Ferretti seeks to renegotiate debt burden

Italian boatbuilder in talks with RBS to change the terms of its loan agreement

Debt-strapped boatbuilder Ferretti has begun to renegotiate its more than ?1bn of borrowing with The Royal Bank of Scotland just days after it defaulted on a debt payment .

In a statement, Ferretti said it was seeking to change the terms of the loan agreement entered into in January 2007, “at a time when the market was especially dynamic and therefore substantially different from the current negative economic situation”.

The move will likely lead to redundancies at some of Ferretti’s yards, and a slowdown in production of smaller motorboats, sales of which the builder says have suffered a decline.

Ferretti, which not only makes boats under its own name, but also owns Riva and Pershing, was bought by British private equity house Candover for around ?1.7bn in October 2006.

Since then, the market has suffered a profound reversal, but the Italian boatbuilder remains upbeat about its prospects.

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“[The company] is strongly determined to undertake all the necessary actions to consolidate the Group’s leadership in the luxury motoryachts sector and to resolve short-term financial tension in order to continue with the process of growth that has characterized the Group’s 40 years of history,” it said.