Administrators say there are £1 million of claims but only £651,000 in the client account
Scores of would-be boatowners who paid a deposit for a secondhand yacht or stage payment for a new build and were left high and dry this summer when BA Peters plc went into administration are being urged to go to court to claim money owing to them.
Peters Opal were UK agents for Island Packet, Bavaria (pictured right) and Legend yachts. KPMG were appointed as administrators and confirmed last week that there had been claims of over £1 million for ‘goods and services that have not yet been provided or for brokerage transactions which are not yet complete’. However, according to KPMG, there is only £651,000 in a client account.
Jane Moriarty, the joint administrator, says: “We have been reviewing the company’s books and records and the documentation supporting these transactions is not sufficiently conclusive to enable us to decide how to deal with these claims.” KPMG are therefore applying for a court hearing to decide how to distribute the funds in the client account.
The RYA advises anyone who has money tied up to go along to the hearing and, if possible, to have legal representation.
As a general rule when buying a new boat, you should try to agree with the builder for stage payments to be paid into an escrow account (requiring the authority of supplier and customer for withdrawal). Some big dealers find that most of their customers trust them with payments without such an arrangement but they should agree to one if asked.
As for the new UK agents, Premier have taken over the Island Packet brand. The word is that agents have also been appointed for Legend and Bavaria and that the new Bavaria agents will be announced at the Southampton Show.