Fairline Boats buyout talks at advanced stage
Motorboat & Yachting: Fairline Boats could survive in the UK, after an offer to buy the insolvent boatbuilder is accepted by the administrators.
Fairline passed into administration last month with more than 300 jobs lost, but administrators FRP Advisory insisted that the business was initially being marketed for sale as a going concern rather than entering into liquidation.
We understand those efforts have since attracted at least two serious offers, one of which would see production remain in the UK. It is this offer that is thought to have been accepted, although no formal deal has yet been signed.
Both parties will need to go through the usual due diligence checks before finalising the terms of the deal. The original deadline for any offers was 15 January and it is hoped that a deal may be in place by then.
If it does go ahead it is likely to be a much smaller, leaner business building fewer models to order from a single UK site rather than a large scale resumption of the previous production boat building business.
However, this is still deemed to be a better bet for Fairline’s existing creditors, many of whom were also suppliers, than rival offers which may have been looking to move the business abroad.
It is not yet known how many of the 69 staff that have been kept on to finish the last models on the production line will be retained in the long run.
The news comes too late for the London Boat Show, which will be without a Fairline Boats stand for the first time in many years, but Fairline dealer Bates Wharf told MBY that it hopes to relaunch the brand at the British Motor Yacht Show in May.