Mermaid Marine to Merge with P&O Maritime Services

Thursday, December 21, 2006
Mermaid Marine Australia Ltd will merge with Dubai Ports World subsidiary P&O Maritime Services Pty Ltd through a share-trading arrangement. Mermaid will issue 221.9 million shares to DP World in return for 100 per cent of the shares in P&O Maritime Services Ltd and P&O Polar Australia Pty Ltd, subject to shareholder approval. The deal will result in DP World owning 60.4 per cent of Mermaid, with existing shareholders holding the remaining 39.4 per cent.

Mermaid will also assume an additional $40 million of net debt initially in the form of debt due to DP World as part of the transaction. Mermaid directors said in a statement that the proposed merger would create a highly attractive business diversified across a range of maritime services, but have flagged a proposal to change its name to P&O Marine Ltd, in order to take advantage of the former British standard bearer's brand recognition, subject to DP World's approval. Current Mermaid chairman Tony Howarth will serve in the same role at the merged company, with Mermaid's managing director Jeff Weber to serve as the new company's chief operating officer and an executive director. The chief executive of the new company will be current P&OMS managing director Andrew King. The deal is expected to be completed in March or April next year. Source: WA Business News

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