Gold Coast Bulletin
Montebello Yachts goes under
GOLD Coast catamaran manufacturer Montebello Yachts has been placed into voluntary administration, leaving about 20 staff to look for new jobs in the new year.
The high Australian dollar and the collapse of recent orders has been blamed for the demise of the company, which opened its doors two years ago.
Montebello Yachts, headed by Gold Coast boating identity Gary Zamparutti, is understood to have debts of almost $1 million, with $450,000 of that secured.
Administrator David Stimpson, of SV Partners, yesterday said Montebello's remaining staff had been let go this week and the business had "effectively ceased trading" to stem its financial bleeding.
One creditor who contacted the Bulletin yesterday said he was angry that workers had been left in the cold just before Christmas, with one employee said to be owed five weeks' pay and his wife expecting a baby soon.
"He has scraped up enough to pay his rent but has been unable to make his car payment," the creditor, who declined to be named, said.
Mr Stimpson said there was no chance of a restructure for the company as funding had "dried up".
"In the absence of a white knight buying the business as is, I would say (the company's fate) was probably terminal."
He said the high Australian dollar, which again is at parity with the US dollar, and the continued sluggish conditions in the marine sector had led to the company's problems.
"The boatbuilding market is not real flash at the moment," Mr Stimpson said.
"The market for the type of product Montebello produced has dropped off and they did have a couple of potential orders that (fell over)."
Montebello's product line included a luxury 12.5m catamaran which sold for about $800,000.
Mr Stimpson said two boats were still under construction at Montebello's Woongoolba factory at the Horizon Shores marina.
They would have to be completed independently by their owners, he said. "The main priority at the moment is to find a buyer for the business or seek buyers for the moulds and equipment."
Mr Zamparutti could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
In October, Mr Zamparutti told the Bulletin that Montebello had been attracting global interest with its power catamaran until the recent rise in the dollar.
Montebello Yachts was established at the end of 2008 by Mr Zamparutti, backed by a group of Gold Coast investors. A creditors' meeting is scheduled for January 7, although the timing of the affair has been criticised.
The creditor who contacted the Bulletin yesterday said many creditors would be on holidays and may not have received the notice of Montebello's administration in yesterday's mail.