After announcing to reduce its workforce further and to temporarily close down its yard in Krimpen aan den IJssel little more than a month ago, Royal IHC is taking another step to address its dire position. The Dutch shipyard now wants to sell profit-making IQIP.
This was reported by Dutch newspaper FD.
Royal IHC has been struggling for several years now. In April 2020, the shipyard had to be rescued from bankruptcy by the Dutch government, banks and a group of companies with bridging loans and credit guarantees amounting to hundreds of millions of euros.
Restructuring and lay-offs
This was followed by a major restructuring in November 2020. This resulted in 300 jobs being cut in the Netherlands, 300 abroad and 500 among the contingent workforce. In addition, several activities and business units were divested, such as engineering companies Vuyk and KCI, IHC Hitech, and the company’s tunnelling business. Its participation in Rotterdam Offshore Group was also divested.
At the beginning of October another restructuring round was announced due to a lack of new large shipbuilding and ship repair orders. The yard in Krimpen aan den IJssel will be closed for the time being while another 251 people are to leave the company. It concerns 192 lay-offs in the Netherlands and 59 abroad. The focus of the job cuts will be on support functions and management. After this round of lay-offs, IHC still employs about 1900 people.
IHC looking to sell IQIP
To reduce its debt load, the company is now looking to sell IQIP. IQIP is a supplier of solutions for installation and foundation projects in the offshore wind and renewables, decommissoning, oil and gas, and coastal and civil markets. The company supplies, among others, lifting tools, pile grippers, pipe cutters, skidding systems, pile upending tools and the Hydrohammer, which is used for pile driving. The company is firmly in the black.
An IHC spokesperson has told FD the sale is to be completed before the end of the year. Right now, IHC is working on new financing arrangements with nine lending banks.
When the restructuring was announced in October, IHC said it was in discussions about possible large orders, but that nothing was concrete yet. Construction of smaller ships and installations continues, but this is not enough to keep the company afloat.
The Dutch shipbuilder also has its hopes set on the new Dutch submarines to replace the Walrus class that it wants to build together with French Naval Group. However, as the Dutch government announced previously, the winner of this multi-billion project will be announced no sooner than at the end of 2023. In addition to IHC, Swedish Saab-Kockums in a partnership with Damen Shipyards and German Thyssenkrupp also hope to win the contract.
Picture by M.M. Minderhoud.