The France-based Fountaine Pajot Group is strengthening its presence in the United States by acquiring a majority stake in its main American distributor, Annapolis-based Atlantic Cruising Yachts.

Fountaine Pajot’s investment will expand the American market for the brands of the Fountaine Pajot Group through a greater territorial network and a wider range of services; ACY’s key management team is also investing in the new venture. The company has been among Fountaine Pajot’s top distributors for nearly 30 years, supporting yacht sales with strong project management, customer service and technical support resources.

“We are happy to be able to join forces with Atlantic Cruising Yachts in order to support its development on its domestic market,” said Fountaine Pajot Deputy Managing Director Romain Motteau, “and are delighted with this commercial partnership, which should enable us to consolidate our sales.”

ACY is one of the largest sailing yacht dealerships in North America, with offices in Annapolis; St. Petersburg and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Kemah, Texas. With Fountaine Pajot’s investment, the company expects rapid expansion throughout the American market during the coming years in additional regions.

“We recognized early on that service and support were falling short of customer expectations throughout much of the industry,” ACY Founder and President Chris Bent said. “Atlantic Cruising Yachts has been focused on addressing those needs and we’re proud of the organization we have built to support the purchase, commissioning, delivery and after-sales processes. We have invested heavily in making the entire boat-buying experience an enjoyable one, while serving our customer needs for the long term.”