Contractual dispute threatens SLP's future

SLP Holdings, the parent company of UK offshore fabricator SLP Engineering, has entered administration.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- SLP Holdings, the parent company of UK offshore fabricator SLP Engineering, has entered administration. SLP Engineering employs 876 at its sites in Lowestoft, Tyneside, Blackpool, and New Malden.

According to a statement, the group had been in a protracted contractual dispute with a client relating to one of its previous construction projects, leaving SLP financially constrained. The board started arbitration proceedings and pursued negotiations, but despite attempts at a settlement, the dispute remains unresolved. With no clear prospect of resolution in sight, the board decided to call in administrators.

Stephen Oldfield, joint administrator and Advisory partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in East Anglia, said the SLP directors had explored various options for the business, but had been unable to find a solution. "However,” he added, “extensive discussions with one of SLP's current major customers have concluded with agreement to fund continued work on that contract through to completion in spring 2010. This agreement provides a significant proportion of SLP's workforce with continuing paid work and subcontractors and suppliers to that contract have and will similarly continue to be paid."

In the immediate term, the administrators will hold discussions with the group’s remaining customers, seeking agreement to maintain delivery of its existing contracts. Thereafter, the administrators will look to secure the business’ longer-term future, including via dialogue with potential buyers.

12/03/2009

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