But talks with new backer continue

Moonen superyacht Brigadoon

Moonen’s Brigadoon won a World Superyacht Award in 2018

A Dutch court has declared Moonen Yachts bankrupt. The ruling comes two weeks after the Dutch builder said it was close to a deal with a new financial backer.

IBI understands, however, that those talks are “serious and are continuing”.

The bankruptcy shields any new owner from becoming retroactively liable for debts incurred under the current one, Mexican steel giant Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA). AHMSA last shut off the money tap in 2015 for a brief period.

Following a 2017 management shuffle, new CEO Johan Dubbelman set Moonen on a “rebuilding course”.

A shot in the arm was a 2018 World Superyacht Award for the 36m Moonen-built Brigadoon and the subsequent keel-laying of a spec-built sister ship, due for launch in 2020.

Yet with only one project in build, there is a sense at Moonen that rebuilding is impossible under very troubled AHMSA. Marketing manager Marianne Hendriks told IBI this month Moonen needs to build two or three yachts at a time, in the 30m-50m bracket.

Moonen has not named the prospective new owner. IBI understands it is an Australian businessman and that there is also interest from other parties.

Moonen’s roots go back to 1963. It has built some two dozen superyachts since 1999. It tanked in 2015 and under AHMSA has failed to find a market for its Caribbean series of 30m-50m steel yachts.