Austal rules out buying Incat

AUSTAL Limited has all but ruled out taking over troubled Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat, which has been placed into receivership by its banker National Australia Bank.

Austal Ships’ managing director Bob McKinnon told Business News the company did not see any need to purchase Incat’s assets.

“At this point in time we don’t have any plans in that respect,” Mr McKinnon said.

“We don’t need any more facilities.

“We are just continuing to concentrate on the business at hand. Buying a troubled yard would just distract us from that,” he said.

“We will continue to do what we are doing and not get distracted by other people’s problems.”

Austal Ships last month acquired a 3.6-hectare property adjoining its Henderson facilities from the State Government for $2.69 million and also secured a two-year option on another 3.5-hectare lot.

Mr McKinnon said the way Incat had operated strategically had been quite different than Austal’s approach and it appeared now to be paying dividends.

Mr McKinnon said it was unlikely that Incat’s troubles would negatively impact on Austal or drag down its image overseas because both Incat and Austal had always marketed their businesses separately to different buyers.

Incat is believed to be carrying liabilities of $80 million, money it owes to National Australia bank and has close to $400 million worth of vessels under construction.

Austal is currently trading at close to its 12 month peak closing this week at a price of around $1.50.


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Austal (ASB)

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