Australian veteran-owned high-performance watercraft company The Whiskey Project Group has announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Yamba Welding & Engineering (YWE) and Naiad International.
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This strategic acquisition bolsters Australia and New Zealand’s maritime industrial capability, safeguarding sovereign supply chains, securing naval design intellectual property, and stimulating regional boat manufacturing expertise and jobs – heralding a new era of sovereign maritime capability for military and specialist watercraft.
Darren Schuback, co-founder and managing director of The Whiskey Project Group, said it is looking forward to driving an integrated business growth strategy that incorporates expanding Naiad’s licensee footprint, growing YWE’s domestic manufacturing capability, and providing a strong foundation for the continuing design innovation of The Whiskey Project watercraft.
“We will continue to build upon the strong and enduring regional and trans-Tasman partnerships built by YWE and Naiad and uphold the legacy they have forged over the past 45 years. We are committed to securing local jobs and strengthening trade, defence and cultural ties in Australia, New Zealand and with global coalition partners,” said Schuback.
In addition to the commercial, recreational and tourism markets that the Naiad business will now expose them to, the acquisition creates enormous potential for the Australian defence industry.
Schuback added, “Through these business acquisitions, The Whiskey Project Group range of watercraft offer 100 per cent design authority across our portfolio, which will allow us to future-proof our watercraft, to integrate new and emerging technologies, provide customised solutions and safeguard Australian and New Zealand innovation.”
Naiad International, formerly Naiad Design, creates watercraft that are globally renowned for their rugged dependability while being aesthetically designed.
Built under licence around the world, Naiads are popular for a wide range of government military, law enforcement and rescue agency vessels, as well as commercial, tourism, recreational and superyacht tender applications.
Founded in 1974 and based in regional NSW, YWE is a specialist aluminium boat builder with a thriving operation employing 36 locals, numerous apprentices and a trusted local supply chain.
YWE has forged a reputation as a trusted partner to Australian and State law enforcement and maritime agencies, delivering over 200 watercraft in the past 10 years for police, marine rescue, coast guard, government agencies such as NSW Maritime, and more recently, the Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force.