Led by Dave Gillam, Birkenhead’s managing director and Steve Brookfield the financial and commercial director, and assisted by Ernst & Young Corporate Finance, the team submitted a bid to purchase the business as a going concern.
E&Y said in a statement that the management planned to return the yard to its core business as a ship repairer, without undertaking the ‘higher risk shipbuilding work, which ultimately brought the yard to its knees’.
The offer is backed by Lloyds TSB Bank, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company and has the full support of the remaining employees.
Dave Gillam said: ‘We have worked hard with Ernst & Young over the last few weeks to put this offer together and are delighted to be in a position to protect jobs and preserve Cammell Laird’s ship-repairing tradition on the Mersey.’
And Steve Stuart, corporate finance partner at E&Y in Liverpool, said the firm was pleased to be able to have played a part in structuring a transaction to preserve the business.
The was important, he said, ‘not only to the local shipping industry but also for the generation of wealth in the local regional economy’. He said he believed that the management team has a strong proposition. The team is now awaiting a response from the receivers.
A spokesperson for PwC said the offer was currently under consideration. She added that more redundancies at Cammell were ‘likely’ early next week.
The news of the offer comes as final ship building work at Cammell Laird’s shipyards comes to an end over the weekend
The Fort George, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary will be the final ship to leave the Tyneside shipyard when it sets sail today, leaving 70 staff behind. At the Merseyside yard, the Argus, another auxiliary ship is scheduled to leave today, followed by the River Lune, a ferry ship set to depart on Sunday.
No more work is scheduled at either of these shipyards.
Both Tyneside and Birkenhead are scheduled to be ‘closed but kept in good repair’, joining the Teeside shipyard which was mothballed earlier this year.
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