French luxury expedition cruise line Ponant has been sold for an undisclosed sum.

According to an announcement from Bridgepoint, the private equity firm that has owned Ponant since 2012, the buyer is Artemis Group.

Based in Paris, Artemis Group controls assets such as auction house Christie’s and Bordeaux wine estate Chateau Latour. The holding company also controls Kering with its fashion brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent. The company’s chairman, Francois-Henri Pinault, is the son of French billionaire Francois Pinault and the husband of actress Selma Hayek.

Ponant has four sleek expedition ships that carry from 224 to 264 passengers each, plus a 64-person sailing yacht. It carries 30,000 passengers a year, according to Bridgeport, which said that since 2012 it has doubled Ponant’s annual revenue to 140 million euros (about $155 million) and tripled its profits. 

"The transformation and progress achieved by the company have been outstanding,” said Bridgepoint partner Xavier Robert, "and we are proud to have worked with the management team and contributed to its success. The planned transaction ensures the continuity of the company's ambitions with the acquisition of our interests by a like-minded longterm shareholder."


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