Administrators called in as business runs into difficulty

University of Portsmouth group finance and business students, from left, back row Professor Diego Vazquez-Brust and head of the accounting and financial management subject group at the University of Portsmouth Andrew Wood. 'Front row, Louisa Burton, Faculty of Business and Law dean Professor Gioia Pescetto, Francesca Sharp, Amy Davidson

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A MAJOR boat-building firm has called in corporate restructuring specialists after running into financial difficulty.

South Boats Special Projects Ltd is based in Cowes and has a large customer base in the Portsmouth area.

David Clements, partner and restructuring specialist at Chantrey Vellacott DFK, said: ‘South Boats is the leading specialist in the manufacture and service of crew transportation vessels to offshore wind farms and provides refit and repair facilities.

‘The company employs about 120 people directly and has production and operations across two sites. It also sub-contracts work out to several other companies based in the Solent area.

‘The root of the financial problems the company finds itself in today is mainly due to a combination of the challenge of rapid growth, significant design investment, new product introduction and expansion of manufacturing footprint.

‘As a result of the above, cash flow has become critical and despite an order book of some £21m and a further enquiry pipeline of some £35m, the possibility of the company continuing without a further investor is not possible and in order to protect the company whilst further investment is sought, the directors have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.’

The company is still trading and fulfilling orders.

A full review of its business is being conducted.