15 Aug 2014
The end of the line for the Rodriguez Group
In receivership since January, the Rodriguez Group and its principal subsidiary, SNP Boat Service, have been placed in compulsory liquidation by France’s Tribunal de Commerce de Cannes by judgment on 22 July. Despite an extended period of observation, the group did not successfully attract any suitable investors, however, there is positive news for its other two subsidiaries, Camper and Nicholsons International and Gerard Rodriguez Shipyard, whose sale to international investors has been approved by the court.
In the legal documents issued following the ruling, which can be viewed here, the commercial court has indicated that the Rodriguez Group’s debt amounted to 96.5 million euros when the liquidation was ordered. The debt difficulties had also affected shares, last listed on the Paris Stock Exchange at 0.90 euros per share. French media reports suggest that a lot of the group’s difficulties emerged from a fleet of second-hand boats, which the group had chosen to buy off clients in an attempt to encourage them to buy newer and bigger ones.
The court is also noted to have authorised the sale of 999 shares in Camper and Nicholsons in favour of the Swiss company, Colosseum Services, for one million euros. The only other offer recorded as considered was from Michael Payne, CEO of Camper and Nicholsons.
A source familiar with Camper and Nicholsons told SuperyachtNews.com that, because the sale has not yet been finalised and documents are waiting to be signed, the company was unable to confirm the name of the purchasing entity. However, it is understood that Camper and Nicholsons will soon issue a statement once the handover of shares is complete.
In the past, the Rodriguez Group had also held a contractual relationship with Overmarine Shipyard, starting in 1986 with the launch of the Mangusta series of Open yachts. However, Overmarine has clarified that this involvement no longer exists and that the news will have no impact on production and sales. “We stopped our contact with Rodriguez in 2010 and we have nothing to do with them anymore,” confirms Isabella Picco, chief communications officer at Overmarine. “In the past four years we have built a new network of sales partners in strategic markets.”
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