One of the best known names in international boat building for the last forty years has fallen victim to the economic downturn across the Western world. Swedish boat-builder Najad (Najadvarvet AB) has announced that it has submitted a petition for bankruptcy in the District Court at Addevalla, and the court has declared them bankrupt.
The CEO of the company, Mikael Gustavsson, blamed a major liquidity crisis, weak sales, long-term decline in boat demand and ongoing difficulties in financial markets around the world for its demise. He said, “It is a very difficult and sad day for everyone at Najadvarvet AB, including employees, customers, suppliers and partners.”
More than 2,000 yachts have been launched under the Najad and Maxi brand names in the company’s 40-year history. In the last few years, Najadvaret AB has developed and manufactured yachts under the trademarks “Najad” and “Maxi Yachts” at the factories in Henån and Åmål.
Most notably, British solo sailor Jeanne Socrates used a Najad 38, Nereida, in her circumnavigation of the world which made her the oldest woman ever to achieve the feat.
For more than 35 years the business was successfully run by founder Berndt Arvidsson, who sold the company in 2006 to a Dutch owner, Alfred van Wincoop.
In 2009 the company was saved from bankruptcy by Animatrix Capital LLP but despite a substantial cash injection and increased efficiency, boat sales were still lower than hoped and orders and prospects for the rest of 2011 were very weak. Mr Gustavsson said they were powerless to prevent bankruptcy happening this time around.
He added: “We have turned every stone in our attempts to avoid this situation. Today, our last efforts have failed. The parent company is insolvent and therefore has to file for bankruptcy.”
The board made the decision at the time of the year when all orders have been delivered to customers so that ‘a minimal number’ will suffer bankruptcy.
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