Ponant is being sold to Artémis, a holding company of Francois Pinault, French entrepreneur who also owns other luxury brands. Still, there is no information concerning the value of the transaction.
Ponant is headquartered in Marseilles and currently transports more than 30,000 passengers per year predominantly to the polar regions, operating in the luxury cruise segment. In 2012 the line was acquired by Bridgepoint from the French container shipping company Groupe CMA CGM.
Under Bridgepoint ownership, Ponant has doubled sales up to EUR 140 million. Profits have been tripled thanks to a combination of the following factors: increasing and upgrading fleet's capacity by 11%, boosted by the addition of two new ships and withdrawal of two older; geographical expansion with new sales offices in Australia and China; and the acquisition of a further sales distribution channel (TDI) in the important North American market.
According to the Co-Founder and President of Ponant, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, the company had worked well with Bridgepoint, introducing their specialist luxury voyages to new customers, launching new ships and growning the business significantly. He added they were entering a new time with a similar shareholder who shared their ambition for Ponant within luxury cruise market.
Xavier Robert, Bridgepoint's partner in Paris, said that the transformation and progress of the company had been outstanding and they were proud to have contributed to the success. The planned transaction ensured the continuity of Ponant's ambitions with the acquisition of their interests by "a likeminded long-term shareholder".