The owners of the troubled BiFab manufacturing firm directly invested just £4 in the company before it was placed into administration with a likely taxpayer loss of £37 million, it can be revealed. JV Driver, the Canadian business brought in by the Scottish government as part of a rescue deal in 2018, bought four £1 shares in the company as part of the transfer of ownership agreement struck with SNP ministers. Its board blamed the government for failing to provide financial guarantees needed to secure contracts as well as being unable to compete on the prices offered by state-backed operations in Europe, the Middle East and Far East. Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative infrastructure spokesman, said the Scottish government had “been taken for a ride” on the terms of the deal. “The SNP assumed all the risk, got dreadful value for taxpayers and let the yards go to waste with no plan to secure their future and save the jobs,” he said. JV Driver said last night it was invited to take over the company under an agreement in which Holyrood remained the primary investor of the business. A spokesman said the agreement “always envisaged that the Scottish government would be the primary financier” of BiFab as it bid for new contracts but that ministers provided less than 50 per cent of the working capital financing requested by the firm.
Times 8th Dec 2020 read more »