Cosalt talks over sale of businesses

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TROUBLED offshore services group Cosalt is in talks to sell its two key operating businesses as it struggles with a heavy debt burden and pension liabilities.

Grimsby-based Cosalt said talks with “third parties” over its offshore and workwear businesses are ongoing, but added this is unlikely to recoup any value for shareholders.

The company is also continuing talks with its lenders – which include chairman and Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross – and its pension trustees.

“There can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached, either with creditors regarding a solution to the group’s financial position or with potential acquirers of the operating businesses,” it said.

“The directors remain focused on reaching a solution which will ensure the long-term future of both operating businesses; safeguarding jobs and ensuring continuity of service to customers and suppliers. The directors also acknowledge the important role of these two businesses within their local communities.”

Offshore, the bulk of its business, is based in Aberdeen, while workwear is in Barnsley.

The group has been dragged down by a glut of problems including an alleged fraud, heavy debts, pension liabilities and insufficient working capital.

Cosalt said: “It is unlikely there would be any value attributable to shareholders due to the level of the group’s net indebtedness and pension scheme liabilities.”