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25 Aug 2020 | 09:03

Infrastrata buys Appledore Shipyard in Devon for £7m

(Sharecast News) - Infrastrata said on Tuesday that it has bought the Appledore Shipyard in Bideford, North Devon, for £7m. The AIM-listed company said the acquisition provides it with a "highly strategic asset with a rich shipbuilding heritage" and a significant opportunity to build a prominent presence in mainland UK.

Infrastrata also pointed to "significant" synergies between Appledore and is flagship business, Harland & Wolff.

The acquisition includes 29 acres of freehold land, 322,975 square feet of undercover fabrication halls, 119 metres length of undercover dry-dock and 500 metres quayside at the Newquay yard for ship repairs.

Chief executive officer John Wood said: "I am delighted that the company has acquired Appledore shipyard and this is another important milestone in the growth of the company. We have been fortunate that these assets have become available. The acquisition at this point in time is opportunistic for the company and one that should not be missed.

"It not only gives us a strategic foothold in mainland UK but also makes the overall business highly competitive in the smaller and higher ends of the shipyard market, respectively. I look forward to growing this business along with our flagship Harland & Wolff (Belfast), with the primary aim of attaining a cash break-even status as soon as possible."

The historic Appledore Shipyard was closed by engineering and defence company Babcock in 2019 after orders dried up.

Healthcliffe Pettifer, regional officer at Unite, who was previously the union's convenor at the yard, said: "This is a great news for Appledore and the local community which never gave up in campaigning for the yard's re-opening.

"Unite has consistently argued that the Appledore shipyard was viable and its closure was due to a lack of political will and a failure of economic planning.

"It is now essential that work resumes at the shipyard at the earliest possible opportunity. This will give a huge boost to Appledore and the local community.

"Unite will now be seeking urgent meetings with the yard's new owners to fully understand their plans for its future and to encourage the re-engagement of the dedicated workers who previously worked there."

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