The business of major British work boat company South Boats Special Projects Limited has been sold out of administration – saving a significant number of jobs on the Isle of Wight.
The leading manufacturer of service vessels for the offshore wind power industry, which is based out of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, has been bought for an undisclosed sum by Alicat Workboats Limited.
Joint-administrators David Clements and Richard Toone from national accountancy firm and corporate recovery specialists Chantrey Vellacott DFK and asset valuations and sales agents SIA Group managed the sale.
David Clements, partner and restructuring specialist at Chantrey Vellacott DFK, said: “We were appointed administrators of South Boats Special Projects on Thursday (October 25) and after discussions with a number of interested parties are pleased to have finalised a deal with Alicat Workboats.
“The company had suffered financial problems mainly due to a combination of the challenge of rapid growth, significant design investment, new product introduction and expansion of manufacturing footprint.
“Alicat Workboats is a major player 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.
“South Boats had a strong reputation and a healthy order book of some £21 million and further enquiry pipeline of some £35 million, which made the company an extremely attractive proposition.
“After a lot of hard work we are delighted to have completed the deal with Alicat Workboats and are confident the business will thrive under its new owners.”
Paul Craig, Director at SIA Group, added: “The level of interest for South Boats both locally and internationally has been exceptional for what is clearly a well regarded product. We worked closely with all parties to ensure certainty of delivery and secure a positive outcome within an extremely tight deadline.”
Nigel Darling, Director from Alicat Workboats 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.”
Press release, October 29, 2012; Image: South Boats