Hereford & Worcester

Sealine brand sold off as factory set to close

Sealine factory in Kidderminster
Image caption Sealine has been trading from Kidderminster since 1972

A luxury boat builder in Worcestershire is to close.

Sealine, which has been in Kidderminster for 41 years and employed about 300 people, went into administration at the end of April.

Administrators said the brand name had been bought and assets would be sold off before the site in Kidderminster closes and is put up for sale.

Sealine was one of Europe's biggest makers of boats. The town's MP Mark Garnier said it was the end of an era.

The firm was bought by the Brunswick Corporation in 2001 and was sold to another US firm, Oxford Investment Group, in 2011.

'Landlocked Worcestershire'

In a statement, the administrators said: "The joint administrators of Sealine International Ltd have sold the Sealine brand to a newly founded subsidiary of Aurelius AG, a pan-European investment holding.

"The acquirer plans to produce the 380 and 450 series models through contract manufacturers and those assets will be shipped overseas.

"The remaining unfinished boats in that series have been acquired by another entity whose intention is also to ship those assets overseas.

"The joint administrators are now in the process of conducting a disposal of the remaining plant, machinery and equipment and stock.

"The remaining 34 employees will be assisting the joint administrators with the disposal processes and removal of assets from the freehold premises in Kidderminster which will be marketed for sale in due course."

Mr Garnier said the closure was "sad for the town".

"I guess it's good news if you're a fan of Sealine boats because a couple of the models there, they are going to carry on building them under licence overseas.

"But, I think it's very sad for the town... you came to landlocked Worcestershire and there we are are - or were - building ocean-going yachts."

He said he hoped a new company would move into the premises soon.

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