By Lucy Ashton
The troubled Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow has been warned it may be forced to stop trading after missing a deadline for filing accounts.
It is building two CalMac ferries – but their cost is now well over double the original contract price, and delivery is more than five years late.
Companies House required the Scottish government-owned firm to submit its annual accounts by the end of December.
Ferguson said it expected the accounts to be submitted by the end of March.
Companies House issued a public notice warning that it could strike off the firm if it fails to file them.
Ferguson’s chief executive David Tydeman said that auditors Grant Thornton were handling what he called “outstanding issues” with the Scottish government and the public spending watchdog Audit Scotland.
He said the reasons for the delay were “beyond the directors’ control”.
The accounts require the approval of MSPs before being submitted to Companies House.
It is expected Ferguson will have to pledge to cover its losses over the delayed and over-budget construction of the two CalMac ferries before auditors sign off the company as financially secure and a going concern.
Mr Tydeman said: “We have been assured that Ferguson Marine will not be removed from the register provided we meet the undertakings we have given on filing by the end of March.”
He added: “The directors and management team remain fully committed to delivering the two hulls currently under construction and winning new contracts to secure the yard’s future.
“This short term issue does not affect our ability to keep trading and continue the work in progress.”
The shipyard collapsed into administration and was nationalised in 2019 amid an acrimonious dispute between former owner Jim McColl, PICTURED LEFT, and the government’s ferries agency CMAL, who both blamed each other for the problems.
In November, the Scottish government chose former Prestwick Airport chairman Andrew Millar to take over as chairman of Ferguson Marine.
He is responsible for delivering “ministerial priorities”.
Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Graham Simpson MSP urged the Scottish government to “tell us why the company that they own has got itself in such a mess that it risks being struck off”.