Rolls-Royce Launches $933 M Offer For Vickers

Friday, September 24, 1999
Just as soon as Vickers Plc put the finishing touches on its revived industrial empire - acquiring a myriad of marine propulsion equipment suppliers in order to dominate a once fragmented piece of the international maritime market - wheels have been set in motion to acquire the goliath itself. Last week Rolls-Royce Plc launched a surprise $933 million (576 million pound) agreed cash offer for Vickers Plc in a move aimed at making it the global leader in marine power systems. But the deal, pitched at a 53 percent premium over Vickers share price last Friday, prompted concern from some analysts who felt Rolls-Royce may be paying too much merely to bolster its marine propulsion business. "This was a big surprise. On the marine side the deal makes sense although that it is only half of Vickers business," said analyst Brian O'Keefe at Commerzbank in London. Given this focus on marine, Vickers' land-based defense business, which includes battle tanks and armored vehicles, is seen as surplus to requirements and Rolls-Royce Chairman Ralph Robins said that the sale of this division was inevitable. "Our strategy is to get to number one or two in the various markets in which we operate. We are up there in aerospace -- this will put us there in marine," Robins said. Vickers marine business is the jewel in a crown that includes turbine components and the land-based defense systems. The merger will boost Rolls-Royce's exposure to marine power systems to around 20 percent of the enlarged group sales or around 850 million pounds in turnover. Rolls said the marine power systems market was a growth market, with the high-speed sea transport sector growing annually at some eight percent. Vickers Had Been Reshaping After Cars Sale Vickers has been in the process of reshaping after selling its Rolls-Royce luxury car arm to Germany's Volkswagen AG last year for 479 million pounds. That was accompanied by a 273 million pound cash return to Vickers shareholders. The motor arm had been floated off from parent company Rolls-Royce in 1973 and was bought by Vickers in 1980 after running into financial problems. Vickers boosted its marine business through the purchase of Norway's Ulstein in a 304 million pound deal last year. Shareholders accepting the 250 pence offer will also be entitled to a 2.85 pence interim dividend from Vickers. Analysts speculated that Rolls-Royce, which admits it approached Vickers first, may have tried separately to pry the marine power systems business from Vickers but was told that the division was only for sale as part of the entire group. TI Group Plc is believed to have received a similar response. "There was no a la carte it was a set menu," said O'Keefe, who reckons that Rolls-Royce is paying a high price for Vickers on a valuation basis. He estimates a trailing PE (price earnings) multiple for Vickers of 19.8 and a prospective PE for Rolls-Royce of 12.6 compared with a sector average of 14.9. Rolls-Royce expects the acquisition to be earnings enhancing in the first full year before goodwill and exceptional items. Robins said the group would continue to target double-digit earnings per share growth from its basic business. The deal, which is being financed from banking facilities arranged by Chase Manhattan and Greenwich NatWest, leaves the company with interest cover of around seven times. Robins conceded that he would be reasonably relaxed with cover of around five times. Interest cover is a measure of the company's ability to pay interest on borrowings using profits from the year. A higher number indicates less risk.
Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Marine Propulsion

MAN-Powered Cargo Vessel Meets Tier III

Classification society awards SCR system emissions certificate. MAN Diesel & Turbo has been awarded a Tier III - compatibility certificate by the DNV- GL classification

Vroon’s VOS Famous Launched

Vroon’s newbuilding ERRV, VOS Famous, was launched in China yesterday. This 50-m ERRV (emergency response and rescue vessel) is under construction at Nanjing East Star Shipyard.

3D Scanning Speeds Up Drag Boat Racing

NVision, Inc., a company in 3D laser scanning and reverse engineering for over 24 years, said it was able to help a motorsports boat designer optimize the design

Offshore

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

MAN-Powered Cargo Vessel Meets Tier III

Classification society awards SCR system emissions certificate. MAN Diesel & Turbo has been awarded a Tier III - compatibility certificate by the DNV- GL classification

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1098 sec (9 req/sec)