A year and a month after Burgess Marine, the UK-based independent refit yard and engineering services provider, acquired Global Services, the renowned superyacht procurement specialist, both companies have been bought by Southampton Marine Services (SMS) - SMS can list among its shareholders Sir Charles Dunstone, the owner of M/Y Shemara - following a period of administration.
Assets belonging to Burgess Marine in Avonmouth, Lowestoft and Poole have been purchased by SMS, saving 45 jobs. Unfortunately, a further 102 jobs have been lost.
A statement issued by representatives of Burgess Marine explained that, “The company has gone into administration due to the challenges surrounding the delivery of a major refit project completed in Porchester earlier this year and the payment of the final account.”
Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews, Global Service's managing director Richard Gardiner explained that he and and his team will stay on at Burgess and be joined by Norman and Peter Morton of SMS on Burgess’ board. “We [Global Services] are now in a far stronger position in lieu of who our ultimate owner now is. This is a very positive acquisition. Some of the assets, unfortunately, were not acquired, but these assets were not assets at all, they were a hindrance. Additionally, the Southampton property was unnecessary in light of the facilities SMS already has at its disposal in the area.
Gardiner outlines that having a superyacht owner at the helm of SMS will be of great benefit to the entire group, adding that for Global Services it is “very much business as usual”.
Danny Dartnail from BDO, the administrator, commented that, “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…We are pleased to have been able to secure a partial sale of the business as a going concern.”
In a press release issued to the media, SMS explains that is has acquired all the assets and works in progress of Burgess marine, with ship repair operations in Lowestoft, Poole and Avonmouth continuing as usual, adding however that the facilities in Portchester and Dover will not be saved due to high operating costs and continued losses on the property making their inclusion in the new portfolio unjustifiable.
“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,” comments Chris Norman, managing director of SMS. “Ongoing 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.”