Leading Italian maker of Ferretti, Pershing and Mochi boats successfully renegotiates debt burden with lenders

The light at the end of the tunnel has grown significantly brighter for ailing boatbuilder Ferretti after its lenders today agreed a debt restructuring deal.

The company, which not only produces boats under the Ferretti badge, but also Riva, Pershing and Mochi, had previously been on the ropes after falling behind on its debt payments on the back of falling boat orders.

The prospects of the company became so bad that Candover, the private equity firm that borrowed in excess of ?1bn to buy the firm, walked away from its investment last month.

It then emerged that Norberto Ferretti, the company’s chairman and founder, was seeking to renegotiate the company’s debt, largely owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

With today’s news, it would appear that he has been successful in saving his company from a potentially messy administration.

The Financial Times reported that Mr Ferretti will take a 45% stake in the firm alongside Mediobanca, which is investing ?15m. RBS, meanwhile, will take a 32% share of the company in return for wiping off 28% of its debts.

When the dust has settled, the burdensome borrowing that nearly ruined one of Europe’s premier boatbuilders will drop from around ?1bn to ?640m.