by Bob Wonders
Standard Bank of Asia has made its first moves since acquiring the Gold Coast-based manufacturer Mustang Marine from receivers Ferrier Hodgson.
Expansion plans for Mustang Marine with increased production expected
It has announced plans to produce 200 boats annually, is looking to expand the model range and has its sights set on a larger facility in the Gold Coast Marine Precinct region at Coomera.
The possible move follows the company being forced to terminate a lease at one of its two Gold Coast plants.
Mr Martin Lodge, the Hong Kong-based Director of Principal Trading for the bank, said the focus for the boat manufacturer was on emerging markets and the growth within the Asian region.
He said the current Asian dealer network, centred on China and Hong Kong, would be expanded.
“Mustang is a good brand name and has been strong in Australia and indeed elsewhere,” Mr Lodge explained.
“Certainly it had its challenges and the fluctuating Australian dollar has not made things any easier.
“However, the Australian boating market, particularly the Queensland sector, is a year-round market and with a loyal group of staff, customers and suppliers our immediate short-term goal is to get the company well and truly back on its feet.”
Receivers, Ferrier Hodgson were called in on October 19, 2007.
They were determined to sell the company as “a going concern” and managed that achievement on January 9.
A “number” of bidders expressed interest and it was initially thought that a large Chinese corporation had been chosen as the preferred bidder.
It was, however, a bid that fell through immediately prior to Christmas.
With the situation now resolved, Mr Lodge admitted a top priority for the bank was to appoint a CEO.
Former CEO, Paul Scanlon, was sacked by the receivers, no reason given.
“There have been a number of interested people vying for the role, the majority of them locally based,” Mr Lodge said.
‘”We have been in touch with Paul Scanlon and discussions with him will continue.
“We have indicated there may be a position available for him.
“The main point I would like to get across is that we are positive in regards to the future and are certainly hopeful of seeing a return that meets not only our own requirements, but that of our shareholders,” he added.