Oyster yachts enters administration
Southampton-based shipyard Oyster Yachts has entered administration after announcing it has failed to secure enough funding to continue operating.
The shipyard revealed last week that it was unable to secure financial support and that it was considering all options to relaunch. Yesterday, KPMG announced that two of its partners have been bought on as joint administrators – Neil Gostelow and Mark Orton.
David Tydeman, Oyster CEO, said: “It is with sincere regret that we advise that the company has been unable to secure financial support to enable it to continue at this time and it is looking at all opportunities available. Further information will be issued as soon as we can.”
KPMG’s first duty will be to seek a buyer for the shipyard and has called for anyone interested in acquiring Oyster to contact the administrators.
Neil Gostelow, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Late last week, the company directors confirmed that they had been unable to secure the financial support they needed to ensure that the business could continue to trade. Our immediate priority will be to seek a buyer for the business and its assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”
Ahead of the announcement Oyster had said that the outlook for 2018 and 2019 was positive. It closed off 2017 with an order book of £80 million for 25 yachts. The company also expanded its Southampton shipyard in May last year to build a second Oyster 118. The yard also had a successful showing at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. The first Oyster 118 superyacht was nearing completion and scheduled to be ready to start sailing trials in June this year.
It is understood that Oyster yachts employed more than 160 people at its Southampton yard alone, all of whom will be made redundant – the BBC reported. The company has a total workforce of 400.
The reasons for Oyster shutting its doors have been unclear, but the yard’s main financial backer, the Dutch investment firm HTP (which acquired Oyster Yachts for £15 million in 2012) is thought to have withdrawn funding before the company went into administration – local news site The Daily Echo reported.
The company also had a large hole in its balance sheet that could have contributed to the decision to withdraw funding. Oyster took a £5.3 million hit to its balance sheet that came from legal action taken against the company after one of its yachts, Polina Star III, sank off the Spanish coast in July 2015 The Times reported.