Tidewater and GulfMark Offshore have signed an agreement to combine their operations, creating a new offshore support vessel company.
The merged business is expected to have a value of nearly $1.25bn. It will have one of the largest offshore support vessel fleets with a global footprint and better financial capacity. The entity will be led by Tidewater president and CEO John Rynd.
Rynd said: “By combining our fleets and shore-based activities we will be better able to provide customers with access to modern, high-specification vessels, while maintaining a strong commitment to safe operations and superior, cost-effective customer service.
“The transaction preserves Tidewater’s strong financial profile and allows the company to fund both organic growth and possible additional acquisitions.”
Under the all-stock agreement, GulfMark stockholders will receive 1.100 Tidewater common stock shares for each share of GulfMark unit.
After completion of the transaction, GulfMark stockholders will own 27% stake in the combined company or 26% on a fully diluted basis, valuing $340m.
The board of the combined firm will have ten seats with three directors selected by GulfMark.
GulfMark president and CEO Quintin Kneen said: “This transaction is an important first step in that process.
“The combined company will be better positioned to build upon GulfMark’s strong track record in the recovering North Sea region.
“The combined company’s global operating footprint also provides scope for significant scale-based economies and improved utilisation of our fleet by redeploying under-utilised vessels across the combined company’s broader operating footprint.”
The transaction is expected to close in the last quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions and GulfMark shareholder approval.