Bates Wharf hints at possible investment for Fairline
Motorboat & Yachting: Fairline’s principal dealer Bates Wharf has hinted at a possible future for the company, which is currently under administration.
Richard Bates, director of Bates Wharf, told MBY: “Wednesday’s news came as a surprise to all of us, mainly because only two weeks before, all the dealers were invited to a presentation by Wessex Bristol at the factory where they unveiled a very detailed plan for the future of Fairline.”
He added that Wessex Bristol had planned to launch three new models in the 35-60ft market, backed by ring-fenced Middle Eastern investment.
The new models would be built in the Nene Valley plant, following the closure of Fairline’s facilities at Oundle.
Hopes now rest on administrators FRP Advisory selling the firm as a going concern, rather than breaking it up to pay off the company’s debts.
“I believe that because of the all the above study work they have a realistic chance of finding and attracting a buyer quickly,” Richard added.
One of the things that might persuade a new investor to snap up Fairline is their strong dealer network, with a backlog of more than 25 orders in the pipeline.
“On retail sales, Bates Wharf is heading for a record year with all brands since Southampton,” Richard continued. “We are down to minimal stock so we have a big potential order bank.”