GENTLEMAN – INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER & CEO GIOVANNI COSTANTINO
WIND OF REBIRTH
With the acquisition of Perini Navi by The Italian Sea Group, Giovanni Costantino, has rescued the shipyard of Viareggio, icon of the made in Italy and has extended the portfolio of his brands, Admiral, Tecnomar and NCA refit, to the world of the luxury comfort sailing.
He’s used to set big scores, Giovanni Costantino Founder & CEO of The Italian Sea Group (TISG), holding based in Marina di Carrara and listed on the Milan stock exchange one year ago.
The first step was when he turned an agonizing State-owned facility into a luxury atelier for yachts with the brands Admiral, Tecnomar and NCA refit. The latest shot he scored last December is still on everyone’s lips: the acquisition and rescue of Perini Navi, leading company in the production of sailing yachts over 50 meters, which TISG has won at the Auction of the Court of Lucca for 80 million euro.
Gentleman. The acquisition and the rescue of Perini Navi is an operation you have strongly wanted judging by the resources invested. What was your motivation?
Giovanni Costantino. It was an important operation and the motivations are many. Undoubtedly there was great interest from our part for the production sites, the facilities of Perini.
Gentleman. Here in Marina di Carrara, you do have a big area, Nuovi Cantieri Apuania is a big facility.
Giovanni Costantino. Despite the huge investments, in the verge of 100 million, we need more space because our group has two souls equally important: the part of the new build and the one dedicated to NCA refit.
Even if in Marina di Carrara we have about 120.000 square meters overlooking the sea with perfectly equipped sheds, two dry docks, cranes, travel lift and anything else, the facility is not sufficient to accompany the growth of our two businesses.
Our Group looks more and more to the market of big pleasure vessels, we want to become protagonist in the giga yachts sector, over 100 meters, too.
Gentleman. An acquisition functionalto the growth of TISG facilities then, but how does the Perini brand match the holding context, what plans do you have for its relaunch?
Giovanni Costantino. With a bit of healthy presumption, we have always believed that we are the right Company to give a solid future to Perini Navi, but to ensure its development there is not only the need to be organized at commercial level.
The operational resumption of the Viareggio and La Spezia production sites was made in record time and the new Perini production plan is already set. Such a brand had to go in the hands of those who were able to guarantee a design capacity and a production of the highest quality, without compromises, as it has happened for Tecnomar and Admiral, our motor yacht brands.
Gentleman. The sailing yacht market, the one where Perini will continue to play, is extremely small compared to that of large motor yachts. In this context, in which niche will the brand be placed?
Giovanni Costantino. With Perini we are not talking about performance sailing but about comfort sailing, which meets the concept of sustainability. Inserting the so-called battery pack or solar panels on-board is easier on a sailing yacht than on a motor yacht. Perini’s sailing project is a totally eco-sustainable project.
If you are able to run under sail the 80% of the sailing time, and you can manage the remaining 20% of the energy needed by the boat with batteries, emissions are exactly zero.
The environmental one is a problem that we all have in mind, it is also important for those who buy a 100 meter motor yacht.
Gentleman. Do they all ask you green yachts?
Giovanni Costantino. At TISG today we have 25 orders in progress, all large yachts and all have characteristics and innovations that go towards greater environmental sustainability.
Gentleman. You anticipated us that there are three new Perini’s under construction, can you tell us more?
Giovanni Costantino. We have confirmed the deliveries of three sailing yachts: a 60-meter at the end of 2023, a 47-meter in the first half of 2024, a 56-meter with delivery at the end of 2024 and if we’re good, maybe we can put a fourth one into production.We have worked hard on revisiting everything, we will give our own interpretation to the yachts that will reflect the path of innovation undertaken by the shipyard in its golden years, which was a bit lost along the way as it was the enthusiasm of the founder, Fabio Perini. On the occasion of the delivery of our first yacht, it will be evident where we will have arrived.
Gentleman. Do you plan to make bigger sailing yachts too?
Giovanni Costantino. We are working on a 90 meter that will be as innovative as 15 years ago was the Maltese Falcon, the most iconic yacht built in modern times. It is certainly not an easy task, but we want to resume that route, return to the DNA of the brand and create a project with great technical and emotional value.
Gentleman. Will you continue to use aluminum for your sailing yachts, no composite or carbon fiber?
Giovanni Costantino. We will only make Perini with a metal hull. The rigging – masts, booms and rigs – of the three yachts under construction will all be in carbon fiber, the best technology available so far. I give you another reason that prompted us to complete the acquisition. In pondering Perini, we also analyzed the possibilities offered by the Picchiotti brand, which was owned by Perini Navi. Picchiotti is the eldest or one of the oldest shipyards in the world (the first shipyard of the Picchiotti family was founded in Limite sull’Arno in 1575) a name that has an incredible history in nautical and naval construction and that I was thrilled to track back. It is a brand that I have always liked for its vintage characteristics. The one undertaken before us for Picchiotti was a path that did not fit. Next month we will have the official presentation of the brand and the fleet and we will reveal everything.
Gentleman. How large will the yachts be?
Giovanni Costantino. Always large in our range, but with a style capable of bringing out the historical heritage of Picchiotti. I believe we will do something very interesting, we have skills, we know how to move, we have the commercial and technical references …
Gentleman. How do you live this moment?
Giovanni Costantino. It is very exciting. I love living these moments in which something new is created, I am passionate about it, it almost doesn’t seem like a job to me. Working to the future of the Company helps me to “realign”, to balance the tensions and stress that can occur at work while running a company.
Written by Fabio Petrone