sea, a great British brand, and it will remain so,” he added.

Hadida, who regularly sails on LUSH, told Yachting Monthly he has used his own personal fortune to buy Oyster and all of its subsidiaries, including Oyster Palma and Oyster Newport in the USA.

“Every part of the business, including brokerage and chartering, I plan to bring back to life,’ he noted. ‘I am not looking to flip it, there is no exit planning, I am in it for the long run, it will be a lifetime business.”

His first priority will be on the 26 customers whose Oysters were in build when the company closed its doors.

“We are hoping to start employing people as of tomorrow. At the moment, we have boats in every stage of build from the mould to almost complete and we need to get people on these boats and building them fast. I want to get those yard doors open and start building boats again,” stressed Hadida.

Adamson added that the 26 customers with Oysters in build will get exactly what they ordered.

“Oyster owners five weeks ago were left high and dry. These 26 owners are our first priority which is to give them the Oyster they ordered so they don’t end up with a hybrid and they will have full warranty for what they ordered.”

Hadida believes it will take a few years to “get everything back on track”.

Part of this process will include looking at the manufacturing process to make it as efficient as possible so margins are maintained while still retaining the build quality which Oysters are known for.

“If the margins are not there, the boat will not be built,’ he stressed. With 40% of Oysters being sold to existing owners, Hadida believes there are also opportunities for smaller Oysters built with the same fundamental quality ‘so people can join the Oyster family earlier”.

Last week, it was announced that the original owner of Oyster, Richard Matthews, along with the boat builder’s former after sales manager, Sarah Harmer, and former quality manager, Will Taylor-Jones had formed the Ipswich-based Fox’s Yacht Services to provide a complete after sales support service to the owners of Oyster yachts regardless of their size, age or location.

Paul Adamson said they would be happy to work alongside anyone interested in collaborating, but stressed that Hadida owned the brand and the intellectual property of the technical drawings and moulds across the Oyster range.

Hadida also confirmed that the Polina Star III incident was now firmly in the firm’s past, and stressed a repeat “would never happen.”

In 2015, Oyster was forced to review the design and construction of its Oyster 825 after the second boat off the production line, Polina Star III, lost her keel and sank off the coast of Spain.

Oyster later went on the record to say the construction and design of the 825 took into account Classification Society Rules and other standards, and that its inspection of other 825s (not including Polina Star III) highlighted a possible weakness in the process used to build the inner structures of these vessels.




7 February

Administrators have been appointed to Oyster Marine Holdings Limited, the holding company of Oyster Yachts.

The firm, which has its headquarters in Southampton, and also trades from Wherstead in Suffolk, has two employees, and owns the Intellectual Property to all of the technical drawings and moulds used in the production of the yachts in the Oyster range.

In a statement, KPMG Restructuring said no other companies within the Oyster group form part of this particular administration.

This includes Oyster Marine, Oyster Brokerage and Oyster Palma.

Neil Gostelow, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, commented: “Late last week, the company directors confirmed that they had been unable to secure the financial support they needed to continue to trade the business. Our immediate priority will be to seek a buyer for the business and its assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Interested parties are advised to contact William Lewis who is part of the Administration team on 07771 555540 or

Meanwhile, managers at Oyster Yachts are continuing to look ‘for all opportunities available’ after the firm sent redundancy notices to all of its UK workforce, including employees at the Southampton boatyard at Saxon Wharf and the Wroxham base in Norfolk.

In the notice, Oyster CEO David Tydeman told employees that the company had “been unable to secure financial support to enable it to continue to trade at this time and it is now facing entering an insolvency procedure imminently.

“After considering all possible options, the Company has concluded that there is a risk that it will be unable to continue to provide work for all of its employees at all locations and that it is likely that it will have to make all of its employees redundant,” continued the notice.

“The Company has run out of cash and is unable to pay employees for work. The Company decided to close all operations yesterday (for the immediate future) to prevent or minimise all loss to employees and all other creditors”.

Tydeman added that third party financial support was needed if the firm was to continue trading.


6 February

Managers at Oyster Yachts say they’re ‘looking for all opportunities available’ after the company told workers to expect redundancies

The luxury yacht builder’s 160 staff at its Southampton boatyard at Saxon Wharf, along with its workers at Wroxham in Norfolk are all expected to be affected. It is unclear how it will impact Palma, Majorca and Newport, USA

Oyster CEO David Tydeman issued a statement today, saying: ‘It is with sincere regret that we advise that the Company has been unable to secure financial support to enable it to continue at this time and it is looking at all opportunities available. Further information will be issued as soon as we can’.

Recently, Oyster announced 2017 was a record year, with its order book reaching more than £80 million.

Oyster Marine was acquired by HTP Investments BV (HTP) for just under £15 million in 2012. The company was sold in 2008 by founder Richard Matthews to private equity company Balmoral Capital for about £70 million. The acquisition included the Oyster Group companies Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.


5 February

British luxury yacht builder Oyster Yachts has reportedly gone into liquidation as of 1600 on Monday (5 February).

Staff are said to have found out that all employees are to be made redundant in the news this afternoon. A spokesman for the company confirmed that a statement would be made  on Tuesday (6 February) but would not confirm or comment on the news. Staff have been asked to come into work tomorrow.

Sources have said that 160 staff at the Southampton boatyard have been told they will be losing their jobs.

Oyster Yachts recently launched their new model, the Oyster 745 at boot Düsseldorf, at the end of January.

Recently embarking on a major project to build several 118ft superyachts, boosting jobs in the area, the quintessentially British brand announced an order book in excess of £80m worth of business only a few months ago.

HTP Investments, a Dutch investment firm, are rumoured to have withdrawn financial support for the company.

Oyster Marine was acquired by HTP Investments BV (HTP) for just under £15 million in 2012. The company was sold in 2008 by founder Richard Matthews to private equity company Balmoral Capital for about £70 million. The acquisition included the Oyster Group companies Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.

Industry sources suggested that the company may have lost money in dealing with structural problems identified following the sinking of the Oyster yacht Polina Star III, which lost her keel and sank off the coast of Spain in 2015.

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Oyster Yachts made the following statement at the time:

“Since the tragic loss of Polina Star III – Oyster 825-02 – in early July, Oyster has worked with a team of independent experts to review the design and construction of the Oyster 825. Since the recovery of Polina Star III from the seabed recently we have also worked with the various representatives of the Owner’s insurance Company and other stakeholders.

“The objective of this work was to establish beyond doubt how and why the loss occurred, the first of its kind in Oyster’s long history. First, it is important to note that the Oyster 825 design took into account Classification Society Rules and other standards and has been independently verified. Secondly, our inspection of the other 825s (not including Polina Star III) highlighted a possible weakness in the process used to build the inner structure of those vessels. This process has not been used on any other Oyster Yacht built over the last ~40 years and will not be used again.”

The announcement has taken staff and others in the industry by surprise. The company website was still advertising for job vacancies at the time of the announcement.

Jim Pugh, President and Founder of US-based yacht design studio Reichel Pugh commented, “I am very surprised and disappointed to hear the news about Oyster Yachts. They came to us in December for a higher performance 33m design and a development of their portfolio. It was an exciting project.”

The project, known as Project Alpha, would have taken Oyster into new territory on the superyacht racing circuit, building on the company’s recent 118ft superyacht build.


Report by Theo Stocker and Katy Stickland at Yachting Monthly