Management Buyout Proposed For Cammell Laird Yard

Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Cammell Laird Plc has axed another 146 jobs in the U.K., but a proposed management buyout of one of its yards held out the prospect on Wednesday of saving hundreds more. Cammell Laird, which called in the receivers in April, has announced over 600 job cuts in Britain this year after a series of cancelled orders hit its finances. A spokeswoman for accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), acting as receivers for the group, said that a management team had made an indicative offer for the Tyneside shipyard in northeast England. And PwC expects another management offer for Cammell Laird's plant at Birkenhead, northwest England, which was first established in 1824. The company has a current UK workforce of around 770. The offer for Tyneside comes after PwC accepted an offer by former Cammell Laird executive Eric Welsh to buy the company's yard in nearby Teesside. "The Birkenhead management team is expected to make an offer within the next few days," a spokeswoman said. She declined to provide financial details of the various buyout offers. The GMB trade union -- which has a strong representation among Cammell Laird workers -- said that while it regretted the latest round of redundancies, it felt the buyout offers meant there was still a chance of saving jobs. "I don't think for one minute that these management buyout teams would be putting in these bids unless they felt they could win new work," said GMB spokesman Jimmy Skivington. Cammell Laird's financial troubles provided a further sign of the decline in Britain's once-proud shipbuilding industry. The company suspended trading in its shares in April, when it had a stock market value of around 17 million pounds ($24 million). Trading in Cammell Laird's bonds has continued since the group entered receivership. Its eurobonds have fallen over the last week, as investors have remained cautious over the various buyout offers. - (Reuters)

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