From B.I. - FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Platinum SuperYachts has signed a definitive agreement with a private lending group to provide the company with $16 million in funding, the company said in a release yesterday. It will use the initial proceeds of the financing for a state-of-the-art yacht building facility to begin construction on its range of semi-custom motor yachts for the global market. This is the culmination of management’s continued commitment to build the company into a world-class yacht builder, while focusing on and finalizing specific acquisition targets, Platinum said. “The strategies and framework that we have implemented, combined with our association with the financing group will enable the company to achieve our corporate objectives in this vast ocean of opportunity for growth in the yachting world,” said Ron Ruskowsky, president and CEO of Platinum. The company said a recent market report indicates the luxury yacht order book is up 28.4 percent this year, with a total of 592 new motor yachts and 59 new sailing yachts. This is an increase of 144 yachts over last year, resulting in an increase of nearly $1.22 billion in the value of the industry’s new yacht construction. There are currently 489 fly bridge and tri-deck yachts under order ranging from 80-149 feet. A new segment titled “Open Luxury Yachts” reports 89 yachts under order for 2005, Platinum said.