More than 70 north jobs have been saved at engineering firm MacKellar Sub-Sea and related company Tritech Nairn after a business controlled by one of Scotland’s richest men bought them out of administration.
Their acquisition by Port Glasgow-based Ferguson Marine Engineering (Holdings) for an undisclosed sum secures the future of two important engineering businesses in Grantown and Kinloss.
Both are continuing to trade as normal and all 73 staff have transferred to the new owner, which is a subsidiary of mid-market private-equity investor Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC) – part of entrepreneur Jim McColl’s business empire.
Mr McColl, founder, chairman and chief executive at CBC, was ranked seventh wealthiest person in Scotland on the latest Sunday Times “rich list”, with a fortune of £1.06billion.
He was behind last year’s rescue of Ferguson Shipbuilders – now Ferguson Marine Engineering – from administration.
MacKellar and Tritech Nairn employed 97 people when they collapsed on February 16.
Most worked at MacKellar’s Grantown fabrication and assembly facility, with 11 at the grit-blasting and painting operation at premises on the former RAF base in Kinloss.
A total of 19 workers, 15 at Grantown and four at Kinloss, lost their jobs as restructuring and insolvency specialist FRP Advisory pursued a sale.
Announcing a deal yesterday, joint administrator Tom MacLennan said: “We are very pleased to have concluded the going-concern sale of both businesses to Clyde Blowers Capital.
“This is great news for the workforce, customers and the economy of the Highlands.”
Mr McColl said: “We have a strategic vision to transform Ferguson into a leading marine engineering business and key pillars of this strategy are to enhance our service offering and increase our presence in attractive end markets.
“Ferguson’s acquisition of MacKellar Sub-Sea, which has a strong track record in the niche subsea oil and gas market, will help to achieve these objectives.
“We look forward to working with the existing management team to integrate and grow the business and are also delighted to welcome MacKellar’s loyal workforce to the group after a period of uncertainty.”