Harland & Wolff administrators: Healthy level of interest in purchasing business

The famous cranes at Harland & Wolff
The famous cranes at Harland & Wolff
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Several non-binding offers have been made for closure-threatened Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff, its administrators have said.

BDO Northern Ireland said there was also the potential of further offers for the business.

The administrators said they were extending a temporary unpaid lay-off of the workforce until September 30 to explore the various rescue deal options.

“There has been a healthy level of interest with regard to purchasing the business, assets and safeguarding the existing jobs since the commencement of the administration process,” a statement from BDO said.

“This has resulted in a number of non-binding offers for the business, assets & employees on a going concern basis. There are also other interested parties who are in constructive discussions with the Administrators which may result in further offers.

“The administrators along with the unions and employees have extended the unpaid temporary lay-off position beyond the 16th August 2019 to 30th September 2019 to allow additional time to seek to complete a sale of the business.”

Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions (ICTU) will hold a rally at the shipyard today in support of workers’ fight to save jobs and skills at Harland & Wolff.

The rally at 12.30pm will proceed concurrently with Belfast City Council’s manufacturing forum meeting at which union representatives will direct questions to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith MP.

Speakers at trade union rally include Matt Wrack, the General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and Alex Rogan, GMB convenor at Ferguson Marine.

Musician Tommy Sands will play at the rally and other speakers include Gerry Murphy, ICTU President, Owen Reidy, ICTU Assistant General Secretary as well as Harland & Wolff reps Paul Beattie (GMB) and Joe Passmore (Unite).