50 workers rehired at Oyster Yachts as rescued firm restarts production

By | May 16, 2018

Oyster Yachts has been saved by entrepreneur Richard Hadida. Picture: Mike Jones / Waterline Media

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

Oyster Yachts has begun work at its Wroxham boatyard this week for the first time after 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 with hopes of several more orders being agreed in the coming weeks as the company seeks to complete orders 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, says: “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.

Oyster ran into trouble in February with staff sent home as 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 it went under the firm had claimed it had a “record” order book of £80m.

The Oyster Yachts premises at Hoveton. Picture: Denise Bradley