Major UK and Med boat dealer Peters Opal has been taken into administration.
Sealine customers have been reassured they will be fully looked after following the announcement.
Peters Opal is also the UK outlet for Azimut and although it is believed the Italian firm has taken control of recent deposits on new boats, exact details are unclear.
South Coast dealership Med Sale continues to sell Azimuts in the UK and will be exhibiting the marque at the Southampton Boat Show.
It is believed the value of Peters Opal’s Chichester marina HQ would balance out financial debts, meaning creditors are unlikely to be left in the lurch.
Administrators KPMG are looking to sell the firm as a going concern, but 130 staff have been made redundant.
The news puts an end to weeks of industry rumour that began after Peters Opal lost the main Sealine dealership in the UK last month. From 1 September this year Sealines will be sold through Ancasta International.
The announcement was the second major blow for Peters Opal in recent years after they lost the Fairline dealership in 2005.
This is thought to have been the initial cause of the firm’s financial problems, compounded since then by warranty claims on new boats.
Brian Peters (pictured), 66, who founded the business in 1973, is one of the leading figures in the marine industry and was awarded the OBE in 2006 for services to business and the community.
The British Marine Federation have said he will continue in his role as BMF president “until further notice”. Brian was appointed BMF president in June.
Peters Cala D’Or, in Mallorca, is separate from the main Peters Opal group and is likely to remain operational.
Sealine said: “We would like to reassure all our customers who have purchased Sealines from Peters Opal that they will be fully looked after, with their warranties fully honoured and their boats looked after by Sealine South Coast and Sealine International.”
Azimut was unavailable for comment due a public holiday in Italy.
A statement from KPMG said: “Jane Moriarty and Myles Halley of KPMG LLP have been appointed joint administrators of B.A. Peters PLC.
“Headquartered in Chichester, the company is one of Europe’s largest luxury boat dealerships operating from six marinas in the UK and four marinas in Spain. The company is also one of the UK’s largest approved service agents for the key suppliers of Volvo Marine and Raymarine.
“The business currently has licence agreements with Azimut, Bavaria, Legend, Rodman and Island Packet for the sale of luxury yachts. Other operations include a Shipyard at Chichester which undertakes warranty work for the Company’s key boat manufacturers.”
Jane Moriarty, partner KPMG Restructuring and joint administrators, added: “Due to difficult trading conditions the company has experienced extreme cash flow problems. Although the business continues to trade, we have unfortunately had to make 130 members of staff redundant.”
The administrators are currently reviewing the financial position of the company and are actively seeking a buyer for the business.