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A famous Kiwi company with links to the America's Cup has gone into receivership, blaming economic hard times and the volatile kiwi dollar.

Line 7, known for its quality sailing and outdoor gear and, in recent years, men's and women's casual wear, made its name on the back of Emirates Team New Zealand's success.

Its sporting associations grew with the firm and it has agreements to make clothing for the New Zealand A1GP motor racing team, Rowing NZ, the Sir Peter Blake Trust as well as Team NZ.

It also has a deal to make official merchandise for the Rugby World Cup 2011 through its stake in the Australasian business of clothing maker Canterbury. Canterbury is not affected by the receivership.

Line 7 has a chain of 11 stores selling its casual wear, employs 110 local staff and exports to Australia, Britain, the US and the Caribbean. Its manufacturing is done mostly in China.

Owner and director Ross Munro - who bought the business out of receivership 19 years ago - said Line 7 had been caught by the economic decline and he had failed to read the market accurately.

"It's just bloody sad, to be fair, but it's my fault, it's nobody else's."

He said the business didn't hedge itself against the recent big falls in the dollar "which we normally did but we just didn't think it would drop as aggressively as it had, so that had a significant impact for this season on our margins".

As well, its customers had been slow to pay their bills, and the firm hadn't reacted quickly enough in cutting overheads.

"Fundamentally I just think the business model over the last few months hasn't worked," Mr Munro said.

It had tried to address the situation by looking to license its casual brand to other companies and get out of some of its shop leases, with limited success.

It had held sales to generate cash, which had proved popular, but it was probably "too little, too late", he said.

The company had also looked at selling some of its business units.

"I think we've got some very good little pockets of the business that have significant value - like our agricultural business, for example - and we've got some interested parties in that area," Mr Munro said.

Receiver Grant Graham, of KordaMentha, said sales would be held in all the Line 7 stores to move stock.

Then the receivers would look at selling assets such as trademarks.

They were still getting to grips with how its licensing and sponsorship arrangements worked, but he confirmed the Rugby World Cup 2011 licence was not an asset of the firm.

The business might be sold as a going concern, Mr Graham said.

"We'll look at the prospect of that. It's an iconic brand, and I would suspect there'll be real interest in that. Whether it would continue with the retail footprint, I'm not so sure.

"But I doubt if New Zealand's seen the last of the Line 7 brand."

Line 7 has been involved in numerous major sporting events.

It has been connected with the America's Cup since 1995, won a coveted merchandising agreement for the Sydney Olympics, and was involved in the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

Mr Munro denied that New Zealand's lack of success at the past two America's Cups was to blame. "The issues around the America's Cup are in no way related to the issues we're experiencing."

Rowing NZ chief Simon Peterson said he had not heard yet how its relationship with Line 7 would be affected. "We're disappointed for them."

Sir Peter Blake Trust general manager Vicki Watson said Line 7 had been a long-time supporter, and the organisation was also still seeking information.