Brazilian offshore vessel operator Grupo CBO has concluded the acquisition of local rival Finarge Apoio Maritimo (FAM) in a $94.4m deal – a transaction that will add five anchor-handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels to the CBO fleet.

Finarge is a Brazilian shipping firm, established in 2008 to operate as a maritime support company. The business is a subsidiary of the Italian company Finarge SRL, which was founded in 1981 by Italy’s Rimorchiatori Riuniti S.p.A.

CBO has acquired five AHTS type vessels in total, as agreed on 11 August 2021, bringing its fleet to a total of 40 vessels. Among the five vessels newly acquired, one of them is a Brazilian-flagged vessel and was built in the Vard Niterói shipyard, three were built in Italian shipyards, and one in a Spanish shipyard – all of them were built between 2008 and 2014.

The transaction has been agreed upon a three-part payment. The first part includes a payment in cash, a portion of which was paid up to 13 September 2021, with the rest due over the next 24 months. The second part entails the assumption of the existing debt in FAM.

To comply with the third part, CBO has approved the increase of its capital by issuing 7,762,856 new common, nominative, book-entry shares with no face value, to enable Finarge SRL to become a shareholder. The new shares represent 5.6%  of the company’s share capital, which will be subscribed and paid in by Finarge SRL.

As the transaction concludes, CBO will tally 14 AHTS vessels operating in Brazil. CBO will also take over the contracts already signed with Petrobras for four of the five acquired vessels, ranging from two to four years.

The five vessels added to the CBO’s fleet include the vessel AH Giorgio P., which is an ocean terminal AHTS type under the Brazilian flag. The others are foreign-flagged and are AH Valletta and AH Varazze, both AHTS 19,000 break horsepower (BHP) type, AH Liguria with AHTS 16,000BHP and AH Camogli, which is an AHTS TO type.

CBO said that this acquisition will enable it to “consolidate itself as one of the main AHTS operators in the Brazilian offshore maritime support market, emphasising its ability to adapt to the requirements established by its customers, as in the case of the AHTS TO, whose operation focuses on supporting FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) in the handling and maintenance of hoses, which has gained relevance in Petrobras’ bids this year”.

CBO will also acquire more staff as it will be incorporating Finarge’s staff, in addition to its assets, while taking over its operations in Brazil. This will result in CBO having more than 1,450 employees among maritime and administrative staff.

The transaction will allow all foreign Finarge SRL vessels to receive the Brazilian Special Registration.

Marcos Tinti, CEO of Grupo CBO said: “The acquisition of Finarge and the five vessels will represent another important step in CBO’s growth plan, which consists of the purchase of high spec vessels, able to operate in Brazil, especially in the pre-salt region.

“We believe that the expansion of the maritime support market is closely linked to investment in modern vessels with high technical quality”.