InfraStrata pays £500,000 towards Harland and Wolff asset purchase

London-listed group due to pay administrators further £3.3 million on Thursday

InfraStrata, which signed a deal to acquire the assets of Harland and Wolff earlier this month, has confirmed that it has paid its first £500,000 to the administrators of the shipyard in the form of a cash deposit as part of the purchase agreement.

InfraStrata is now scheduled to pay Harland and Wolff’s administrators, BDO NI, a further £3.3 million (€3.8 million) on October 31st under the terms of the purchase deal.

The London AIM-listed group, which develops global energy infrastructure projects, agreed on October 1st to pay £6 million for the assets of Harland and Wolff.

InfraStrata said this represented a “substantial discount” on the valuation of Harland and Wolff’s assets which, including the giant yellow gantry cranes, were estimated to be worth about £11 million.


Long-term debt facility

When InfraStrata announced details of the assets purchase earlier this month it outlined that it was “in advanced negotiations with a number of lenders to provide a long-term debt facility to provide the balance of the £5.5 million consideration”.

A spokeswoman for InfraStrata said: “Discussions with lenders are ongoing. However, because of the sensitivity of these discussions, we cannot give any further details at this time.”

Following the £3.3 million payment this month InfraStrata is then scheduled to pay £2.2 million by April 20th, 2020, which would complete its purchase agreement with Harland and Wolff’s administrators.

According to the group, one of the key reasons behind its purchase of the Harland and Wolff assets is because one of its subsidiaries, Islandmagee Energy Limited, is planning to develop a new £400 million natural gas storage facility in Permian salt beds almost a mile beneath Larne Lough in Northern Ireland.

Planning approval has already been granted for the storage facility in Co Antrim but in order for InfraStrata’s subsidiary to proceed with the project it must also receive a marine construction licence from Northern Ireland’s department of agriculture, environment and rural affairs.

No final marine licence has yet been issued by the department and it has been urged by campaigners hostile to the project to conduct its own study on the impact the gas storage facility could have on the environment and marine life.

InfraStrata believes its acquisition of the Harland and Wolff assets will reduce both the gas storage facility’s overall project costs and construction timelines.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business