Dutch company, Boskalis, which is the world’s largest dredging company has shown its intention to expand into the oil and gas industry with a US$ 884 million bid for the Dockwise transport group.
Boskalis’ offer currently stands at € 17.20 per share, marking a 61% premium. This was clarified by HAL Investments, which owns 30% of both Boskalis and Dockwise. Since Boskalis announced that it already held a 22% stake in Dockwise, gaining HAL’s agreement to the deal (which appears to be forthcoming) would effectively hand over a controlling share to Boskalis.
According to Boskalis, the deal would mean a more efficient use of vessels, equipment and staff as well as a potentially broader scope of work for Dockwise’s fleet including dredging and salvage projects. Peter Berdowksi, Chief Executive of Boskalis said, “This step fits in our growth strategy aimed at broadening our service offering for clients in the oil and gas sector.”
“From a strategic point of view, we were looking for companies that could strengthen our business, particularly in oil and gas and offshore energy, that’s why Dockwise was on our radar.” Due to the highly profitable nature of Dockwise’s business, the deal is expected to make a significant additional contribution to Boskalis’ earnings.
This bid, timed to take advantage of a 27% slide in Dockwise’s share price, comes just months after Dockwise completed a hostile takeover of its Norwegian rival, Fairstar. Berdowski was quoted as saying, “The takeover of Fairstar made us even more interested.” Boskalis reported revenues of € 2.8 billion last year and plans to pay for Dockwise mostly through debt, with less than 10% of the deal to be financed by equity.
Dockwise has released a statement saying that it is considering the bid, but that it is capable of continuing operations on its own.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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