NYSE-listed Seacor Marine has agreed to sell Windcat Workboats Holdings Limited and its crew transfer vessel business to Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) in a £53.2M (US$72.4M) transaction
Under the binding definitive sale and purchase agreement, CMB will pay Seacor Marine £32.8M (US$44.6M) in cash and assume all of the approximately £20.4M (US$27.6M) of debt outstanding under Windcat’s existing revolving credit facility. The transaction is expected to close on or prior to 12 January 2021.
Headquartered in Lowestoft, UK and IJmuiden, the Netherlands, Windcat is among the leading offshore wind support vessel providers in Europe, and owns and operates, directly or through its joint ventures, a fleet of 46 CTVs in the European offshore wind sector. The existing Windcat management team will continue to lead the company after the completion of the transaction.
Commenting on the transaction, Seacor Marine chief executive John Gellert thanked the management and employees of Windcat, saying he looked “forward to opportunities to work with them and the broader CMB team in the growing US offshore wind market. This sale represents another milestone in our strategy of optimising our regional footprint and reducing costs.”
CMB chief executive Alexander Saverys said “The acquisition of Windcat fits into CMB’s strategy to diversify its business portfolio into the fast-growing offshore wind market and scale up the deployment of hydrogen ships and engines. CMB wants to grow Windcat’s business by building on its strong market-leading European platform while expanding into new European and non-European markets, diversifying into the owning and operation of construction service operation vessels and service operation vessels, and deploying hydrogen engines developed by CMB.TECH on board the existing and newbuilding Windcat fleet.”
Windcat will deploy the first hydrogen-powered CTV, Hydrocat, in June 2021. CMB expects to investigate developing hydrogen refuelling stations in dedicated Windcat ports, said Mr Saverys.
In his comments, Windcat managing director Willem van der Wel echoed Mr Saverys’ push for expanding the use of hydrogen. “With the global challenges to reduce the carbon footprint, CMB and Windcat will continue developing the fleet to make significant steps in providing clean fuel solutions to windfarm support vessels.”
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