120 jobs safe after Isle of Wight boat firm rescue

120 jobs safe after boat firm rescue

120 jobs safe after boat firm rescue

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

ABOUT 120 jobs have been saved after an Isle of Wight boat company was rescued from administration.

South Boats Special Projects Ltd manufactures vessels for the offshore wind power industry and has been bought for an undisclosed sum by Alicat Workboats Limited.

The Cowes firm called in administrators last month from corporate recovery specialists Chantrey Vellacott DFK with SIA Group managing the sale.

Alicat Workboats director Nigel Darling said: “We are delighted with this acquisition and feel it both complements the company’s activities and secures the future of boat building on the Island.

“With the backing of Alicat Workboats, the clients of South Boats can be assured of the continued supply of quality vessels.”

South Boats ran into financial problems because of its expansion plans rather than orders running dry, with significant design investment, new product introduction and expansion of manufacturing facilities.

Currently it has a buoyant order book of some £21 million and with the potential of a further £35 million work in the pipeline.

David Clements, partner and restructuring specialist at Chantrey Vellacott DFK, said: “This made the company an extremely attractive proposition. They are major players in the industry and the sale has safeguarded jobs and secured the future of production on the Isle of Wight.

“The new venture will be the leading specialist in the manufacture and service of crew transportation vessels to offshore wind farms and provide refit and repair facilities.”

SIA Group director Paul Craig said: “The level of interest for South Boats both locally and internationally has been exceptional for what is clearly a well regarded product.”

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