Moonen Yachts’ boss puts his faith in a mystery new investor


Moonen, builder of the superyacht Ciao, can look forward to a bright future, backed by its new investor, said CEO Johan Dubbelman.

The recently bankrupt Moonen Yachts is heading “for a new start”, says its CEO Johan Dubbelman, who believes a mystery new investor will restore the superyacht builder’s finances.

Moonen Shipyards was declared bankrupt by a Dutch court on Friday July 12th, after its owner Mexican steel-making monolith Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) was said to be unable to meet the builder’s financial obligations. The yacht builder hopes the bankruptcy will “clear the road for the new Moonen” and negotiations with the unnamed investor are understood to be at an advanced stage.

“We have trust in this new investor and have faith in the future of Moonen,” said Dubbelman. “Moonen builds perfect yachts, the market in 30m to 50m segment is good and we expect to increase our production.”

‘Build two to three yachts per year’

Moonen currently has one 36m yacht under construction, with plans to boost production. “The aim of the new investor is to build two to three yachts per year. By building on speculation, delivery times are shorter, which is an absolute advantage for future customers,” Dubbelman added.

The shipbuilder formerly enjoyed good financial support from its owner AHMSA, until the Mexican firm’s chairman Alonso Ancira was arrested on the Spanish island of Mallorca in May 2018. His arrest followed allegations of bribery linked to the sale of a fertiliser plant by the steel giant to state-run oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos.

“Since then, all of AHMSA’s bank accounts were frozen, including the one for Moonen,” the luxury yacht builder said in a statement. “Some of the accounts were unfrozen after a while but the money tap for the shipyard remained closed. The lack of financial support to pay wages and settle the required payments on the building of Project YN199 on speculation has led to Moonen declaring bankruptcy.”

‘The money tap remained closed’

Backed by the new investor, Dubbelman pledged to take the shipbuilder to new success. “We are close to entering a new era. I strongly believe in a healthy future for Moonen Yachts in Hertogenbosch [the company’s headquarters], as I can rely on a strong and loyal team of employees and good co-operation with our suppliers. Together with our new investor, we will take Moonen to unprecedented new heights.”

Moonen’s new build is the sister ship to the award-winning 36m superyacht Brigadoon, built from high-tensile steel. The new superyacht is under construction on the 36-metre Martinique platform. The exterior design was by Dutch designer René van der Velden, with naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design, in collaboration with René van der Velden. The vessel is scheduled for delivery next spring.

In December 2017 Superyacht Investor reported that the company signed a contract to refit the superyacht Ciao. The Dutch shipyard launched the 27m fast displacement yacht 10 years previously.

Meanwhile, no one from AHMSA has been available to answer Superyacht Investor’s questions.