“We need €1.5 million up front to cover immediate operating costs, and we are looking for up to €6.8 million over the next seven years,” Marc Ovanessian, managing director of ITM told SuperyachtNews.com exclusively.
The yard has issued an international call for bids to be submitted to ITM’s administrative receiver, SCP Bouet Gillibert.
Situated in the port of Marseille, ITM is recognized as one of the premier facilities in the region, and has won significant contracts for warrantee works on Heesen and other Northern European built yachts. As of today, the yard stands empty, having recently completed refits on 57m Sirona III, and 46m Perfect Persuasion.
JC Lenoir—Ovanessian’s former business partner in ITM—stepped in with the resources of his refit project management business, Other Angle Services, to cover the completion of the refit works last month as financial pressures put a stranglehold on the yard. ITM has recently been adopted into the Other Angle Services network of affiliated yards at which refit projects can be placed. Ovanessian confirmed that Lenoir could possibly be one of the investors looking into taking over the yard.
The 2014 winter and spring refit season looks to be picking up elsewhere in the Mediterranean, as will be reported in The Superyacht Report's 2013 Annual Report. With increased demand for refit spaces, work should be readily available—though margins remain tight across the sector.
"Our customers must have confidence in the yard, and at the moment, they cannot," Ovanessian said. "When we can go back to our customers—who know our technical and commercial teams well—and tell them that our financial troubles are behind us, I am sure that they will come back. There is no reason for them to avoid ITM: They know the quality of the shipyard. Yachts like Sirona III came in and trusted us to deliver even when they knew we weren't healthy. We have jobs waiting to come in, as soon as we can resolve our finances."
ITM, along with it's neighbour Sud-Marine, are part of the wider network of commercial services available to superyacht within the port of Marseille. Ovanessian confirmed that the city and port remain committed to superyacht refit within the port, and as part of the long term development plans, which include a new superyacht marina expected in the next four to five years. See our earlier story on the plans for Marseille's famous pier J1.
Ovanessian would not contemplate there not being any investment by the 20 December deadline. "I cannot imagine that," he said. "We're looking forward to hearing from any interested parties."