Northern Ireland

Harland and Wolff buyer misses payment date

Man signing 'Saved our Shipyard' poster at Harland and Wolff Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Infrastrata bought Harland and Wolff at the start of October

The company that agreed to buy the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast has missed an initial date to pay part of the purchase price.

Infrastrata paid a £500,000 deposit at the start of October.

It had a "soft" deadline to pay a further £3.3m on Thursday but with a further "hard" deadline of 31 December.

The firm said it was "working towards completing the acquisition as soon as possible, and earlier than the backstop date of 31 December".

John Wood, Infrastrata's chief executive, said: "We are working diligently, together with the various stakeholders, to complete the deal, and we are pleased to see due diligence and negotiations at a very advanced stage.

"We remain committed to signing an Asset Purchase Agreement as soon as is practically possible and look forward to providing further updates when the remaining items are finalised."

At the time the deal was announced, Infrastrata said it intended to start using the Harland and Wolff assets in November under a licensing arrangement with the administrators should the deal not complete by 31 October.

However, it now says that will not be the case.

"In order to ensure that this process is completed as quickly as possible, the company will not start utilising the assets under a licensing arrangement until the proposed acquisition is completed."

Infrastrata is due to make a further and final payment of £2.2m by 30 April 2020.

Harland and Wolff went into administration in August, putting about 120 jobs at risk, after the collapse of its Norwegian parent company.

London-based energy firm Infrastrata bought it for £6m at the start of October, saving the shipyard from closure.

Infrastrata will initially focus on metal fabrication for its energy projects.

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