Bourbon seeks diversification of its activities

Bourbon Offshore, a France-based supplier of offshore support vessels, is seeking to diversify its activities citing very difficult market facing the offshore services sector. 

Therefore, Bourbon has decided to acquire the activities of companies in ethane transportation.

It comprises the following companies who are currently owned by their majority shareholder, JACCAR Holdings:

– 100% of Greenship Gas, a Singaporean owned “shipping trust”, comprising directly or indirectly of: A fleet of 17 vessels (of which 13 vessels are currently in service) dedicated to the transport of Ethane gas, Ethylene and LNG and having an average age of 3,5 years; and 100% of EVERGAS, operator and contractor of gas transportation services;
– 100% of Greenship Gas Manager, manager of the Greenship Gas “shipping trust”;
– 80 % of JHW Engineering & Contracting. This company encompasses the design and engineering of vessels, the technology and control of a manufacturing platform for mega-tanks as well as procurement activities and contracting and management of gas projects.

According to Bourbon’s press release on Tuesday, the final completion of the acquisition, which was authorized by the Board of Directors on March 28, taking into account the opinion of an ad hoc committee and the opinion of an independent expert, is subject to ratification by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on May 26, 2016, during which related parties will vote their shares in a manner so as to not influence the decision.

The purchase price for these companies is $320 million with a net debt as of December 31, 2015 of $389, the financing of the vessels being transferred as part of the transaction.

Bourbon will benefit from a seller’s credit of $100 million with no interest for a maximum period of three years. It is anticipated to have in place a $220 million bridge loan for a maximum period of three years. In fact, Bourbon will proceed, once the transaction is completed, with the resale of 80% of the ownership of the vessels, which will then be retained on bareboat charter for a minimum period of ten years. The bridge loan signed at the time of the acquisition would then be reimbursed and the impact on Bourbon’s debt decreased significantly, the company explained.

Following approval of the transaction at the end of the Annual General Meeting on May 26, 2016 at which time he will be at the end of his mandate, Jacques de Chateauvieux would be named Chairman and CEO of Bourbon.

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