330 UK workers laid off but Palma still operating as usual
Oyster Marine Holdings, the group’s master company, is en-route to enter administration later today or early tomorrow, as of February 8th. David Tydeman, Oyster Group CEO, confirmed this and said: “The name of the administrator will be announced very soon. I am not able to give the name of the administrator yet.
“At present it is only the holding company that is entering administration,” he added. “Oyster Marine, Oyster Brokerage and Oyster Palma are still operating. I wish to make it very clear that Oyster Palma is still active because the management team are very concerned that they are receiving reports that they are in administration.”
Tydeman indicated that it is likely the UK companies will follow and in total about 330 people in the UK and US have been laid off. “We are operating with a skeleton team of about half a dozen here but we have at least a dozen volunteers who we have had to pay off but have come in to help.
“There is a huge loyalty out there and many Oyster owners have been ringing up to offer help and support,” Tydeman told IBI. “There are many wealthy Oyster owners who are giving such offers and some of these made a bid on the company in 2012 when HTP Investments bought control.”
He pointed out that a rush of orders in the second half of 2017 had resulted in the record order book of £83m with work stretching to 2019 and 2010. “We had some gaps in the order book we were looking to fill such as for the 835 and 895 plus the considerable interest generated by the 745 at boot Dusseldorf. We also have a couple of parties interested in the third Oyster 118.” The first two Oyster 118s were in build with deliveries set for 2019 and 2020.
HTP Investments, the Dutch company that bought Oyster in 2012, is understood to have withdrawn its support for the company in late January, leaving the Oyster management team only a few days to undertake a rescue.
Tydeman was unable to say how much money would have been needed to save the group and keep it operating. “I am under instruction not to give out that figure,” he commented.
Oyster was due to exhibit at the Miami show in about 10 days’ time. “We were going to show the 625 but that won’t happen now,” Tydeman told IBI.
KPMG receives 45 expressions of interest for Oyster Group
By David Robinson IBI PLus
Polina Star III situation caused collapse of yacht builder
KPMG, the administrator for Oyster Marine Holdings in the UK, has received 45 expressions of interest in purchasing the Oyster Yachts brand. This was confirmed to IBI yesterday by CEO David Tydeman. He has also confirmed that the main cause of the group’s collapse was the insurance claims that followed the sinking of Polina Star III in 2015.
“There has been a good response to the administration, with KPMG receiving some 45 expressions showing interest in possibly buying Oyster,” Tydeman said. “KPMG will start the process of working through these next week with NDAs and bids and it will likely take several weeks to complete.”
Polina Star III sank off Spain in July 2015, generating a claim and counter claims of £7.2m. To date only £400,000 has been paid, leaving a £6.8m amount to settled.
“Payment of the claim against Oyster and our counter claims against Bridgland Moulders (a Norwich-based subcontractor) have been delayed and delayed and our shareholder, HTP Investment, became inpatient over the delays so withdrew their support. They feared that our claim would be unpaid by the time they had to pay the claim against us.”
The claim against Bridgland alleges improper moulding of the Polina Star 111 and three other yachts – Albatross, Meagan and Reina, which have since been repaired.
The delays to the claim have lasted over two years and had been due to be heard late last year, but a further delay has now moved this to May or June this year