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Bankrupt Dutch builder gets new owner

Matthew and Louise Baxter, AM Group

Matthew and Louise Baxter, AM Group

Dutch builder Moonen Yachts, which was placed into bankruptcy in July, has new owners.

Moonen said in a statement that Matthew and Louise Baxter have purchased the shipyard. Matthew is an Australian businessman who established the AM Group. The company is a consortium of door, shutter and window manufacturers with companies in Australia, North America and Europe. Baxter is executive chairman.

“It is a privilege to own a yard like Moonen,” said Matthew Baxter in the statement. “The brand has an impeccable pedigree, the yachts are true Dutch quality and the team is young, reliable, talented, and very loyal to the company.”

Moonen was placed in bankruptcy by the Dutch courts on July 11, following news of the arrest of its chairman, Alonso Ancira. Ancira also was chairman of Altos Hornos de Mexico, a Mexican steel company. Arrested in Mallorca, Spain in May, he was accused of bribery and corruption in Mexico. He is fighting extradition from Spain.

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Following Ancira’s arrest, the “Mexican government had frozen all of his and AHMSA’s bank accounts, including Moonen’s,” a spokesperson told Trade Only Today in July. “That’s where the problems started, as the company is completely dependent on financial support by AHMSA.”

“I realize that the yard has to re-energize,” said Baxter in the statement. “But we are well prepared with a strong strategic plan and a strong balance sheet. I see a promising future ahead.”

Johan Dubbelman, Moonen CEO, said he “has faith” that the new owners will “establish a strong future” for Moonen.

“Our aim is to scale up production efficiently and start two new build projects in the coming six months,” said Dubbelman in the statement. “The 30- to 50-meter [98- to 164-ft.] market is solid for well-built designs, and our plans are to increase production. Currently we have one, 36-meter Martinique in build, she’s 50 percent ready. The focus is to have her on display at the Monaco Yacht Show 2020.”

Dubbelman said the company would soon start new 118-ft. and a 144-ft. builds. “By building on speculation, delivery times will be shorter and customization still possible, which is an absolute advantage for our future clients,” he added.

Most of the staff and workforce will return to the shipyard. 

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