NEWS – Staff to retain jobs as Riviera changes hands

Staff to retain jobs as Riviera changes hands

Moods lifted at Riviera’s Coomera facility yesterday, when staff learned that Australia’s largest luxury boat builder had changed hands, putting an end to its receivership woes.

Longhurst Marine Holdings Pty Ltd, a Queensland-based investment company, has offered employment to the majority of Riviera staff and contractors, and has entered into a long-term lease for Riviera’s 14ha manufacturing facility.

Managing Director Rodney Longhurst has an extensive tourism and investment portfolio including a significant interest in The Boat Works, a 9.2ha marine service facility on the Coomera River within the Gold Coast Marine Precinct.
Mr Longhurst said the inherent strength of Riviera in the face of recent global market forces was the key factor that drew his interest in acquiring the business.

“I have watched how the Riviera luxury boat brand has so emphatically endured the last four years of turbulent economic conditions. For the past two years and nine months, the company has operated in Receivership and during this period, local and international competition has also been particularly fierce. Yet throughout this unprecedented cycle, the Riviera brand has retained its integrity and has defied industry trends achieving significant results with new model releases and sales,” said Mr Longhurst.

“The very strong loyalty that Riviera owners feel toward their boat and the company is truly to be admired. This culture cannot be created overnight and is the sum total of many contributing factors over the past 32 years. World leading design, superior quality, technology innovation and a belief that Riviera owners are part of a family, not mere clients of the company; are some of the unique values that attracted me to Riviera.”

Free of Receivership constraints, Riviera will now move through a restructure and recapitalisation process to prepare the company for future growth opportunities. Part of this process will be the creation of a new senior management team to drive the business forward.

Wes Moxey, the former CEO of Riviera and a veteran of 26 years with the company, has been asked to return immediately as CEO. After taking a 12-month sabbatical from the boating industry, Mr Moxey has spent the past 18 months immersed in the development of a new line of limited edition Motoryachts called Belize. The Belize Motoryacht line will soon be offered through the Riviera global dealer network of 46 dealers’ spaning 66 countries.

“Riviera has been a very large and influential part of my life and that of my family’s. I am refreshed from my sabbatical and wiser from the lessons learnt in developing the Belize Motoryacht line from scratch with our own capital. I am thrilled with this opportunity and I am ready and eager to help lead our great team forward,” said Mr Moxey.

Chris Gilfoyle who has enjoyed a 20-year career with Riviera on the production side of the business has been appointed as Head of Manufacturing.

“The news of the purchase of Riviera was greeted with a resounding round of applause from our assembled staff and contractors. These men and women have toiled tirelessly and unselfishly over the past three years and the announcement is truly a victory for the true Riviera believers. This is the best outcome possible for our business and our people stand ready for the opportunities that the future will bring,” said Mr Gilfoyle.

Riviera offers 20 different models from 36 to 85 feet across four model series Flybridge, Sport Yacht, Offshore Express and Motor Yachts.