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Jobs hope as Dover company creates UK's biggest ship repairer

Burgess Marine

Ship repairer Burgess Marine's headquarters are in Dover

More jobs could be created in Dover after two companies joined forces to create the largest independent ship repairer in Britain.

Burgess Marine, which has its headquarters in Dover with sites in Poole and Portsmouth's naval base, has acquired Testbank Ship Repair - with locations at Southampton docks, Portchester near Portsmouth, and Avonmouth near Bristol.

The deal will see 120 full-time staff work under the Burgess Marine banner from the six sites, with a combined annual turnover of at least £20million.

Testbank's privately-owned shares were purchased outright for an undisclosed figure.

Staff at both companies were told of the new business structure at a special meeting.

Burgess MarineNick Warren, managing director of Burgess Marine (pictured right), said: "This was very much a chance to warmly introduce the extended family and reassure everyone that, by joining forces, the future with Burgess Marine is a strong one. This is a very exciting time for all of us, at all levels."

The acquisition has taken place through a combination of funding from HSBC bank and private cash.

Mr Warren added: "The various work streams of both companies very much complement each other, so it made compelling business logic for family-owned Testbank to join forces with us to create the largest independent ship repairer in the UK by both geographical location and the fact that we are not tied to any one particular yard or facility.

"Whilst this is an acquisition on paper, both parties view this as very much a friendly merger rather than anything else.

"It is one that will benefit our customers across the UK and internationally from economies of scale, as well as providing job security and prospects for our 120 highly skilled and dedicated employees and over 200 sub-contractors, including in and around Dover and Kent."

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