Inflatable boat brand Zodiac RIBs has returned above water after announcing that it had found a new owner that had saved it from sinking into the deep end of insolvency.

Together with sister company Avon RIBs, the beleaguered boating brand was thrown into chaos back in April 2015 when previous owner Z Marine was declared insolvent. The French manufacturer was named in insolvency proceedings at the Commercial Tribunal of Nanterre, throwing both Zodiac and Avon into a period of uncertainty despite being two of the more popular rigid inflatable boat (RIB) brands in the world. It took four months of negotiations between numerous parties, but in the end, it appears that Zodiac will live to see another day. Unfortunately, sister company Avon’s status is still unclear at the moment.

But hey, it’s still good news for Zodiac, which announced its intention to introduce a new range of models in time for 2016. Production of its current range is also expected to resume sometime in September 2015 with no changes to the pricing of its models.

The company’s plan to make a dramatic comeback is well-deserved after the spending a majority of 2015 drifting in the water. But with a new owner towing it back to safety, it’s safe to say that Zodiac RIB has a lot of making up to do to cover for lost time.

Continue reading to learn more about Zodiac RIB’s return from the dead.

Why it matters

Business insolvency is an issue that plagues a lot of businesses these days so while it was surprising to see Z Marine fall into this quagmire back in April 2015, it’s equally reassuring to see one of its companies come back after almost drowning in the cesspool of bad business itself.

For what it’s worth, it’s important to note that Z Marine North America wasn’t involved in
the financial troubles that plagued its French counterpart, announcing back in April 2015 that it was an independent firm that remained financially solvent.

All that said, the problems Zodiac and Avon found themselves in wasn’t entirely their fault. But the mothership went down and if 1996’s Independence Day taught us anything, if the mothership falls, so do its offspring.

Fortunately for us, Zodiac has found a new owner, which means that it can return to building some of the best RIBs in the market. It might have taken longer than some of us expected or hoped for, but the important thing is that it’s returning with a vengeance. Where it goes from here is still anybody’s guess. For now, though, we’re just hoping that it has a new owner that’s in much more stable footing than its previous owner was in.

I’m personally looking forward to Zodiac’s range of new models. The N-ZO cruisers remain a personal favorite of mine and if that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what we’re in store for with the “new” Zodiac RIB, then sign me up for the products that are coming up!

On a side note, I hope Avon finds a new owner of its own. That’s a sentiment I’m sure I share with a lot of people.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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