Following last year’s acquisition of Harland & Wolff (H&W), UK infrastructure investment company InfraStrata has acquired all the assets of Appledore Shipyard in Bideford, North Devon.
Adding the Appledore yard, which will be renamed H&W (Appledore), gives H&W a position at two distinct ends of the shipyard market. While H&M Belfast caters to the upper end of the market with dock lengths of over 300m, H&W Appledore caters to the lower end of the market at less than 119m.
“The company considers the mid-sector space of shipyards having dock lengths between 120 metres and 300 metres to be busy, crowded and highly competitive. The Company believes that entering the market of mid-sized shipyards would not lead to any significant competitive advantage, vis-à-vis other established players and this will not be an area of focus for the company at this time. H&W (Appledore), on the other hand, will focus on the smaller end of the market, with a dock length of 119 metres. There are very few shipyards in the UK that can offer this type of undercover building dock and repair facility and, given the number of sovereign vessels required in this category over the next ten years, the company believes that this is a market segment that cannot be ignored,” InfraStrata said in a release.
The Appledore yard will be chasing contracts across the ferry, defence, commercial fabrication, oil, gas and renewables markets. It is also well placed to take on any spill-over of work from H&W (Belfast).
InfraStrata is paying £7m ($9.2m) for the yard, made up of £5.6m in cash and £1.4m in shares.
John Wood, chief executive officer of InfraStrata, commented: “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.”