CPL rescues majority of jobs

Buyer moves in for collapsed Fergusson

Longannet power station

Solid fuels group Fergusson today called in administrators who immediately found a buyer for the company’s assets.

CPL Industries, has bought parts of the business via its wholly owned subsidiary, CPL Fuels,

The acquisition protects 67 jobs across the group’s eight depots in Scotland, three staff at the site in Larne, as well as nine employed in the wholesale business in Carlisle.

The remainder of the business, primarily focused on supplying power stations, has been closed with immediate effect with the loss of 22 jobs, including 13 from group’s main site at Hunterston in Ayrshire.  The other nine redundancies are at the head office in Stirling.

Fergusson is one of the UK’s largest providers of solid fuel.  The third generation family business was founded in 1926 by Thomas Henry Fergusson and has 90 years’ experience as coal merchants. 

Having expanded into the coal power generation market, the rapid structural decline in coal’s share of UK electricity generation, the closure of Longannet Power Station, recent mild winters and volatility in the price of coal, have all severely impacted on Fergusson’s finances. 

However, the group’s core business supplying coal and related products to consumers, retailers and other merchants in the UK has continued to perform strongly during this period. 

CPL reached agreement with the administrators to purchase this part of the group’s business and the related assets.

Blair NimmoBlair Nimmo (right), joint administrator and UK Head of Restructuring at KPMG, said: “It’s no secret that coal power generation has been in long-term decline for a variety of reasons, so we are happy to have been able to secure a future for Fergusson Coal through its new owner, CPL.

“This will provide employment for 79 of the company’s staff and ensure that as we head into colder weather, there is no disruption of supply to those that need it the most.

“All employees affected by redundancies are being provided guidance and support through the appropriate agencies.”

Tim Minett, CEO at CPL Industries, said: “CPL is very pleased to have completed the acquisition of the Fergusson distribution and wholesale businesses.   

“Fergusson has a proud 90 year history and we look forward to developing the business in the future.  It is good that we have been able to continue the majority of operations and preserve a large number of jobs.

“We look forward to working with the very committed staff and both Alan and Tom Fergusson, who will continue to manage the operations.”


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