Southerly returns amid controversy

Tue Jul 9 2013, 15:24 PM

The UK boatbuilder has re-emerged under a different corporate structure after going into voluntary liquidation in April

The UK boatbuilder of Southerly sailing yachts, which went into voluntary liquidation in April after what it described as a “dramatic decline in orders for delivery in 2013 and early 2014”, has re-emerged under a different corporate structure, with two out of the three same directors in charge.

The move, according to a report in The London Times on Saturday, has sparked controversy after the boatbuilder, which traded as Northshore Yachts, entered liquidation owing suppliers close to £1m, says The Times, as well as £550,000 in redundancy payments.

Various creditors have questioned the business ethics behind the new venture.

The business now trades as Southerly Yachts, a limited company incorporated more than a decade ago. It is building boats on Northshore’s Itchenor, Chicester site, and the intellectual property has been retained because the brand resided in a different company from the rest of the business’s assets, writes The Sunday Times’ Alex Ralph.

Speaking to The Times, the business’s owner Lester Abbott refutes the allegations that he has acted immorally, stating that half of his 125 employees had been re-employed and that he had agreed to pay back all of his suppliers “over a long period of time”.

Southerly had not returned IBI's call for comment by the time of going to press.