Midnight last Wednesday was the deadline for Sheikh Al Jaber to rescue the bankrupt Kneissl company through a payment of about €2.1 million. Yet the billionaire from Saudi Arabia ignored the deadline, so the fate of the legendary Austrian ski brand is again uncertain.

A liquidation of the venerable Austrian ski company is still not excluded. As the country is strongly attached to the Kneissl brand, the Austrian press is furious. Reportedly, the company's receiver is still seeking to find new investors to rescue Kneissl, setting a deadline of the end of August for the process.

It is unclear why Sheikh Al Jaber failed to pay the required sum on time – supposedly small change for a man whose fortune is estimated by Forbes and other publications at more than $6 billion. Reports in the Austrian press suggest that Al Jaber is behind with his payments for other investments in the country, such as luxury hotels in Vienna. Another story has it that the government of Saudi Arabia owes the sheikh some $400-500 million in leasing fees for a major building in that country. It is therefore speculated that Al Jaber may be facing liquidity issues.

Andreas Gebauer, Kneissl's managing director, has reportedly been trying to find other investors for the brand, particularly in the U.K. Neither insolvency nor last-minute rescues are unfamiliar for Kneissl's employees and customers, since the company already went bankrupt twice, in 1980 and 2003.