MP Simon Hart: 'It is hard to see how Port of Milford Haven 'can disconnect itself from its obligation to see the creditors right'

The opening of the new Mustang Marine boat building construction hall in November. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney Photography.

The opening of the new Mustang Marine boat building construction hall in November. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney Photography.

First published in News by , Reporter

AT LEAST £330,000 is owed to nearly 60 Pembrokeshire businesses by Mustang Marine which officially entered administration with the loss of 66 jobs on Monday (March 3), the Western Telegraph can reveal.

According to documents listing the Pembroke Dock-based boat building and ship repair company’s creditors, seen by the Western Telegraph, Mustang Marine owed more than £1.5m in early January.

One Pembrokeshire business was owed nearly £70,000 at that time.

Mustang Marine interim managing director Stewart Graves refused to comment on how much was owed to Pembrokeshire businesses.

Questions have now been asked over whether the Port of Milford Haven has either a moral or legal obligation to ensure Pembrokeshire creditors are paid what is owed to them.

Alec Don, chief executive of the Port, said: “Mustang Marine is 50% owned by the Port of Milford Haven and therefore is an associate company.

“We are obviously concerned about the great anxiety amongst staff and other stakeholders that this administration announcement will be causing. We have always been supportive of Mustang’s efforts to grow their business and establish themselves as a manufacturer based in west Wales in competition with other ship builders in the UK and beyond.

“As a Trust Port we remain committed, more than normal commercial considerations would allow, to working with the administrator and other stakeholders to see a viable business re-established.

“We will do all we can to attract investors who can make a success of the outstanding facilities and location we have here, and employ as many of the highly skilled staff as possible.

“The interests of creditors and employees will be best served by all parties working together to ensure a strong business emerges from this process.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said: “My primary concern is for the people whose jobs have been lost or are at risk, but in particular for the large number of Pembrokeshire-based companies who are without money as a result of this sequence of events.

“It’s hard to see how the Port can disconnect itself from its obligation to see the creditors right.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns has also raised concerns over the potential impact on the local supply chain, while Labour Parliamentary candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire Paul Miller said it was critical for both Pembrokeshire County Council and the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone Board to “re-double their efforts to support job creation around the waterway.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said: “There’s a lot of work going on now involving companies which may be interested in parts of the former Mustang business and our hope must be that as many jobs as possible are saved and for the Mustang site to be put to good use.”

See much more on this story in Wednesday's Western Telegraph.

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Comments (6)

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10:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

State Cars says...

Maybe more appropriate considering the number of contracts still on the books to offer a share option to local creditors instead of a few pence in the pound. There is no good reason to let a productive local manufacturer close due to cash flow problems.
Maybe more appropriate considering the number of contracts still on the books to offer a share option to local creditors instead of a few pence in the pound. There is no good reason to let a productive local manufacturer close due to cash flow problems. State Cars
  • Score: 6

11:14pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Cymru bach says...

For the sake of the employees and the local companies I hope that a solution can be found for this.

A very sad situation for all concerned
For the sake of the employees and the local companies I hope that a solution can be found for this. A very sad situation for all concerned Cymru bach
  • Score: 5

9:45am Wed 5 Mar 14

teifion says...

Stephen Crabb commenting?

I'm gob smacked, thought he was getting a new job next year
Stephen Crabb commenting? I'm gob smacked, thought he was getting a new job next year teifion
  • Score: 0

9:46am Wed 5 Mar 14

teifion says...

teifion wrote:
Stephen Crabb commenting?

I'm gob smacked, thought he was getting a new job next year
and Simon too :)
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: Stephen Crabb commenting? I'm gob smacked, thought he was getting a new job next year[/p][/quote]and Simon too :) teifion
  • Score: 1

11:10am Wed 5 Mar 14

js9325 says...

Isn't there a convention that MPs don't comment on situations like this unless they are in their constituency? Mustang is in Pembroke Dock, which is South Pembs, so Simon Hart's constituency not Stephen Crabb's. Very sad situation for all concerned, I hope it can be resolved, jobs saved and creditors paid.
Isn't there a convention that MPs don't comment on situations like this unless they are in their constituency? Mustang is in Pembroke Dock, which is South Pembs, so Simon Hart's constituency not Stephen Crabb's. Very sad situation for all concerned, I hope it can be resolved, jobs saved and creditors paid. js9325
  • Score: -1

2:36pm Wed 5 Mar 14

JonnyBlueJeans says...

The comment " mustang is 50% owned by Port of Milford Haven" shouldn't have any bearing on it for the creditors. If the company has entered administration then the creditors will be dealt with by them and any payout by the port of Milford haven to local business which may be owed money would be seen as paying preferred creditors which is illegal. The Port of Milford Haven are surely just share holders in a failing company and will see it's own investment drop as well. The case for a moral duty to pay local business, whilst admirable is misguided and could offer false hope to those companies owed money. This is a sad case of affairs but one which happens time and time again and is just something that life throws at us which has to be handled then filed and moved on from. The administrators work is to establish the best way forward for the company and those it owes money to and they will not allow feelings of moral obligation to cloud that in any way.
The comment " mustang is 50% owned by Port of Milford Haven" shouldn't have any bearing on it for the creditors. If the company has entered administration then the creditors will be dealt with by them and any payout by the port of Milford haven to local business which may be owed money would be seen as paying preferred creditors which is illegal. The Port of Milford Haven are surely just share holders in a failing company and will see it's own investment drop as well. The case for a moral duty to pay local business, whilst admirable is misguided and could offer false hope to those companies owed money. This is a sad case of affairs but one which happens time and time again and is just something that life throws at us which has to be handled then filed and moved on from. The administrators work is to establish the best way forward for the company and those it owes money to and they will not allow feelings of moral obligation to cloud that in any way. JonnyBlueJeans
  • Score: 5

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