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Harland & Wolff in administration after failing to find buyer

Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, went into administration on 5 August 2019. The writing had been on the wall since 26 June when its Norwegian parent Dolphin Drilling itself filed for bankruptcy.

BDO Northern Ireland Partners, Michael Jennings and Brian Murphy have been appointed as joint administrators of Harland & Wolff. Founded in 1861, the Belfast based company has in recent years specialised in wind energy and marine engineering projects. 

In a statement, BDO NI said, “After a long sales process, in which a buyer could not be found, the business has been unable to continue trading due to having insufficient funds following the recent insolvency of its ultimate parent.  The team at BDO have engaged immediately with Harland & Wolff employees and other stakeholders to take all necessary steps to ensure they are supported throughout the administration process."

While Dolphin Drilling itself has re-emerged  as a debt-free offshore drilling operator with a fleet of four rigs and two ships, Harland & Wolff, which had already been put up for sale by the Norwegian group, appears to be in more serious trouble with a workforce that had shrunk to just 130 from a historical peak of more than 35,000.

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