SUNSEEKER is reportedly being sold by its Chinese parent company to another company based in America. 

The Poole-based maker of luxury yachts, which has a facility on Portland, is presently owned by majority shareholder Wanda Group since 2013. 

But according to insiders at the firm, the group is in talks with Miami-based investment firm Lionheart Capital about a possible purchase. 

The Echo contacted Sunseeker on these claims but it declined to comment. 

Sunseeker employs more than 2,000 people in Poole and Portland and is a major recruiter of apprentices. 

Dorset Echo: Picture by Echo reader Peter Plucknett of the second ever Sunseeker 155 Yacht at Poole QuayPicture by Echo reader Peter Plucknett of the second ever Sunseeker 155 Yacht at Poole Quay

It produces around 150 boats every year ranging from 38-161 feet with 98 per cent being exported. 

The latest annual report said the 12 months leading to December 2022 was a “greatly improved year” with “historic levels of future orders, a bounce back in gross margins and a further growth in turnover”. 

Compared with 2021, revenue grew 26 per cent from £212.8m to £268.1m in 2022. 

Meanwhile, the report noted that despite ongoing supply chain disruptions, margins are heading back towards pre-Covid levels from 5.7 per cent in 2021 to 9.4 per cent in 2022. 

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew by £10.3m to 12.3.

The report for 2023 has not been published yet.

Sunseeker was founded in Christchurch by Robert Braithwaite in 1969, as Friars Cliff Marine, selling other companies’ boats. 

Renamed Poole Powerboats when it moved to the town in 1969, it began producing boats of its own two years later. 

It became Sunseeker International in 1985 and its boats were sought after across the world, appearing in four James Bond films. 

The business was bought in 2013 by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda. 

It lost £41million in 2014 and shed 300 jobs, but was in the black and hiring two years later. 

But then in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the company was looking to axe another 460 jobs – or a fifth of its workforce – as it struggled with the effects of lockdown. 

A year ago, the company appointed its permanent sustainability and environmental manager in a bid to secure its long-term sustainable development.