Italian businessman Beniamino Gavio, whose Argo Finanziaria has signed a letter of intent to buy the beleaguered Bertram Yachts, is still trying to decide how to revive the sportfishing brand. Gavio has stated that he plans to buy Bertram, which shuttered its Merritt Island, FL, plant last summer, along with whatever molds it makes sense to keep.
Gavio, whose Gavio Group owns the Italian Cantiera Cerri and Baglietto shipyards, has owned a Bertram 54 and a Hatteras 65 and has expressed deep respect for the brand. Despite his current holdings, Gavio has said that he has no intention of building Italian-style boats, but will make American boats designed for an American market. Initial plans call for building a Bertram boat based on the 31-foot vessel that won the Miami-Nassau Race in 1960. Gavio is also considering open and flybridge versions of that boat, along with designs in several additional lengths.
Although Bertram had leased its Merritt Island facility, Gavio said the first new Bertrams will most likely be built in Italy, hopefully in time for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show. During the interim, he will look for an American plant for manufacturing, most likely in Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas. Gavio plans to meet with Bertram dealers to discuss ideas, and intends to meet with an American design engineer about updating the 31 vessel.
Gavio Group is one of Italy’s largest construction, transportation and energy companies. Its various entities build roads and bridges, owns and operates toll roads, has a fleet of 1,500 trucks manages portion operations and is involved in energy production. The company purchased Cantiera Cerri in 2011, followed by Baglietto in 2012. Gavio is reviving both shipyards and has invested €14million in Baglietto alone.
Speaking of a great respect for history and tradition, Gavio has indicated he is also moved by passion and for the Bertam brand, intending to revive it to the best of his ability.
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