Tankoa wants to acquire the Cantieri di Pisa. The CEO, Poerio speaks to LN: “Genova doesn’t have the space to grow. So we will have two independent brands.”

The chief executive officer of Tankoa, Vincenzo Poerio, explains to Liguria Nautica why the Genoese company is extremely interested in acquiring the Cantieri di Pisa, increasing their manufacturing facilities

14 January 2021 | by Redazione

Giving the news directly was the mayor of Pisa, Michele Conti, via social media channels, confirming what what was just a rumour a few hours before: Tankoa Yachts will purchase the Cantieri di Pisa, a historic company founded in 1945 by Gino Bini and Antonio Sostegni.

For some time, the Cantieri di Pisa have been going through a crisis, so much so that the interest from Tankoa, that appears to be much more than simple interest at this point, was considered to be excellent news by Pisa’s mayor.

Vincenzo Poerio, the representative of Tankoa Yachts – writes the mayor on Facebook – has informed us of his company’s desire to acquire Cantieri di Pisa, a historic brand that represents one of the important excellences of boating in Pisa and the country. The operations of this important entrepreneurial group are a sign of rebirth for the Cantieri di Pisa and confirms the city’s aspiration of becoming an increasingly strategic hub for the boating industry”.

My thoughts – notes Conti – go to the workers and their families, who, over these last few years have fought to protect their jobs and who can now look to a more serene future.” For the 22 workers employed by the shipyard (as well as the contractors), it is a turning point workwise, while for the shipyard based in Sestri Ponente it is an opportunity to grow and expand, as explained by the chief executive officer, Vincenzo Poerio during his interview with Liguria Nautica.

LN – Mr Poerio, how did you come to the decision of acquiring Cantieri di Pisa?

VP – Tankoa has now been in Genova for nearly 14 years and we are blocked in by the Fincantieri establishment on one side and a number of yacht repair yards on the other. The opportunity of expanding our manufacturing is fairly limited for us. We only have two places to build boats up to 70-75 metres, but, unfortunately, we are unable to grow further. But we need to grow.”

Being in an area where there are no other possibilities, I decided to start looking in Tuscany for solutions to help Tankoa expand. I went to visit Cantieri di Pisa and saw that this acquisition would have helped Tankoa grow through the construction of a warehouse and two new building areas. What’s more, we will have acquired a historic brand, working for 75 years in the industry, allowing us to create a product under a different brand and thereby creating a new business.

So, on the one hand we have Cantieri di Pisa building boats from 30 to 45 metres and on the other we have Tankoa with boats from 45 metres and up. Obviously, Genova will remain, we will continue to manufacture here, but unfortunately, we will have to go to Tuscany to make other boats, because the limited space doesn’t allow us to grow in Genova.

Obviously we have nothing against Genova, but it is a strategic choice by the company. Genova has not seen the development of new construction in the boating industry, while it has quite a bit in refitting, so the choice fell on Tuscany which, with the La Spezia, Pisa, Livorno triangle, and Viareggio in the centre, represents the mail hub for the Italian boating industry, as well as for supplies.

LN – How will production change? Will the models in Cantieri di Pisa adapt to Tankoa or will they be two independent production lines?

VP – They will be two separate and distinct brands on the market, with two independent production lines: one for 30 to 45 metres and the other for over 45 metres. We will try and make the larger vessels in Genova.

LN – What is the target for owners and potential new clients that you are hoping to attract thanks to this move?

VP – By expanding our product range, we are also expanding our client range. Not everyone will be buying a boat over 50 metres. Many will be buying boats between 30 and 50 metres and we will be entering the market with an innovative product, that is connected with the glorious past of Cantieri di Pisa. But let’s keep in mind that Tankoa will always keep building boats, to keep the brand going, in parallel to the work in Cantieri di Pisa.

The Tankoa shipyard in Sestri Ponente, Genoa

LN – What will you be creating with Cantieri di Pisa?

VP – It will be a shipyard making metal vessels, even faster ones, that have good performance both at low speeds and fast speeds. Obviously with very innovative models. Now we need to open up a tender to the various designers to begin putting together some ideas for the new models. The shipyard will become operative around the beginning of June.

LN – What will the staffing and structural situation be like, and how are you thinking of improving it?

VP – There are currently 22 employees that we will assimilate and put to work. We will gradually call them back in from furlough, as we slowly take on new work and new business. We need to do a refit, a lifting of sorts. We will also be building a new warehouse, especially in the area dedicated to Tankoa, where we need higher ceilings than the current ones. Half the warehouse will be dedicated to Tankoa and the other half to Cantieri di Pisa.

LN – How will the transaction take place?

VP – We are now doing the due diligence (in-depth investigation to evaluate the reliability of a deal and identifying and problems connected with it – editor’s note) and then we will begin working on it, until we are sure everything is all right and we can proceed.  At the moment we aren’t talking money but I can say it will certainly be substantial.


Giuseppe Orrù

Photo of Vincenzo Poerio – Claudio Colombo

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