Ferretti struggles under debt burden

Italian builder defaults on debt payment, after falling sales since September last year

Falling boat sales since the ‘Lehman Weekend’ in September last year have caused one of the world’s most respected boatbuilders to default on its debt payments.

Ferretti, which not only makes boats under its own badge, but also owns Riva and Pershing, failed to make an interest payment late last week on its more than ?1bn of debt.

The firm was bought by British private equity house Candover for around ?1.7bn in October 2006 during the heyday of private equity purchases.

Now Candover is under pressure to shore up the balance sheet of the boat manufacturer to help it service its enormous debt burden.

The “short-term liquidity squeeze” is being caused by falling orders, slowing stage payments and rising cancellations, a story in the Financial Times said.