U.K. maritime engineering firm Burgess Marine has gone into administration, following problems with securing payment for a recently completed major refit.
Sites in Devonport, Portchester, Portsmouth and Southampton have all reportedly closed with all 102 staff being made redundant, while assets in Avonmouth, Lowestoft and Poole have been sold to a ship repairer, saving 45 jobs. Four staff are reported to have been retained to wind the company down.
According to administrators, BDO, Southampton Marine Services is buying Burgess Marine’s wholly owned subsidiaries allowing them to continue as normal.
Danny Dartnaill explained, “Regrettably, difficult trading conditions and a shortfall in the company’s working capital position – contributed to by a failure to secure the final payment due in regard to a major refit project – significantly affected the business and its on-going viability.
“We are please to have been able to secure a partial sale of the business as a going concern, preserving 45 jobs. Unfortunately, however, it has been necessary for the remaining aspects of the company to cease trading with immediate effect, resulting in job losses. The administration does not affect the other companies within the wider group, which continue to trade as normal.
“Going forward, the joint administrators will be seeking to maximise recoveries for the benefit of all creditors and will continue to liaise with customers regarding any outstanding contracts.”
The Dover company had been a success story, with chief executive Nick Warren attracting an £11-million ($14.7-million) investment in the firm two years ago after taking over the business from his father, David. However, financial documents filed at the end of 2016 showed a loss of £1.34 million, while the company had turned a profit of £2.32 million in the previous year.
In the 2016 annual report, directors said the company had been impacted by the low price of oil, which meant customers were scaling back their operations and taking vessels out of action.