Who is Frans Heesen?
The story of Frans Heesen, the founder of Heesen Yachts, is one of ambition, tenacity, and a passion for quality craftsmanship. Born in 1946, Heesen, who is married to Petra and father to three children, transformed from a successful entrepreneur in industrial plastics to a trailblazer in the superyacht industry.
- Frans Heesen, the founder of Heesen Yachts, made his name in the industrial plastics sector before venturing into luxury yachts.
- Heesen bought a bankrupt boat builder’s production site, marking his entry into the yachting industry.
- Over 30 years, Heesen Yachts has grown into one of the world’s top superyacht builders.
- Heesen Yachts has built numerous notable yachts, including the 50 knots yacht Octopussy and Lady Ingeborg, the beginning of a semi-custom series.
- After selling Heesen Yachts in 2008 for EUR 175 million, Frans Heesen’s net worth rose to over US$ 200 million.
Transition from Plastic Industry to Yachting
Frans Heesen’s journey began in the world of industrial plastics. He founded several successful companies, such as Halcoplast and Kunststoffen Industries Oss, and during this time, he started building composite yachts for Jaguar Yachts, looking for ways to expand his thriving businesses.
In the course of his expansion plans, he encountered a bankrupt boat builder and seized the opportunity to purchase their production site, marking his entry into the world of luxury yachts.
The Emergence of Heesen Yachts
The acquired site laid the foundation for Heesen Yachts. The company’s first major order came from Jo Roelof Zeeman, the Dutch real estate developer, founder of Zeeman Vastgoed, and Nieuwe Steen Investments, for the yacht named Amigo. Over the next 30 years, Heesen Yachts evolved into one of the world’s most successful superyacht builders.
Notable Yachts by Heesen
Heesen Yachts has been behind some of the most notable yachts in the industry. These include the 50 knots yacht Octopussy, built for John Staluppi, and Honey Money, distinguished by its Versace interior. Other well-known yachts are Alumercia, an explorer built for Dutch aluminum industrialist Marinus Boers, founder of Boal Aluminium, and Lady Ingeborg, built for Dutch packaging entrepreneur Jan Kelders, founder of the AiroPack Group.
The Inception of Semi-Custom Series
Lady Ingeborg marked the beginning of a series of yachts in the 37 and 44 meters range. For this series, Jan Kelders and Frans Heesen co-owned the intellectual property rights. In 2003, Heesen built another yacht, a 30-meter vessel also named Amigo, for Jo Roelof Zeeman.
Frans Heesen’s Net Worth and the Sale of Heesen Yachts
Frans Heesen sold Heesen Yachts in 2008 for EUR 175 million, catapulting his net worth to over US$ 200 million. The purchaser was Russian billionaire Vagit Alekperov, president of Lukoil and owner of the 50-meter Heesen yacht Galactica.
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Frans Heesen House
He was the owner of a large house near Heessen’s facilities in Oss, The Netherlands. He sold the house. (Note some photos of Heesen boats in the study). Do you know more about his current house? Please do send us a message.
Oss is a vibrant city located in the southern part of the Netherlands in the province of North Brabant. Renowned for its rich history and cultural heritage, Oss dates back to Roman times, with numerous archaeological finds testifying to its age-old settlement. The city is characterized by its blend of historic and modern architecture, creating a distinct skyline that attracts visitors.
At the heart of the city lies the Museum Jan Cunen, which houses a fascinating collection of 19th-century art. Oss is also home to several significant companies, including Organon, the multinational pharmaceutical company. Every year, the city hosts the “Osse Kermis,” one of the largest fairs in the country, attracting tourists and locals alike.
Oss is well-connected by train and road, providing easy access to major Dutch cities. With its unique blend of history, culture, and industry, Oss holds an integral place in the landscape of the Netherlands.
Frans Heesen Yacht
He was the owner of the yacht Lady Petra, which he sold. She is now named Odyssea.
The ODYSSEA yacht, originally named Lady Petra, is a masterpiece built by Heesen Yachts and designed by Omega Architects.
It is the eighth yacht in the successful 47-meter full displacement series launched by Heesen.
Powered by robust MTU engines, the yacht can reach a top speed of 16 knots and boasts a range of over 3000 nautical miles.
The yacht can accommodate 12 guests and a crew of 10, offering an exceptional standard of comfort and luxury.
We have not yet been able to identify his private jet. (We do think he owns one, as we noticed a model of a business jet in his study (photos abo ve). But please do send us a message if you have information about his business jet. The photos hereunder are just samples of some of the most successful private jets on the market.