Maritime & Offshore M&A

By Harry Ward
Monday, September 30, 2013

Regulatory, Financial & Operational changes drive strategic deals in the crowded Workboat markets

Workboat and offshore marine markets have been gaining strength over the past three years. A resurgence of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has brought orders for new vessels, major oil companies are ramping up their presence in the region, and Gulf-oriented state governments are aligning to encourage offshore growth. Merger and Acquisition volumes have generally expanded in the US along with this growth as strategic companies seek to strengthen their positions in niche competencies (Figure 1). As always, a trickle of less strategic deals has materialized in response to opportunistic conditions such as regulatory changes and cases of financial distress.
A recurring theme in our quarterly studies of the marine deal-making landscape, particularly in North America, is the dominance of inland and offshore workboat markets. The graph in figure 2 shows the consistency and general outperformance of the inland/offshore public stock indices in comparison with other marine segments, and the S&P 500 this year. Despite continuous regulatory challenges, upward momentum in both domestic oil production levels and petroleum price levels are likely to sustain the positive trends for at least the near future.

Recent Deals in the Oil Patch
The first deal we examine is a strategic asset deal, as Genesis Energy L.P. (GEL) announced its acquisition of Hornbeck Offshore Services’ (HOS) fleet of oil-transport barges and tug boats for about $230 million in July. Genesis operates a fleet of inland barges and tugs, as well as terminal facilities and oil pipeline systems. The addition of the Hornbeck vessels adds to Genesis’ ocean-going capabilities and expands the company’s presence in the GOM, northeastern US and Great Lakes region, despite some customer overlap. Shares of publicly-traded limited partnership Genesis are up more than 30 percent since the beginning of 2013. Hornbeck’s shares are up more than 50 percent in the same period, and the sale of the transport vessels dovetails with the company’s strategic shift to focus on oil and gas exploration and production.
Order books for newbuilds have been strong this year. After acquiring Bollinger’s Bee Mar OSV operating company last year for $243 million, Harvey Gulf International Marine again made headlines in May with the signing of three agreements totaling $540 million for construction of 14 new vessels.  These and other orders will keep yards such as Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, FL busy for quite some time. LEEVAC Shipyards, another growing ship repair and building company, answered calls from their customers for a facility east of Lake Charles by acquiring the Quality Shipyards subsidiary of Tidewater, Inc. (TDW). The asset deal includes 35 acres on 2,500 feet of waterfront, four drydocks, several cranes and 100,000 square feet of covered production facilities. 
Tidewater stock is up about 20 percent this year, and the company continues to focus on ownership and operation of its multifaceted fleet serving the worldwide offshore energy industry.  Tidewater crews operate more than 340 vessels, providing a wide range of services in support of offshore petroleum exploration, field development and production. In May, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Tidewater entered into an agreement with HitecVision to purchase Norway’s Troms Offshore Supply AS (“Troms Offshore”). The acquisition will expand Tidewater’s global footprint into the Norwegian sector of the North Sea and supplement Tidewater’s experience and vessel fleet operating in harsh environments, including cold climates. The approximately $395 million deal implies a multiple of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 33X.
Another player that has been very acquisitive in building a marine energy presence is NGL Energy Partners (NGL), which most recently acquired the assets of Crescent Terminals, LLC along with Cierra Marine, LP and its affiliated companies. The Cierra Marine acquisition doubles NGL’s current fleet of tow boats and crude barges, while the Crescent facility adds 130,000 barrels of storage capacity by Eagle Ford shale in South Texas, and 20,000 barrels per day of capacity to reach markets along the Gulf Coast. NGL has logged about $1.8 billion in acquisitions since its 2011 IPO, including Corpus Christi boat and barge operator Third Coast Towing for $43 million in cash and Pecos Gathering & Marketing in a $45 million private placement. 
Woodlands, Texas-based Arc Terminals has made at least six terminal acquisitions since 2007, and this year announced the acquisition of marine terminal assets from Gulf Coast Asphalt Company. The Mobile, Alabama terminal added 1.2 million barrels of storage and distribution capacity for third-party customers in asphalt, crude oil, HFO and methanol. Arc now boasts 5.5 million barrels of capacity around the US, and is pursuing a direct “rail to deep water” project in Mobile to transport Canadian crude via a direct Canadian National Railway rail link to Gulf Coast customers.
Rounding out recent deals in the GOM region, Seacor Holdings Inc. (CKH) acquired the remaining 50 percent stake in C-Lift LLC for $12.7 million in June. Seacor Holdings experienced a strong quarter ended June 30, 2013, with net income of $19.3 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, as compared with $11.2 million and $0.54 last year.  

The Pacific Northwest
Looking to the northwest, the maritime landscape has changed slightly with the completion of a couple of deals, one of which had its origins in a successful dredging program. In 2010, the Columbia River channel was deepened to 43 feet in a project funded by the states of Oregon and Washington.  The successful deepening has enabled larger ships to operate in Columbia’s ports, boosting export capacity for regional businesses. On the downside for Foss Maritime, this has also resulted in fewer but larger ships, which reduced business for their unionized tug operation, maneuvering large ships in and out of port and transporting pilots. Tidewater Barge Lines stepped up and announced in April that it would acquire the Foss tugboat business. Foss had previously sold selected tug assets to Tidewater back in 2008.
In a more strategic deal, Lynden entered into a purchase agreement to buy Northland Services from its major shareholder Endeavor Capital. With the acquisition, Lynden added tug and barge capacity to expand its freight service between Alaska, Hawaii and Seattle. Northland also provides transportation, loading, and discharge of construction project-related cargoes; contract barge services; charter cargo hauling services to the Russian Federation and Japan; and cargo stevedoring services to general containerized freight and specialized machinery. Lynden is a family of freight and logistics companies that includes Alaska Marine Lines, which also provides tug and barge transportation services between Seattle and Southeast and Central Alaska.

Looking Forward
Despite the slight falloff in deal activity during the past 12 months in the various marine segments (Figure 1), the environment remains reasonably attractive for both consolidation and investment. A few of the likely driving factors for future deal flow:

  • Regulatory:  Environmental, safety and other regulatory changes are usually accompanied by deal flow, as less agile companies struggle and proactive organizations look to capitalize on their adaptive capabilities.
  • Energy Demand:  Despite its boom and bust nature, the energy industry will likely continue on a secular expansion path, with competing business models and asset-holders driving deal flow.
  • Aging Infrastructure/Fleets:  Companies that successfully balance investment risk in upgraded assets with fluctuations in demand often find themselves in an enviable position to acquire less strategic-minded companies in the long run.
  • •    Emerging Needs: New demands driven by hot market segments and new technologies are always a driver of deal-making. For example, many large future dredging projects, and AUV/ROV technology are both likely to spur acquisition activity.

Of course, all of this depends upon a reasonably healthy financial picture and at least some promise of economic growth, both of which seem more difficult to predict than market segment drivers.

 

(As published in the 3Q edition of Maritime Professional - www.maritimeprofessional.com)


 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Shipbuilding

Willard to Supply Patrol Boats for the Philippines

The U.S. Department of State awarded a contract to boatbuilder Willard Marine, Inc., to provide the Philippine National Police Maritime Group with patrol vessels

Comprehensive Winch Outfitting for New Trawlers

Fishing company HB Grandi of Iceland recently awarded Naust Marine a contract for complete winch outfitting of three new 180 ft. fishing trawlers.   The contract,

CMA CGM Launches 18,000 TEU Containership

Container shipping firm CMA CGM Group has taken delivery of its newest colossal containership, the 18,000 TEU, 400-meter-long CMA CGM Bougainville.   Now the

Workboats

Comprehensive Winch Outfitting for New Trawlers

Fishing company HB Grandi of Iceland recently awarded Naust Marine a contract for complete winch outfitting of three new 180 ft. fishing trawlers.   The contract,

MN 100: Elliott Bay Design Group

The Company: Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) is a Seattle-based, employee-owned enterprise with offices in New Orleans and Ketchikan that provides full-service naval architecture,

CTruk Delivers Wind Farm Support Vessel

Shipbuilder CTruk Boats, a manufacturer of composite wind farm support vessels (WFSV), has delivered the second workboat in a two-craft order from CWind.   The

Finance

Former CIA Spy Ship Becomes Victim of Oil Slump

A ship built by the CIA for a secret Cold War mission in 1974 to raise a sunken Soviet sub is heading to the scrap yard, a victim of the slide in oil prices.   Christened the Hughes Glomar Explorer,

Greece Wants EU Funding to Tackle Migrant Influx

Greece will ask the European Union for about 700 million euros to build infrastructure to shelter the hundreds of refugees and migrants arriving on its shores daily, the government said on Thursday.

Asia-Europe Box Rates Soar Again

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped 29 percent to $763 per 20-foot container (TEU) this week data from

Energy

Libya Plans to Sell Ex-rebel Tanker

Libya plans to sell a tanker that a former rebel group used in an attempt to bypass the Libyan government and export oil on its own last year, the Tripoli-based state prosecutor said on Thursday.

Former CIA Spy Ship Becomes Victim of Oil Slump

A ship built by the CIA for a secret Cold War mission in 1974 to raise a sunken Soviet sub is heading to the scrap yard, a victim of the slide in oil prices.   Christened the Hughes Glomar Explorer,

Hanjin Rolls Out First Philippine-made LPG carrier

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), which operates the world's fourth shipbuilding facility in Subic Freeport Zone, unveiled the

News

USCG AIS Mandate Resource Center Launched

McMurdo informs it has launched an online resource center at to help impacted vessel operators comply with the requirements of the United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Libya Plans to Sell Ex-rebel Tanker

Libya plans to sell a tanker that a former rebel group used in an attempt to bypass the Libyan government and export oil on its own last year, the Tripoli-based state prosecutor said on Thursday.

RYDLYME Marine Selects GoM Distributor

RYDLYME Marine has named R Carter & Associates, Inc. of Mobile, Ala. a new stocking distributor for the Gulf of Mexico area, targeting shipyards, larger workboats,

Marine Equipment

Hoover Container Solutions Unveils Asset Tracer

Hoover Container Solutions, a subsidiary of Hoover Group Inc., and a global provider of chemical tanks, cargo carrying units and related products and services, has unveiled its new Liquitrac Tracer,

USCG AIS Mandate Resource Center Launched

McMurdo informs it has launched an online resource center at to help impacted vessel operators comply with the requirements of the United States Coast Guard (USCG)

RYDLYME Marine Selects GoM Distributor

RYDLYME Marine has named R Carter & Associates, Inc. of Mobile, Ala. a new stocking distributor for the Gulf of Mexico area, targeting shipyards, larger workboats,

Offshore Energy

Former CIA Spy Ship Becomes Victim of Oil Slump

A ship built by the CIA for a secret Cold War mission in 1974 to raise a sunken Soviet sub is heading to the scrap yard, a victim of the slide in oil prices.   Christened the Hughes Glomar Explorer,

CTruk Delivers Wind Farm Support Vessel

Shipbuilder CTruk Boats, a manufacturer of composite wind farm support vessels (WFSV), has delivered the second workboat in a two-craft order from CWind.   The

Keppel Delivers Jackup to UMW-OG

Keppel FELS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) has delivered UMW Naga 8, a KFELS B Class jackup rig, to Malaysia’s UMW Oil & Gas Corporation Berhad (UMW-OG).

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 1.1177 sec (1 req/sec)