New Fairline boss vows bright future is on the horizon

Russell Currie, managing director of Fairline Yachts, at the company's factory in Oundle.

Russell Currie, managing director of Fairline Yachts, at the company's factory in Oundle.

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Fairline Yachts boss Russell Currie is adamant that the new buoyant company has a bright future on the horizon.

But the 51-year-old managing director was not able to reassure the 450-strong workforce of the former Fairline Boats that they would all find employment with the new manufacturer.

Southampton boat show 2015: Launch of the Fairline Targa 53GT EMN-150913-085438009

Southampton boat show 2015: Launch of the Fairline Targa 53GT EMN-150913-085438009

He said: “The new company is taking on 100 staff initially.

“There have been queues of Fairline Boats’ former staff outside our yard at Oundle.

“Our security man is handing out application forms but we will be setting up jobs@fairline.com for anyone who would like to apply.

He added: “We will be going through all the correct HR procedures in recruiting staff and we have employed a company to do that properly.”

It is a very exciting time to be building the brand back up.

Russell Currie

The creation of Fairline Yachts was announced on Monday just a few weeks after its predecessor, the 53-year-old Fairline Boats, had been put into administration with the loss of 380 jobs.

But Mr Currie, a veteran of the marine industry with 30 years’ experience, said that Fairline Yachts will be a different vessel.

He said: “We will have a pared down production line and will concentrate on our facilities at Oundle’s Nene Valley Industrial Estate.

“We will be running an efficient, lean manufacturing company making great luxury boats of fabulous quality.

“The key to our success will be the ability to adapt to changes in the worldwide market.

“The flexibility of size of the company means we will be able to adapt to market demands around the world.”

Production levels for Fairline Yachts will fall short of those of Fairline Boats about a decade ago.

Up to 2008, Fairline Boats was turning out about 300 of its luxury 38 feet to 80 feet boats a year.

In its first year Fairline Yachts will build 30 boats, that will rise to 50 in year two and 100 in the third year.

But while there may be fewer boats, Mr Currie is confident of success for the new business.

He said: “It is a very exciting time to be building the brand back up. The company has a great future.

“Orders were pouring in from our dealers around the world moments after we announced the purchase.”

The new mood is a complete transformation from the bleak days before Christmas last year when Fairline Boats went into administration.

The firm’s collapse came just weeks after the company, which had been valued at £13.5 million, was bought by equity firm Wessex Bristol from equity firm Better Capital.

Mr Currie said: “The former owners are experts in their own field and very successful.

“Our new management team has decades of experience within the marine industry.

“There are plenty of resources at our disposal.

“The new owners have bought the company in its entirety and have promised that all boats that were in the process of being built will be completed.

“That is a great commitment and sends a positive message to our customers, suppliers and dealers.”

The Fairline business sailed out of administration after its assets, such as freehold sites, toolings, moulds, rights, contacts, IT and its name, were bought by Fairline Acquisitions for a reported £4.5 million.

Fairline Acquisitions was created on January 6 this year by two UK-based Russian investors, Alexander Volov and Igor Glyanenko, who are listed as its shareholders.

Both are said to be highly experienced in managing and developing marine businesses and in the production of high technology products, IT and media services.

Both are also passionate boat owners.

Mr Currie has been a Fairline dealer since 1998 and is chief executive of Fairline North Mallorca, where he has achieved over £90million of sales.

Prior to joining Fairline, Mr Currie had also been engineering director at Sunseeker International’s factory team based in Mallorca, and was chief test engineer at Princess Yachts International.

His appointment ensures continuity of senior management at Fairline Yachts and safeguards close customer and boat dealer relations under the new ownership structure.

Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said: “The sale to Fairline Acquisitions offers the best possible outcome. We would like to thank a supportive customer and supplier base who, together with a loyal workforce, helped see the business through the administration process.”