Aquamarine Power calls in administrators

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Wave energy company Aquamarine Power today (Wednesday) called in administrators to manage the business and to seek a sale or investment via the administration process.

BDO LLP business restructuring partners James Stephen and Graham Newton have been appointed Joint Administrators and will now take over the running of the Edinburgh firm.

This follows a decision by the Aquamarine Power board yesterday (Tuesday). The Joint Administrators will continue to trade the company with a view to effecting a sale as a going concern. All 14 employees are being retained.

The pioneering wave energy developers have been testing their full-scale Oyster wave energy machines at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

James Stephen, BDO business restructuring partner said:

“Whilst the company has seen many successes over the last few months, including securing a €800,000 grant from the EU as well as a £2 million contract from Wave Energy Scotland, the economic climate has significantly affected the business. The lack of private sector backing to supplement public funding support placed the company under cash flow strain and the directors concluded the best prospect of concluding a transaction was via the protection of administration. The company holds liquid funds which will allow this strategy to be pursued.

“We are continuing discussions with interested parties who were in discussions with the company prior to our appointment and are working closely with the Aquamarine Power board to engage with other potential purchasers. We welcome new enquiries.”

Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Paddy O’Kane said:

“The team at Aquamarine Power has worked tirelessly over many years to design, build and demonstrate Oyster wave energy machines. During this time we have achieved a number of major milestones that have put our technology at the forefront of the industry. Oyster is the only wave technology to have proven it can operate in all ocean conditions and we have superb understanding of how well Oyster captures energy at sea. However, today’s news underscores the financial as well as technical challenge in bringing an entirely new form of energy generation to commercialisation. New private sector funding is required now to deliver our technology roadmap.”