How NOT to sell your dive Centre
I put in an ad in divecentreforsale for a partner who is also a PADI Instructor or Course Director. I’m only an Advanced Nitrox Diver.
I got 23 replies within a few weeks. Ocean Spirit runs a small tight team, and we all get along well together. The new Partner had to dive with us so the Team could check out whether he was a good fit. A CV tells you nothing that you want to know, it’s just bare bones. So far we have had 5 years of vetting visiting potential buyers.
We met an adorable French guy who immediately told us we were not using our space correctly, and that we should do things differently with spy cameras and a lot of supervision. We declined. He left and bought a different diving centre.
We met a beautiful French lady who came, dived twice then bitched about her b-o-w-e-l using every syllable of the word at every opportunity. She came shivering up from her dives then left, never to be seen again.
We met a wonderful Italian guy, married to a beautiful Chinese lady. He was perfect. Brilliant diver. He and his new wife honeymooned in French Polynesia, diving during the Groupers mating. 2 weeks after they arrived that she found she was….pregnant. They went home so her mama could see her through the trauma of giving birth.
We had a wonderful investor whom everyone liked a respected, and who was absolutely perfect. He stayed for 6 months. But when COVID struck, he was afraid we would not pull through, and would be bankrupted. He sold back his shares and left.
We met a wealthy British Dive Master who wanted to buy in and become an instructor. He was well liked, great fun, and spent a month with us… then disappeared without paying his accommodation or diving accounts. The Mauritian Police Force is still looking for him.
A wealthy Course Director sold his enormous boat for a fortune. He loved Ocean Spirit, signed a non-disclosure agreement, did a full due diligence with access to all our confidential information, and agreed to make an offer. Then he bought a Premium visa and disappeared. He and his girlfriend have bought a small diving centre- and my admin manager who had mysteriously resigned, is now working for him.
Then there was the instructor who paid down a deposit and brought his family, having negotiated a salary deal for 3 months. He offered to take over our website and improve our ratings as he owned a web development company. I suggested that he wait a year before making any changes.
He suddenly after the 3 months were up, send an email demanding his deposit back. If he did not get it within 3 days, he threatened to destroy the company, damage us on the internet, and shut us down. He began to picket the diving centre with his family. When I bumped into him trying to get through a door, he screamed she hit me she hit me owowow! The Mauritius Police patrolled 4 times a day to keep an eye on him. They are still waiting to serve the warrant.
Over five years the Ocean Spirit team has formed into a formidable management group, so I don’t need a partner. We have Roger GRENOUILLET for 5 months every year. Who could ask for more?
To date 7 investors who saw my ad came to Mauritius. They are all thriving- somewhere else.