Ferguson Marine shipyard to be bought by Scottish Government

Ferguson Marine is to be nationalised after administrators rejected three commercial bids to buy the Inverclyde-based shipyard.

Ferguson Marine shipyard to be bought by Scottish Government

Economy secretary Derek Mackay

After operating the firm under a management agreement, the Scottish Government is now to formally purchase the yard.

Ministers have reported that the three commercial offers for purchase were rejected because nationalisation was considered to be a better outcome for the yard and the creditors.

Almost £50 million of taxpayer loans issued to the shipyard have since been written off.

The Scottish Government has issued a statement which said administrators had decided that the three commercial offers for the yard were either “not capable of being executed or do not represent a better outcome for creditors.”

Ferguson went into administration after a dispute with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, the firm that buys and leases CalMac ships on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The fall out arose over the building of two £97m ferries.

Derek Mackay, economy secretary, said: “We have always been clear that we want to complete the vessels, secure jobs and give the yard a future. Administrators have concluded that despite other bids being submitted for the yard, the Scottish government’s offer presents the best outcome for creditors. While there is still more to be done, our actions have ensured that there will be a future for Fergusons.”

Administrators are currently in discussions with Scottish ministers to agree on final terms of a sale and they expect this to be completed within the next four weeks.

Engineering tycoon Jim McColl, the former owner of the Ferguson shipyard, had indicated he was ready to resume involvement in the yard.

Earlier this month, the shipyard was part of the consortium which won the £1.25bn contract to build five Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy, but it is unclear how much of this work will be carried out at the Port Glasgow facility.

An estimated 300 people work at the yard and they will be addressed by Mr Mackay on October 7th.

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