Backer of big Australian boatbuilder pulls out after breakdown in merger talks and poor sales

Mustang Marine, one of Australia’s biggest motorboat manufacturers, has been placed in administration for the second time in two years.

Poor first quarter sales and a breakdown in merger talks with rival builder Riviera led to Mustang’s South African owner, Standard Bank Asia Ltd, withdrawing support.

The move has forced the builder to shed 50 jobs, according to reports.

Standard Bank rode to the rescue of the Aussie builder in early 2008 after it was placed into administration in late 2007, believing it could tap the lucrative Asian market.

But despite spending significant sums on restructuring the company and seeing “robust” growth in 2009, sales have not been sufficient for Standard Bank to maintain its backing.

The builder now joins Riviera, which fell into administration last year, in looking for new financial support.