Total and private equity firm Hellman & Friedman are planning to sell their 30% stakes in Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) according to Reuters. The other 405 share is owned by GDF Suez.
Shareholders will formally lodge a requets to go public with French authorities in the second half of the year, reported Reuters, according to an unidentified source.
However, GTT chief executive Philippe Berterottiere told Reuters that GDF Suez was unlikely to sell, as it views itself as an LNG company. "A sale of our stake in GTT is not on the cards," a GDF Suez spokesman told Reuters.
According to anotherr industry source, "Total is less likely to remain a GTT shareholder. As for Hellman & Friedman, the logic of private equity firms is that they go in and out," Reuters reported.
The same source also said that GTT had been valued at between 1.3 and 1.8 billion euros.
GTT’s two main areas of experise on the world of LNG are for cargo containment systems onboard carriers and land storage tanks. The company currently has a 70% share of the market in cryogenic tank membranes. It is paid royalties for using its technology by Korean and Chinese shipbuilders, the two largest shipbuilding regions, as they have not succeeded in developing their own cryogenic tank technology.
The market for LNG carriers has become very tight as orders for ships dried up after 2009 due to the global economic crisis. The ship-building industry was only kept busy with orders which were already placed. Demand for LNG is now rapidly growing and the corresponding demand for more carriers means new orders for carriers are comig into shipyards, meaning more revenue for GTT.
Written by Peter Farrell.
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