BAVARIA YACHTBAU
Largest German boat manufacturer to be restructured under self-administration / Search for investor / Production running normally
For one of Europe’s top, and Germany's largest, manufacturers of sailing yachts and motor boats, Bavaria Yachtbau (Giebelstadt; www.bavariayachts.com), the anxious times are far from over. At the end of April, the company applied for permission to restructure under self-administration, which was subsequently granted by the district court of Würzburg / Germany. Nautitech Catamarans (Rochefort-sur-Mer / France) – acquired in 2014 and now called Bavaria Catamarans – is not affected by the insolvency application and will continue to do business as usual.

After some initial operational restructuring, the manufacturing of motor boats and sailing yachts with hulls of glass fibre-reinforced plastics (GRPs) at four production lines in Giebelstadt is running normally again. Deliveries from the shipyard during the all-important high season are on schedule.

Payment of wages and salaries to the 600 employees is secured until the end of June, and agreements have also been negotiated with key suppliers about further deliveries. According to COO Erik Appel, the high order backlog will be processed over the coming months.

Bavaria Yachts’ interim administrator, Hubert Ampferl, from law firm Dr. Beck & Partner (Nuremberg / Germany; www.ra-dr-beck.de), and Tobias Brinkmann, a specialist insolvency lawyer and partner at law firm Brinkmann & Partner (www.brinkmann-partner.de) with extensive experience in restructuring shipyards, have started searching for an investor in order to put the company back on solid financial footing. They aim to conclude the investor process before the end of July so that they can tackle the approaching order season. "We have already received initial expressions of interest and we are also actively talking to potential investors," said Brinkmann. Previous CEO Lutz Henkel left the executive management in late May.

The shipyard, which in some segments still ranks among the technology leaders in the industry, got into financial difficulties through its sale to Bain Capital in 2007 and during the economic crisis into 2009.

Bain paid EUR 1.1 bn despite having a company turnover at that time of only EUR 271m. Bavaria Yachts then struggled with its debt burden, and a debt cut of over EUR 900m was necessary. Turnover shrank in 2009 to EUR 100m and has not really recovered since then. In the 2015/2016 financial year (ending 31 July), parent company Bavaria Holdings reported sales of EUR 112m and extended losses compared with the previous year of EUR 31m. This, together with the takeover of the ailing Italian shipyard Cantiere del Pardo Group in 2010 with its brands "Grand Soleil" and "Dufour" – since then insolvent and re-sold – led to the restructuring that has now become necessary.

In contrast, the world’s number one on market, Beneteau (Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie / France; www.beneteau-group.com), has long since recovered from the economic crisis. In fiscal 2016/2017 (ending 31 August), it reported boat sales of a good EUR 1 bn and is operating with a profit. Before the economic crisis, Beneteau was only about twice the size of Bavaria in terms of turnover, and the German company felt it was almost on an equal footing. Today, Beneteau's sales are ten times those of Bavaria.
14.06.2018 Plasteurope.com [239832-0]
Published on 14.06.2018
Bavaria Yacht: Größter deutscher Bootshersteller ist SanierungsfallGerman version of this article...

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