PARIS — Artémis SA, French billionaire François Pinault’s family holding company, confirmed on Monday it is in exclusive talks with investment fund Bridgepoint to buy French luxury cruise specialist Ponant.
Founded in 1988, Ponant is expected to transport more than 30,000 passengers in 2015, with revenues set to exceed 140 million euros, or $155.4 million at current exchange, Artémis said. With a fleet of five luxury cruise yachts, Ponant is the leading cruise operator in the polar region, it noted.
“The demand in the luxury cruise market has been robust, buoyed with great resilience by an affluent and international client base, particularly from North America and Southeast Asia,” Artémis said.
“Artémis will provide the capital to fuel Ponant’s ambitions, its international expansion and the company’s next level of growth,” the group added.
Bloomberg News initially reported that Artémis was considering buying the travel operator for around 400 million euros, or around $444 million at current exchange.
In addition to being the controlling shareholder of luxury and sport and lifestyle group Kering, Artémis owns auction house Christie’s and the Château Latour vineyard, among other assets.