BREAKING NEWS - Riviera in receivership
Friday, May 8, will henceforth be known as Black Friday. For it’s one of the darkest days in the Australian seascape. Riviera, our biggest boatbuilder, has closed its gates, sent its employees packing, and left suppliers high and dry.
Although Trade-a-Boat was yet to receive an official announcement from Riviera on Friday, DJ Deloitte confirmed it is the receiver handling the matter.
"The purpose of the receivership is to continue trading and to restructure the
business in order to survive the current economic climate while continuing to provide a high-quality Australian product," Deloitte said.
The news comes following a spate of redundancies, declining sales here and, moreover, on the sick American pleasure-boat market, where Riviera was exporting half its annual boat production run of about 230 to 250 boats.
A consortium of two private equity firms acquired Riviera in 2002 with Wes Moxey as managing director. Moxey, who resigned in August 2008 after more than 25 years with the company, said Riviera’s current position did not come as a big surprise to him.
He said a key reason for his decision to leave the company last year was the increasing difficulty in working with a board dominated by private equity interests.
"These people did not have a feel for the marine industry, for its customers, manufacturing and market strategies," Moxey said.
Riviera was owned by Gresham Private Equity and Ironbridge Capital, after Ironbridge bought the Singapore Government-backed stake in the group in 2006. Its failure comes after its owners injected more capital into the group late last year. Its lenders included Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.
"The receivers and managers are looking to preserve the long-term viability of the business, restructure the business and sell it as a going concern. This process may take some time," Deloitte partner, Chris Campbell said in a statement.
"Our first task will be to review the financial position of the company to evaluate the best possible outcome for creditors and other stakeholders with interests in the business," Deloitte said. In news to hand, Riviera says it will still take part in the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show starting May 21.
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