Moonen: ‘This bankruptcy came at the right moment’

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Following news of Dutch superyacht builder Moonen’s descent into bankruptcy July 11, a source said a potential investor is in discussions to possibly take over the company.

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

Marianne Hendricks, Moonen’s marketing manager, said Ancira’s arrest caused immediate financial problems for the builder. Following the arrest, the “Mexican government had frozen all of his and AHMSA’s bank accounts, including Moonen’s,” she said in an email to Trade Only Today. “That is where the problems started, as the company is completely dependent on financial support by AHMSA.”

Hendricks said the company already had been looking for a new investor before the arrest. Several weeks ago, Moonen announced it was “negotiating a strong partnership” with someone “familiar with the industry and who will bring an international background of global business.” The investor’s goal is to increase the number of superyachts being built at the yard.

Discussions with the new investor have continued since Ancira’s arrest. “In a way, this bankruptcy — as a coincidence — came at the right moment,” Hendricks said. “The new investor wants to disconnect from AHMSA entirely. With this bankruptcy, all connections are clearly cut and the road to a new company is open. … We hope that things will be settled soon.”

The bankruptcy was caused by Ancira’s “behavior,” added Hendricks, “not by poor management, or red figures.”

Moonen currently has a 118-foot yacht under construction.


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