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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Cammell Laird jobs axed
Cammell Laird shipyard
Hundreds of jobs go at Cammell Laird yards
Receivers for the troubled shipbuilder Cammell Laird plan to mothball its yard at Teesside in north-east England and cut more than 300 jobs in the UK.

Accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who were called in as receivers last week, said there would be 110 job losses at Teesside, 150 cuts at Birkenhead, north-west England, and around 60 redundancies at Tyneside, north-east England.

At a meeting with unions at Birkenhead, PwC said after a review of the level of work in the yards a reduction in employee numbers was "inevitable".

"Work at the Teesside yard is now virtually complete and no new work is available in the short term," PwC said in statement.

"We are encouraged by initial interest shown by prospective purchasers and remain cautiously optimistic of achieving a going concern sale," added PwC spokesman Ian Stokoe.

On Wednesday, a newspaper reported that PwC receiver Edward Klempka was talking to the company's directors about a possible management buy-out.

"We've had initial interest from a management buy-out team, and two other parties have made approaches for various bits of the group," he is reported as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

Stormy waters

Cammell Laird is a small UK-based ship repairer and builder that generated revenues of 129m ($185m) in the year to 31 October 2000.

The company has been under severe financial pressure for several months after losing a 51m contract to convert a Costa Classica cruise ship.

Another contract worth $500m with fledgling cruise company Luxus added to Cammell's problems because it could not secure the funding guarantees for the job.

After a recent strategic review of the business, Cammell Laird announced that it lacked the financial resources to continue operations.

As a result Cammell Laird's bankers appointed receivers last Wednesday to sell all or part of the business to recover their loans.

Cammell Laird currently employs about 3,500 people worldwide.

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