BiFab sites have been acquired and jobs saved with a deal announced today.
Infrastrata has announced the acquisition of the Methil and Arnish yards of the collapsed Scottish manufacturer Burntisland Fabrication (Bifab).
Now Infrastrata will save the two yards on the east and west coasts of Scotland, trading under its Harland & Wolff brand, which also has facilities in Belfast and Appledore.
The deal does not include the Burntisland site in Fife.
A total of 29 employees are being transferred under TUPE regulations, with those on furlough being brought back to re-establish operations at the sites.
Multiple fabrication sites
Infrastrata said Arnish and Methil would have “particular regard to renewable and defence projects”, describing Scotland as a “hotbed” for major wind farm projects.
The London-headquartered firm pointed to growth in the wider UK offshore wind market, with the likes of BP and RWE winning leases in the latest Crown Estate round this week for the Irish Sea and Dogger Bank area, respectively.
Taking on the Bifab sites would also increase the “probability-to-win rate” by offering clients multiple fabrication facilities, Infrastrata said.
Payments will be made in two phases: £650,000 in cash and a further £200,000 on certain conditions being met.
The second payment will occur if group turnover exceeds £74 million over the next 24 months or if consolidated turnover for the Methil and Arnish sites exceeds £40m over that time.
Chief executive John Wood said: “I am very pleased to have completed the acquisition of the assets of Bifab, which is in keeping with our stated strategy of capitalising on complementary opportunities when they present themselves.
“Whilst the total consideration is not material, relative to our balance sheet size and market cap, it nevertheless is a very important and highly strategic acquisition for InfraStrata.”
The UK-based natural gas infrastructure firm acquired the Belfast and Appledore sites of Harland and Wolff over the last two years from administrators, similarly targeting renewables, oil and gas and defence projects.
Mr Wood added: “With this acquisition, we now have a footprint in Scotland, which is the hotbed for major wind farm projects as well as for shipbuilding programmes.”
The new owners are seeking to enter a 12-year lease for the Bifab yards, expected to complete over the next four weeks.
Councillor for Buckhaven, Methil & Wemyss Ken Caldwell said: “This is an exciting development for Levenmouth.
“Infrastrata are a part of Harland and Wolf, and are looking to win projects in the off shore energy market. They agree that Scotland is a potential hotbed of activity.”
‘Myth’ of Scotland’s renewables revolution
Deloitte was appointed administrator of Bifab in December.
At the time, the GMB Union said it exposes the “myth of Scotland’s renewables revolution” and shines a light on “a decade of political hypocrisy and failure”.
Bifab was previously owned by Canadian company DF Barnes, and lost several hotly-contested contracts for Scottish wind farms.
The Scottish Government invested some £37.4m in order to save the business from closure in 2017, and to support delivery of SSE’s Beatrice Offshore Wind project.
Holyrood leveraged that into a 32.4% stake in the business, and also provided an additional £15m loan facility.
However, in October the government said it had “exhausted the options” for financial support.
The Scottish Government has been asked to comment on the Infrastrata deal.
— to www.thecourier.co.uk