Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW) announced on March 28 that William C. O'Malley, the company's Chairman, President and CEO for most of the past eight years, has officially stepped down as Tidewater's CEO, handing over the reins of leadership to Dean E. Taylor. Taylor, 53, has served as President of Tidewater since October 2001 when O'Malley, 65, announced his impending retirement at the end of March 2002. Taylor's career with Tidewater started in 1978 where he served as an assistant manager in the company's Morgan City, La. office. With his Navy background and business savvy, Taylor gradually worked his way up through Tidewater's ranks to become an executive vice president in December of 2000. Ten months later, Taylor, who has spent the majority of his career overseeing a number of Tidewater's foreign operations, most recently Central and South America, West Africa and the North Sea, was announced as O'Malley's successor.
"Bill O'Malley has redefined what was once thought unachievable in our industry, both in terms of profitability and in terms of safe operations," said Taylor. "I look forward to continuing to guide our company on the course he has set for it and, wherein possible, making a great company even better."
O'Malley, who will continue to serve as Tidewater's non-executive Chairman until July 2003, came to Tidewater in 1994. One of his first moves at Tidewater was to shore up the company's financial status in order to free up capital for vessel investments. He promoted more stringent safety standards in the offshore marine industry as a whole by first imposing these standards on Tidewater. This was accomplished by holding regular safety meetings, implementing safety programs and making managers accountable for accidents in their areas. O'Malley's initiatives have proven effective. Lost time accidents have fallen by 94% during his tenure. "This changing of the guard in Tidewater's senior management should be relatively seamless," saidO'Malley. "Everyone has taken this transitional process very seriously in order to insure that Tidewater continues the momentum and financial stability it has maintained over the last few years. I am absolutely certain that Dean will be successful in his leadership of Tidewater." Tidewater Inc. owns and operates over 565 vessels, the world's largest fleet of vessels serving the global offshore energy industry.
Seabulk International, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBLK) sold its inland barge and towboat fleet of its Sun State Marine Services, Inc. subsidiary to Colonial Towing, Inc., a subsidiary of Colonial Group, Inc. of Savannah, Ga. Proceeds from the transaction were approximately $3.8 million and will be used by Seabulk to pay down debt. "This represents a further step in our ongoing program to sell off nonstrategic assets and focus on our three core businesses of offshore energy support, marine transportation, and towing," commented President and Chief Executive Officer Gerhard E. Kurz. "Sun State also operates a shipyard and drydock/repair facility, which we expect to sell by the end of the second quarter." Seabulk International has a fleet of 181 vessels, and is a provider of marine support and transportation services, primarily to the energy and chemical industries.
Global Industries Ltd. priced an offering of 8.5 million shares of its common stock at $9 each. The offering of the shares will generate about $72.3 million in net proceeds that will be used to repay outstanding indebtedness under the company's term loan facility and for general corporate purposes and working capital, Global Industries said.
The company said it also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 850,000 shares to cover over-allotments. It expects the issuance and delivery of the shares to occur on March 27. The offering is being underwritten by Credit Suisse First Boston, Raymond James, Credit Lyonnais Securities (USA) Inc. and Hibernia Southcoast Capital.
Sea Star Line, LLC (Sea Star) reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Navieras/NPR, Inc. (NPR) and of certain related entities. The agreement covers the purchase of ships, equipment, assignment of terminal leases, trade names and other assets related to NPR's Puerto Rico service. The purchase agreement, subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval, will become effective at the end of April 2002. Sea Star's expanded service will provide the premium intermodal transportation system between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The operation will combine Sea Star's versatile RoRo/LoLo service with Navieras' market-leading container service. Sea Star customers will enjoy greater frequency of service including a weekly sailing between Philadelphia and San Juan, while Navieras customers will also enjoy improved frequency between Florida ports and San Juan plus access to a wider range of container and trailer sizes and types.
The purchase underscores Sea Star's long-term commitment to serving Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. "Sea Star recognizes that market conditions today are highly competitive in the Puerto Rico trade," said Mike Shea, President, Sea Star. "We are nevertheless confident that this acquisition will allow Sea Star to emerge as the leading ocean carrier in the trade. Since the company was formed in 1998, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to deliver quality service. Our versatile fleet allows us to accommodate virtually any type of shipment, including containers, trailers, heavy equipment, vehicles of all types, bulk liquids, flat beds, refrigerated cargoes and open tops. The purchase directly reflects Sea Star's dedication to serving Puerto Rico and the region with fast, versatile vessels and making ongoing investments in our service that benefit our customers, including a wide range of container equipment and modern, state-of-the-art terminal facilities."
Superior Navigation Ltd. announced that in its $5 per share tender offer for the American Depositary Shares and Ordinary Shares of Anangel-American Shipholdings Limited (Nasdaq: ASIPY), 98.86% or 23,700,822 of the ADSs and Ordinary Shares had been tendered and purchased as of 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on Friday, March 29, 2002, the expiration time of the offer.
Superior Navigation will provide a subsequent offering period of 20 business days, commencing immediately and expiring at 5:00 p.m. New York City time on Friday, April 26, 2002 for Anangel shareholders who have not yet tendered their shares. All shares properly tendered during the subsequent offering period will be accepted and paid for at the same US $5.00 per share in cash.
At the expiration of the subsequent offering period, Superior Navigation intends to delist Anangel's ADSs from the Nasdaq National Market and the Ordinary Shares from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. In addition, Superior Navigation intends to terminate Anangel's registration as a reporting company under the Securities Exchange Act. Anangel will then no longer be required to make periodic reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Superior Navigation intends to effect a compulsory acquisition of the shares not tendered in the original or subsequent offering periods as soon as permitted by the laws of the Cayman Islands.
The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics (GD)
Electric Boat, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), a $5.9 million contract modification to provide design, engineering and technical support for modification to the submarine Jimmy Carter (SSN-23). Electric Boat is now altering the Jimmy Carter, the third and final Seawolf-class submarine, to accommodate advanced technology for naval special warfare, tactical surveillance and mine warfare operations.
The modifications will require changes to the basic Seawolf design in the areas of ballast control, mission-management spaces, and various services. A unique feature of the modification is the creation of a flexible ocean interface, referred to as the "wasp waist," which will enable the Navy to deploy and recover various payloads without having to use torpedo tubes.
The ship is scheduled for a 2004 delivery.