South West Wales

Sixty-six jobs go at Pembroke boat firm Mustang Marine

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Media captionAdministrators say they are hopeful of securing a buyer and new owner soon

A boatbuilding and repair firm in Pembrokeshire has gone into administration with 66 job losses.

Mustang Marine, based at Pembroke Dock, says it is is continuing to trade and 48 staff will remain.

Last week bosses confirmed they had managed to stave off closure before Christmas after significant losses on key contracts that had overrun.

Administrators say they are hopeful of "securing a buyer and new owner as quickly as possible".

The firm opened a £1.5m construction hall last November as part of an expansion programme, creating new jobs.

The expansion was hailed as the first major investment in Milford Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone, when Economy Minister Edwina Hart opened the hall.

'Carry on trading'

It has had millions of pounds in funding from the Port of Milford Haven and a cash injection from the Welsh government.

The 66 staff who are being made redundant were told last Friday not to turn up for work today.

Lead administrator Alistair Wardell, head of Grant Thornton's Wales office, said Mustang Marine is currently working on a number of projects, including building a £3m catamaran to service offshore wind farms.

"We have been able to ensure that almost half the skilled workforce will continue at work at Mustang Marine in at least the short term," he said.

"We have received a lot of interest in all parts of the business already and negotiations with those interested parties will continue over the next couple of weeks with the aim of securing a buyer and new owner as quickly as possible.

"In the meantime, a number of parts of the existing business will carry on trading and working on some very exciting projects, which are already under way, thanks to some highly supportive customers.

"We are hopeful of being able to achieve a sale of the Mustang Marine in the very near future."

Founded in Fishguard in 1984, the firm has been based at Pembroke Dock since 1997, where it has been building and supplying boats for commercial use, including pilot boats, wind farm support vessels, workboats and passenger vessels to customers across the world.

Funding package

Mustang Marine interim managing director Stewart Graves said: "The business is going to carry on trading in administration… because we have considerable interest from people who are looking to buy all or part of the business.

"So we are going to keep trading and hope that we are going to be able to find a buyer who is going to be able to secure jobs for the people we have kept on."

Last week, he told BBC Wales the company had a significant cash shortage in December which left it facing closure.

He said with assistance from a new management team and external advisers, a long-term funding package was secured in February from the Welsh government, Port of Milford Haven, and an external third party.

However, after completing its review of the business, the external party withdrew its offer, and "without that party the long-term funding package could not proceed".

Mustang Marine's expansion was said to be the most ambitious part of a phased development in the historic former Royal Dockyard.

In its 200-year history, the dockyard has launched five royal yachts and more than 200 Royal Navy vessels.

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