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50 workers rehired at Oyster Yachts as rescued firm restarts production

PUBLISHED: 12:38 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:41 15 May 2018

An Oyster Yacht in action. Picture: Mike Jones / Waterline Media

An Oyster Yacht in action. Picture: Mike Jones / Waterline Media

Mike Jones / Waterline Media

A boat builder has restarted production at its Norfolk yard three months after it went into administration, with 50 workers returning to their jobs.

Oyster Yachts has begun work at its Wroxham boatyard this week for the first time since the company was saved by new owner Richard Hadida, an entrepreneur who made his money in the gaming industry.

A team of former employees has been hired to build a 67ft sailing yacht, the first of two current Oyster contracts. There are hopes of several more orders being agreed in the coming weeks as the company seeks to complete projects which had been on pause since the administration.

The firm has also said it is committed to saving as many of the 180 jobs which were based at the Broads site as possible and will aim to grow the team as orders are secured.

Mr Hadida, Oyster chief executive, said: “It brings me real pleasure to announce that the production of Oyster yachts has recommenced in Wroxham.

“While we are moving into a new chapter for the business, we always knew that staying true to the company’s roots was vital.

“I am incredibly proud that we have been able to hire previous employees of the business, as it is their expertise and craftsmanship which will ensure we maintain the mark of quality Oyster yachts are known for.

“As both chief executive and a member of the Oyster family, I am delighted that we can now begin to fulfil existing client orders which were interrupted by the administration process, as well as look to the future with genuine confidence as we accept new contracts and return to full-scale production.”

Mr Hadida founded Evolution Gaming and is a self-professed fan of Oyster Yachts.

He completed a deal for the beleaguered firm in March after administrators had been forced to make all employees redundant.

Problems at Oyster first came to light in February, when staff were sent home and told the company had “run out of cash”.

The problems stemmed back to the costs attached to the sinking of the Oyster yacht Polina Star III in 2015.

Shortly before the firm went under, it had claimed it had a “record” order book of £80m.

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