VOSPER THORNYCROFT

 

 

 

 

 

   

VT Group plc was a British defence and services company, formerly known as Vosper Thornycroft. The Company had diversified from shipbuilding into various engineering and support services, becoming involved in many areas of provision through five main operating groups: VT Communications, VT Education and Skills, VT Services Inc and VT Support Services. VT Group finally exited the Shipbuilding industry in October 2009, after selling its 45% share of the Shipbuilding Joint Venture company BVT Surface Fleet to BAE Systems. Formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, the remainder of the firm was acquired by Babcock International Group in July 2010.

 

sssThe company was formed by the merger of two shipbuilding companies Vosper Limited of Portsmouth and J I Thornycroft of Woolston, Southampton in 1966 at which time the Company became listed on the London Stock Exchange as Vosper Thornycroft. Vosper Ltd built small boats and J I Thornycroft had a long history of building destroyers and similar sized craft. The company was nationalised by the Labour Government in 1977, becoming a division of British Shipbuilders. It became a commercial company again after a management buyout in 1985.

Vosper Thornycroft flourished even during lean times for warship building, mainly through successful sales efforts in exports and diversification outside of the core shipbuilding business into training and support. In 1998, Vosper Thornycroft acquired the specialist military boatbuilder Halmatic, based in Portchester.


In 2001, in their most ambitious diversification project, VT started work on the US$55million superyacht Mirabella V for former Avis Car Hire boss Joe Vittoria. At the time of its completion in 2004, Mirabella V was the world's largest single-masted sailing vessel with an overall length of 75 metres and a mast height of approximately 87 metres.

From 2002, the overall business was known as VT Group plc.

 

 

 

Move to Portsmouth Naval Base and creation of BVT Surface Fleet


From its formation in 1966, the company was based at the former Thornycroft shipbuilding yard at Woolston in Southampton, Hampshire but in 2003 relocated its shipbuilding operations to new facilities in the famous HMNB Portsmouth Naval Dockyard under the name VT Shipbuilding. On 1 July 2008, VT Shipbuilding was merged with BAE Systems' Glasgow-based Surface Fleet Solutions subsidiary to form BVT Surface Fleet. The VT Halmatic boatyard site in Portchester was also sold off to Trafalgar Wharf, with Halmatic also moving into Portsmouth Naval Base.


Entry into the Nuclear Industry

In January 2008, VT Group acquired BNG Project Services from the government-owned British Nuclear Fuels for 75m. As the provider of nuclear decommissioning and waste treatment engineering services, Project Services gave VT Group access to the nuclear industry in the UK and abroad. The business was renamed VT Nuclear Services.


Exit from BVT

On 28 January 2009 VT Group announced its intention to sell its share of BVT Surface Fleet to BAE Systems. VT Group's put option valued its share at a minimum of 380 million subject to conditions, however VT Group was expected to make a cash injection into the business to offset difficulties with the Trinidad and Tobago and Oman contracts. Following the sale of VT Group's 45% share, BVT Surface Fleet was renamed BAE Systems Surface Ships to reflect the total ownership.


Takeover by Babcock In March 2010 

Babcock International Group announced the boards of both companies had agreed to the purchase of VT Group for 1.32bn. The merger was completed on 8 July 2010

 

 

 

 

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