'The firm behind the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow has begun the process of going into administration.
Ferguson Marine Engineering directors have served notice of their intent to go into administration and to do so by the end of next week.
The business has been involved in a long-running dispute with the Scottish government over the construction of two ferries for CalMac.
Ministers said they were committed to securing the future of the yard.
They want to see the vessels under construction completed, and the jobs of the yard's 350 staff safeguarded.
Ferguson Marine's chief executive Gerry Marshall said in a statement: "It is with great regret and disappointment that the directors of Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited have served notice to appoint an administrator to the company.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, but the directors do not consider there to be any other options in the current circumstances.
"However, the directors will continue to support the shareholder and the Scottish government to realise a positive outcome for the business and its employees."
The ferry order which appears to have triggered the shipbuilder's difficulties is being procured through a public-sector agency CMAL.
The yard's parent company, Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC), is controlled by industrial tycoon Jim McColl.
CBC tabled a proposal last month for the Scottish government to take a share of ownership. The government rejected that plan.
In a statement, CBC added: "We understand that this decision has not been taken lightly and is fundamentally due to CMAL and the Scottish government's inability to find a resolution to the additional costs encountered during the build of the two prototype LNG dual-fuelled ferries.
"As shareholder we have provided a number of viable proposals to avoid the process of administration and save the jobs of 350 employees, however CMAL and the Scottish government have consistently refused to participate in productive discussions, leaving the directors of Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited with no other options given the circumstances they are faced with."
Read more: Clyde shipyard Ferguson set to go into administration
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