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New owners of Peterborough’s Fairline Boats are urged to talk to union

By Paul Grinnell

Luxury boat builder Fairline at its stand at the London Boat Show 2014
Luxury boat builder Fairline at its stand at the London Boat Show 2014

Union leaders have called for immediate talks with the new owners of Fairline Boats.

Officials of Unite say they are keen to meet with the owners of the luxuy boat builder, which was bought yesterday by two mystery Russian investors.

The two set up Fairline Acquisitions and are thought to have paid £4.5 million for Fairline Boats, of Oundle, which has now been renamed Fairline Yachts.

Fairline Boats went into administration late last year and about 380 staff were made redundant.

The new Fairline Yachts will immediately create 100 jobs and has outlined a plan to increase the number of boats built ober the next three years.

The union says it has given a cautious welcome to the announcement that two long-term, UK- based Russian investors have taken over the company but it wants to hold talks as to employment levels and business plan.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “We are currently digesting the implications of what this means for employment and we would like to discuss the business model that the new management team envisages.

“We will be seeking urgent talks with the company about how many of the 374 workers made redundant when the company went into administration in early December will be re-employed.

He added: “The company says that it will be continuing to operate from the Oundle premises, but says nothing about the Corby factory or the testing facility at Ipswich in Suffolk.

“We believe that Fairline Boats is a high-premium brand with a dedicated, long-serving workforce with a viable future.

“We urge the management to work with Unite to achieve this goal.”

The administrators FRP Advisory kept on 72 employees to service existing contracts. Fairline Boats has been operating in Northamptonshire since 1963.

Unite was highly critical of the previous owner, private equity firm Wessex Bristol which acquired the company from private equity fund Better Capital last autumn.

Unite had called for an inquiry by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) into the workings of private equity firms, after the news that the firm had gone into administration.


Luxury yacht builder Fairline Boats is buoyant again after being snapped up by new owners


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