Eric Goetz will retain ownership of his world-renowned yacht building company after making the sole bid on its assets during a court-ordered auction yesterday morning.
Goetz bid $540,000 for the holdings of Goetz Custom Sailboats, the Bristol company he headed that went into receivership Jan. 6 after an international client suspended a contract for a multimillion-dollar racing yacht.
Goetz said he plans to retain all 75 of his company’s employees after the reorganization. They are busy working on two 82-foot yachts for separate international customers.
It was after one of those clients, a private individual in Scotland, stopped making payments that the company fell into receivership, a form of bankruptcy in which a court appoints a trustee to either liquidate a company or sell its assets to pay the accumulated debt. Goetz laid off his entire work force Dec. 31 after the contract was suspended.
The problems with the Scottish customer had such a deep impact on the company because it typically works on only one or two boats at any given time. Those yachts are very expensive – some of the carbon-fiber composite boats cost as much as $8 million.
Without the cash flow for one of the two boats currently in the shop, the company quickly fell behind on payroll and payments to suppliers.
Now that work is back under way, the boat for the Scottish client is set to be completed at the end of July. The second boat being built, which was commissioned by a customer in England, will not be finished until next year.
Outside the courtroom, Goetz said that he expects a closing on the sale to take place within the next two to three weeks. Although no creditors filed objections to the sale in court, they may still try to intervene, he said. He sounded a note of cautious optimism.
“There doesn’t appear to be anything in the way,” he said. “Our challenge now is a business challenge.”