Burgess Marine partly sold after administration

SMS is known for its work in the luxury yacht, commercial vessel and port installation markets SMS is known for its work in the luxury yacht, commercial vessel and port installation markets

Following its administration Burgess Marine assets have been partly sold off to Southampton Marine Services (SMS) saving some jobs at the company with maybe more to follow.

The business and assets at three of the company’s trading locations – in Lowestoft, Avonmouth & Poole, have been transferred to SMS along with all of their works in progres, resulting in 45 jobs being saved.

But the administrator confirmed that at this time 106 employees have still been made redundant.

Danny Dartnaill, business restructuring partner at BDO LLP, which has been appointed as administrator, said: “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 recent major refit project - significantly affected the business and its ongoing viability.”

“The administration does not affect the other companies within the wider group, which continue to trade as normal.”

Ongoing contracts

Going forward, Mr Dartnaill, said, 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.

It is unclear at the present time how many ongoing contracts have been caught up in the administration, but SMS said that negotiations are currently taking place within the two Royal Navy bases at Portsmouth and Devonport for SMS to continue working within these high security areas.

Chris Norman, managing director, SMS, said that it’s hoped that many of the staff previously employed on the military sites will be re-hired should SMS be able to provide the required security levels.

Unfortunately, the facilities at Portchester and Dover will not be saved as operating costs at these sites do not make them viable and they have consistently lost money for years.

Jobs prospects

“It is always sad to see so many people lose their jobs at any time let alone just before Christmas and we are pleased to have been able to save as many as possible,” Mr Norman said.

“On-going negotiations may mean that over the coming weeks we can get permission to operate within the Royal Navy Bases which may mean we can employ even more ex Burgess employees.”

The acquisitions mean that SMS will now be able to assist ship owners from Lowestoft to Avonmouth to maintain and repair their vessels and with the combined workforce of SMS and its sister companies Wight Shipyard and Aluminium Marine Consultants, which together employ close to four hundred skilled shipwrights.

Burgess Marine, based in Kent, UK, was a multidiscipline marine engineering services provider operating in the commercial marine, defence and superyacht sectors. It traded from eight sites across the South of England.

Back in November, Burgess subsidiary Meercat Workboats went into administration but was taken over by new owners.

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