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Italian yacht builder to buy Bavaria Yachts?

The German newspaper Mainpost reports that Bavaria Yachtsbau could be purchased by an unnamed Italian yacht builder. Bavaria went into a self-declared form of receivership in April, citing financial difficulties.

The paper cites an unnamed source saying that the terms were negotiated last week and that the deal needs the approval of the creditors’ committee. The Italian yacht builder will want to expand the shipyard, according to the paper.

Administrator Tobias Brinkmann, appointed Bavaria’s managing director in April, told the paper that the deal is advanced but added there “is still some ways to go.” He was surprised that a bidder for the company had spoken to the newspaper. He said that Bavaria’s creditor committee would decide whether or not to proceed.

The paper said the Italian firm wants to expand its product line into a less expensive product category. The unnamed builder said it would pay Bavaria’s fees for the Cannes yacht show, which begins Sept. 11, to present itself to the industry as the new owner of Bavaria.

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Bavaria Yachtbau has had a turbulent past. It was purchased from private owners in 2007 by Bain Capital for €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2007 and several years later, U.S. private equity funds Anchorage and Oaktree assumed a majority stake. In 2014, Bavaria bought the French catamaran manufacturer Nautitech. It has also been locked in the bankruptcy lawsuit of its former U.S. dealer. In April 2018, Bavaria placed itself into receivership. Nautitech has not been affected by this bankruptcy, and will likely be sold at the same time as Bavaria.

The potential investor told the paper that he wants to lead the Bavaria name back to its former size. "Bavaria is a world leader that has been poorly managed," the yacht builder’s spokesman told the paper. "We believe we have the skills and experience to advance the company further than it was before."

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