Cammell Laird, under threat of losing a key $500 million deal with U.S. cruise ship firm Luxus, said it had won a U.K. Navy contract, helping safeguard 150 jobs at the group. "The work will generate employment security throughout the period (82 days) for some 150 personnel," Cammell Laird Holdings Plc said in a statement. The contract to repair the Fort George ship at Tyneside, northeast England, is worth just under $7.17 million. "It's certainly nowhere near the size of the Luxus contract, but it shows the market that we're out there fighting and winning work," Cammell Laird Managing Director Dave Skentelbery said.
The company's stock has fallen more than 90 percent since November, due to Italian cruise operator Costa Crociere cancelling
a 51 million pound refit contract and on concerns the Luxus deal for two luxury liners might
be called off. The future of 1,500 jobs at Cammell, based near Liverpool in northwest England, depends on the deal going ahead.
Cammell Laird has been trying to get the British government to improve an aid and loan-guarantee package that it says will help secure the contract with Luxus. The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) said last month it would share an extra $100 million of risk with Cammell Laird to underwrite the possibility of the Luxus contract falling through. The DTI had already offered $300 million in loan guarantees
to cover the contract. Without the guarantees, start-up company Luxus might not get bank loans to fund the orders, Cammell Laird sources said. - (Reuters)