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Riviera Marine seeks U.S. bankruptcy protection

Riviera Marine (Int.) Pty Ltd., part of a group of Australian companies that manufacture and sell luxury boats, is seeking bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Riviera CEO John Anderson said in a statement that the filing is not a new proceeding, but "merely a request that the U.S. courts recognize the [Deed of Company Arrangement] process, which was officially completed by Riviera in June 2010 and that allows us to complete our restructure of both our Australian and U.S. operations."

The U.S. filing follows a voluntary administration in Australia.

The Queensland-based company listed assets and debt of as much as $50 million each in Chapter 15 documents filed Sept. 8 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa, Fla., according to Bloomberg.

Four affiliates also sought protection. Chapter 15 protects foreign companies from U.S. lawsuits and creditor claims while a company reorganizes abroad.

Riviera Marine said it sold 52 boats, with sales totaling $54 million, for the fiscal year that ended June 30, down from 139 boats, with sales totaling $131 million, in 2009, and 327 boats, with sales totaling $265 million, in 2008.

"We want to assure you that this application in the U.S. will have no impact on our manufacturing and dealer operations in Australia or our international dealer operations," Anderson added. "This is just another step in the restructuring of Riviera."

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