Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

CAMMELL LAIRD ASSETS SALE STARTED

Within the next couple of months people in Varna will be concerned with the future of the biggest enterprise in the region. The reason is the appeal against the rehabilitation plan made by nine Varna Shipyard creditors at third instance - at the Supreme Court of Appeal. According to Dimitar Smilenov, the company curator, the magistrates will definitely not consider the claim before the parliamentary elections. The result is an expected one, and according to the experts the Liverpool based company will finally take the shipyard's docks. Yet, the public in Varna is seriously concerned.
This time their concern is caused by the news, coming from the British Isles. There PriceWaterhose Coopers, acting as curator of the insolvent Cammell Laird, has started to sell its assets.
The signing of the contract for the Gibraltar based plant will be signed within soonest. According to the Financial Times, it will be acquired by a local type of a MEBO unit. The positions of the parties negotiating the sale of Cammell Laird's 49% stake at the shipyard in Portland, Oregon, got closer. Cascade General, the shipyard majority owner, will acquire the shares of the British. For the time being PriceWaterhouse Coopers does not give any information on the financial parameters of both deals.
Most problematic are Cammell Laird's docks in Britain. It was confirmed that they will close within a couple of months in case they do not get any new contracts. The Teeside plant has already closed, while the Birkenhead workers will be released within a month.
The logical question that followsis whether Cammell Laird, or what would have remained of the company after the Supreme Court of Appeal announces its decision, will be able to utilise the Varna Shipyard. Or whether the British company will still exist. In case the answer to this is negative, the future of Bulgarian biggest shipyard seems rather obscure.
Should the supreme magistrates give green light to the rehabilitation plan, we might witness an absurd situation of a bankrupt company buying another one, also insolvent. Because the magistrates cannot be inluenced by Cammell Laird's financial status, but only by the legitimacy of Varna Shipyard's rehabilitation plan, approved by the creditor's General Assembly. In case the deal comes into force, and Cammell Laird's status does not improve, the only result might be that PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and not Dimitar Smilenov will be the curator of our plant.

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