Russian investors acquire assets of luxury motor yacht builder Fairline

Fairline motor yachts at the test facility in Ipswich.

Fairline motor yachts at the test facility in Ipswich.

The future of luxury motor yacht builder Fairline has been secured with a deal to acquire the assets of the business out of administration.

A new company, Fairline Acquisitions, funded by two UK-based Russian investors with a background in the marine sector, is to take on the failed company’s order book and initially plans to recruit around 100 of the 380 staff who were made redundant before Christmas.

Fairline Boats, which had factories at Corby and Oundle in Northamptonshire and a testing facility in Ipswich, went into administrators at the start of December, with most of its employees being made redundant a week later.

Fairline Acquisitions, which will trade as Fairline Yachts, will be headed by Russell Currie, who has been involved in the motor yacth industry for nearly 30 years and his been a Fairline daler since 1998, having achieved sales of more than £90million as chief executive of Fairline North Mallorca.

Mr Currie said: “I am delighted to have been appointed managing director for Fairline Yachts. With the resources of the investors, coupled with the expert knowledge of the management team and our energy and passion for the brand, the structure is in place for a great future for Fairline Yachts.

“We will focus on creating high quality luxury motor yachts that boaters will want to own and dealers will want to sell.

“As a sign of our commitment to Fairline Yachts’ loyal customer base and dealer network, we will be completing all orders for boats received by Fairline Boats, including those that have not yet started being built as well as those that are already in production.”

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Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory, one of joint administrators of Fairliine Boats, said: “The sale to Fairline Acquisitions offers the best possible outcome. We would like to thank a supportive customer and supplier base who, together with a loyal workforce, helped see the business through the administration process.”

Prior to his role at Fairline North Mallorca, Mr Currie was engineering director at Sunseeker International’s factory team based at Mallorca, and was chief test engineer at Princess Yachts International before that.

The investors behind Fairline Yachts, which will operate from the factory in Oundle, are both said to be keen yacht owners and, besides the marine sector, also have interests in high-tech products, IT and media. The value of the deal with the administrators has not been disclosed.

Fairline Boats was acquired in October last year by Somerset-based luxury brands investor Wessex Bristol from private equity fund Better Capital.

The new owners initially laid off around 100 staff and then warned of redundancies as it attempted to negotiate a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors. No deal was agreed, with administrators being appointed on December 2.

The company employed 446 staff across its operations at the time in went into administration, the vast majority being divided between the Oundle and Corby factory sites with a handful of roles based at the Wet Dock in Ipswich for the testing of completed vessels.