The West

Port Bouvard's advisers are confident they can strike a deal in the next few weeks to save the property group from collapse.

The ailing company is running up against time, with its cash reserves expected to be depleted within weeks and $44 million owed to St George Bank falling due on December 31.

With "anything and everything" on the table, Port Bouvard and adviser Azure Capital have been exploring myriad options, including a recapitalisation and asset sales, with various interested parties

Port Bouvard did not return telephone calls but Azure said it remained in "multiple discussions", though it would not be drawn on further details.

"The process is relatively straightforward, given the company's assets are well known in the broader community," Azure director Adrian Arundell said.

"The interest levels are encouraging and an announcement is expected in due course," he said.

Unsurprisingly, most of the interest has centred on Port Bouvard's flagship assets, the undeveloped 275ha Point Grey residential and marina project, 12km south-east of Mandurah.

But its other assets also hold value, including unsold luxury units at its Oceanique complex in Mandurah, undeveloped sites near Oceanique and in Esperance and a small water utility, Peel Water.

There is also more than $150 million of tax losses.

Port Bouvard wrote down the carrying value of Point Grey to $48 million last month, reducing total group assets to $84 million and net assets to just $35.8 million.

St George has told the group it would need to significantly reduce its borrowings before the bank would consider a debt extension.

Port Bouvard and Azure's prime aim will be to come up with a deal capable of fully retiring the St George debt. Failing that, the company will be hoping that as long as it can guarantee to pay off a large chunk of the debt, the bank will hold fire on putting it under.

Port Bouvard has dramatically cut costs to stretch out its meagre cash resources. While it still derives revenue from the sale of its Oceanique apartments, that cash has to be applied to debt reduction, leaving Port Bouvard reliant on the last of its bank facility for survival.

As of a few weeks ago, it had enough cash reserves to last "until November".

The company is being run by a short-term chief executive, Darryl Guihot, a former chief financial officer of FKP Property Group, Port Bouvard's biggest shareholder with 30 per cent. FKP also controls the Port Bouvard board.

The West Australian

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