Subocean Turns to PwC Following Bungled Debt Restructuring Talks

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 21, 2011 /

Some 320 jobs are at risk after debt restructuring negotiations initiated by renewable energy company Subocean failed, left with no other option but to call in consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers to find buyer for the ailing firm.

Subocean Group based in Northeast Scotland that lays power cables for offshore wind projects has been squeezed by troubles with its cash flow. The company has currently 320 employees, 120 of which are assigned onshore at its facilities in Westhill while the other 200 work as contractors offshore, but were sent home Wednesday.

Early this week, Subocean directors said they were working to refinance the company’s debts, and the only option they were mulling over was to put the business to public market. At the same time, intentions to protect the 320 jobs came after Subocean legal counsels filed a petition before the Court of Session in Edinburgh to seek financial services from administrators PwC.

Subocean revealed its plans December 2009 to expand by 2011 to countries in Europe committed to engage in renewable energy projects after investors had shelled out a total of £42 million, namely the Aberdeen office of HSBC that put in £25 million and Lloyd’s venture capital arm that gave the business £17 million in investments.

On that same year, Subocean claimed it had received orders worth £150 million from wind farm projects. But drastic spending cuts in the government have stalled several renewable energy deals, including offshore.

Last year, Subocean made business sales valued at more than £65 million.


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