Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Austal Chairman thinks they're in the Captain's Chair

The following was my response to Larry Geller's

Superferry bankruptcy pre-determined?

Well said Larry.

The one winner in this appears to be Austal if not also some of the other preferred stockholders. Austal's Chairman told the Western Australian press today that they think they will get control of the two vessels out of this. If that happens, I'd say they are the win-win winners in this for the time being. They got the contracts, proved the construction capability with A615 and A616, and they think they will get the vessels too. See article:

"Austal customer bankrupt, owes $26.3m" * June 2, 2009

Shipbuilder Austal Ltd does not expect to find itself out of pocket after one of its customers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States.

Ferry charter operator Hawaii Superferry has filed for bankruptcy in the US Court of Delaware, owing Austal $US21.3 million ($A26.3 million).

The loan was provided by Austal as part of a deal to sell Hawaii Superferry two high-speed vessels.

Austal said in a statement on Tuesday that Hawaii Superferry would attempt to reorganise its affairs to allow it to continue as a going concern.

"If the business continues to operate, the chances of Austal getting its money back eventually are high," Austal executive chairman John Rothwell told AAP.

Mr Rothwell said it was likely that ownership of the vessels would return to Austal, which would then charter them to the US Department of Defence.

Austal holds a second registered mortgage over the vessels, ranking it as a creditor behind the US Maritime Administration...

So the Aussies think these two vessels would be most useful to the US DoD. This reminds me of the fast cat designs that another Aussie firm sold to the Chinese which were reengineered into fast attack class vessels. I'd say the Aussies so far have played all sides on this pretty well, the Chinese, Americans, Hawaii, Alabama, DoD, and JFL. What remains to be seen is how well aluminium performs under fire. I'm guessing it will eventually fail if the Falklands War offered any lessons. In the meantime halfwitted decendents of prisoners will have hoodwinked both the Chinese and Americans, Hawaii and Alabama to spend money on things they don't need.

No comments: