Advisers help sell hovercraft

The Hoverbarge, sold by Wilson Field, with assistance from Hlw Keeble Hawson
The Hoverbarge, sold by Wilson Field, with assistance from Hlw Keeble Hawson
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Professional advisers from Sheffield have disposed of one of the oddest means of transport ever developed.

Insolvency specialist Wilson Field took on the challenge of disposing of the 45 metre long hovercraft, capable of transporting loads weighing up to 200 tonnes after Russian oil company Rosneft terminated a contract with Hampshire-based Hovertrans.

The craft – known as a “Siberian Hoverbarge” – was developed to transport sections of an oil rig across water, ice and mud at temperatures as low as -40º C and ending the contract put Hovertrans into administration.

Neil Kelly, associate at Sheffield law firm Hlw Keeble Hawson, which advised Wilson Field, said: “This was probably one of the most unusual cases we’ve worked on.

“It’s not every day that we’re involved in seeking a buyer for a bespoke hoverbarge designed to transport sections of an oil rig in sub-zero temperatures. It’s a specialist market but the combination of expertise and tenacity from all involved resulted in a positive outcome in the end.”

The barge was moored in Glasgow while a suitable buyer was sought.

Potential purchasers included companies working in the oil industry, Chinese, Norwegian and Dutch manufacturing companies and African traders.

In the end, the Hoverbarge was bought by US-based Katmandu Incorporated.

Matt Cluer, insolvency administrator at Wilson Field, added: “Our job was to identify suitable companies to buy the barge and instruct the agents to sell the vessel.

“It was an extremely niche market but working within the shipping industry has been a new area for us to explore. We worked very closely with Hlw Keeble Hawson on this project and liaised with agents on the marketing and selling of the barge.”

Insolvency experts from Sheffield are trying to save the Bradford Bulls Rugby League club from liquidation.

According to administrator Brendan Guilfoyle from the P&A Partnership there are less than 10 working days left to save the club from extinction as a result of tax debts.