September 8 2018
Since the bankruptcy of the German shipyard Bavaria last April, during the International Multihull Boat Show in La Grande Motte, the negotiations announcements have multiplied, without however leading to a recovery. An Italian path is now mentioned for September. A new failure as the new nautical season 2018-2019 begins would bode ill for the durability of the brand.
The least we can say is that the drama of the take-over of the Bavaria shipyard has punctuated the summer period and left everyone on his hunger, whether employees of the German company, its distributors, suppliers or potential buyers.
Update on the Judicial Action
First of all, this insolvency procedure only concerns Bavaria; its French subsidiary dedicated to the construction of catamarans, formerly Nautitech, based in Rochefort (17), continuing its activity "as usual".
Placed in observation period between April and June with continuation of activity – with blocked receivables and wages supported by the administration under the tutelage of a judicial agent - Bavaria Yachtbau built 120 boats over this period to honor the orders that were in before the end of June, to continue its activity, without the help of the State, with a possibility of assignment.
As of the end of June, the German company continued its activity, benefiting however from the "Kurzarbeit" (Reduced Working Hours) regime, a kind of partial unemployment that makes it possible to offset part of the decline in the wages of workers by the State, in order to adapt to the decline of the load plan.
Since mid-August and the reopening of the shipyard following its summer closure, Bavaria Yachtbau continues to take order bookings from its distributors but more firm orders, firm orders which will directly benefit the buyer, as we have said the spokesman of Tobias Brinkmann, a surrender decision to be made in September, deadline for the season that begins.
Shillyshallying of the Agent, between Divided Sale and Global sale
Initially, the offers of the buyers were expected late June for negotiations conducted in the wake
of early July.
The corporate officer, Tobias Brinkmann, had imagined a possible divided sale, with, on the one hand, the German shipyard Bavaria specializing in the construction of sailboats and monohulled powerboats and its site of 600 employees in Giebelstadt (Bavaria), and, on the other hand, Bavaria Catamaran (formerly Nautitech), based in Rochefort, employing 200 people.
In this context, a dozen or so offers were presented, both for the monohulled boat business and for the catamaran activity, whose amounts were, however, judged too low by the company's creditors' pool.
The catamaran activity, clearly the most dynamic of the group that is riding the growth of the multihulls market, has attracted the interest of most players in the sector, whether Bénéteau via CNB-Lagoon, world leader in sector, Catana Group, Grand Large Yachting or Fountaine-Pajot.
Disappointed by the amount of offers, Tobias Brinkmann has changed his tune and favored a global recovery, able to interest investment funds or groups such as Bénéteau or Hanse Group. Offers have been made, and the German motorhome builder Hymer has entered the game, with a big question about his real interest in boating, the Giebelstadt factory would be totally capable to produce motorhomes and other caravans.
And here we go again : the amount of the offers - we are talking about 15 to 30 million euros -
did not satisfy the pool of creditors, then the summer period seems to have anesthetized the legal procedure until early August, when a Chinese investment fund entered the dance... raising many hopes... hopes however quickly disappointed!
Worried about the turn of events - an absence of buyers for the amounts discounted by the
creditors - the companies having already manifested themselves, both for partial and total offers
were re-contacted, when an Italian yachting manufacturer - deus ex-machina - entered the scene at the end of August, with the project... to expand its production towards the big series.
Negotiations are supposed to be well underway for a possible announcement in September, if the amount however satisfies the pool of creditors, whose requirements do not fail to surprise the observers, who could lose everything... for showing too much hope and to make companies that have already made offers lose their patience!
Pledge of Nautitech Securities Stopping the Sale of the French Subsidiary
In the Bavaria complex, the sale of the French multihulls subsidiary, whether it is part of a global (monohulls and multihulls) or partial (multihulls) sale, will have to include a blocking point : the Nautitech title collateral for 760,000 euros, Bavaria (or its various financial and legal vehicles...) never paid the full amount due to the former owners of the Rochefort site, namely Bruno Voisard and his associates.
In short, any sale of Nautitech will have to include, on behalf of Tobias Brinkmann, the reimbursement of the 760,000 euros due, an element too rarely discussed in Germany, but which is however legally blocking any future buyer.
Quick Decision Necessary to Avoid the Loss of the Bavaria Brand
While the nautical season begins, and with it the major international shows, it seems now more than urgent for the legal representative to quickly find a point of agreement with one or more buyers, even at the price of upsetting some creditors, because a status quo will be quickly untenable, both financially and competitively.
To want to win too much, we can lose everything, says the saying ...