InfraStrata, the UK quoted company focused on strategic infrastructure projects, has signed heads of terms to purchase the principal assets of Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Limited and Harland and Wolff Group Plc for £6 million.
The assets comprise of a multi-purpose fabrication facility, quaysides and docking facilities at Belfast, Northern Ireland.
As well as being ideally suited for the energy infrastructure industry in which InfraStrata has interests, the yard undertakes Irish Sea ferry drydockings and has refurbished cruise ships.
InfraStrata also said that 100% of the 79 employees, who did not opt for voluntary redundancy earlier in the year, will be retained immediately following completion of the acquisition. The company plans to significantly increase the size of the workforce by several hundred over the next five years as it progresses the development of its infrastructure projects.
The acquisition of the Harland and Wolff Shipyard presents InfraStrata with an opportunity to create secondary revenue streams through contracts in defence, maritime and the energy sectors should such opportunities arise in future, the company said.
John Wood, InfraStrata CEO, said: “Harland and Wolff is a landmark asset and its reputation as one of the finest multi-purpose fabrication facilities in Europe is testament to its highly skilled team in Belfast. This acquisition is a function of deep operational synergies between the various business segments of the company with Harland and Wolff underpinning the construction economics of the Islandmagee Gas Storage project and other future projects. We are delighted to be able to retain 100% of personnel who did not opt to take voluntary redundancy earlier this year.
“While our core priority will be to deliver our flagship project in Islandmagee (gas storage project), we believe there are opportunities to welcome potential new clients due to the diverse skill set at the facility. This acquisition will clearly provide substantial advantages through vertical integration in addition to demonstrating our commitment to the Northern Irish economy, particularly in the post-Brexit era.”
Julian Smith, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said: “I am delighted by the news that InfraStrata has purchased the Harland and Wolff shipyard and retained the skills and experience of the existing workforce. I firmly believe that the shipyard has a promising future and that InfraStrata’s plans present an exciting opportunity for both Belfast and Northern Ireland’s manufacturing and energy sectors.”