Scottish offshore fabrication company saved by JV Driver
BiFab faced a ‘critical cash position’ before the purchase, which was facilitated by the Scottish government to save the company’s fabrication yards.
In a deal brokered by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Scotland-based BiFab has been bought by JV Driver through its subsidiary DF Barnes.
BiFab supplies fabrication for offshore oil and gas facilities and renewable energy projects. The Scottish government will take a minority shareholding of the company, which employs over 1000 people, as part of the agreement.
“We have been in negotiations with DF Barnes for a number of months and today is a significant step forward in our efforts to restore BiFab to its place at the centre of Scotland’s marine energy industry,” said the First Minister.
“DF Barnes acquisition is a key milestone for all three BiFab yards and as a sign of our commitment to the company’s future, the Scottish Government will maintain a close interest by taking a minority shareholding in the company.
“There is a lot of hard work ahead, and there is no magic bullet for these yards but the commitment of DF Barnes to securing a new future for the business at Burntisland, Methil and Arnish is a hugely positive step and I believe that gives BiFab the best chance of winning future contracts and securing new work.”
The company had been suffering from a ‘critical cash position’ as its order book dried up. It announced its intention to appoint administrators late 2017.
The acquisition by DF Barnes is meant to allow BiFab to bid for contracts with the expertise and the financial security of the Canadian company behind it.
JV Driver is one of Canada’s largest independently owned industrial construction companies. Its subsidiary DF Barnes has been a consistent employer in the oil and gas, fabrication and marine industries for over 80 years.
Sean Power, vice president in business development DF Barnes, said in a statement: “We are looking forward to a long and successful partnership with BiFab. We will work closely with management and the union representatives to ensure continuity for the people who work for the company. We are sensitive to the commitment that employees have made to BiFab and will work hard to meet their expectations.”