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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Bollinger Buys Gulf Island’s Shipyard Facilities

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 22, 2021

The Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms is a Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards. (Photo: Patrick Kelley / U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms is a Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards. (Photo: Patrick Kelley / U.S. Coast Guard)

Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards has acquired Gulf Island Fabrication’s shipyard facilities in nearby Houma for approximately $28.6 million.

The purchased site encompasses 437 acres on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, of which 283 acres is unimproved land that is available for expansion. The facility includes 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations facilities, 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse facilities. It also has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads. Located just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the strategic location provides short and unrestricted access to the newly acquired Houma facility from open waters. The acquisition also includes a 15,000-short ton drydock, a 4,000-short ton drydock, a 3,000-short ton drydock and a 1,500-short ton drydock.

“The addition of the new Houma shipyard further strengthens our position within the U.S. defense industrial base as a leading shipbuilder and vessel repair company,” said Ben Bordelon, CEO and president of Bollinger Shipyards.

In particular, the privately-held shipbuilder said the deal expands its new construction and repair capacity and capabilities to better serve its key defense and commercial customers with increased capacity for new projects and footprint, access to a larger workforce skilled in steel construction, improved efficiencies and enhanced economies of scale. The company has 11 shipyards located throughout Louisiana with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Bollinger also obtains Gulf Island's current shipbuilding projects as part of the transaction, including three research vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University and five towing, salvage and rescue ships for the U.S. Navy. 

Excluded from the deal are Gulf Island's contracts and related obligations for the construction of two 40-vehicle ferries for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a 70-vehicle ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation, and two multipurpose service vessels for Hornbeck Offshore Services that are subject to dispute.

Bollinger's current customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, General Dynamics-Electric Boat, and non-defense and commercial customers servicing energy production to dredging. “As the needs of these customers change and grow, we are constantly looking for ways to invest in and expand our capabilities and innovative solutions so that we can continue to provide them with the highest levels of quality, support and service in our industry,” Bordelon said.

For Gulf Island, the sale represents an opportunity to dial in on its specialty fabrication business. It said it expects net cash proceeds to be approximately $15 million.

“This is a transformational transaction for Gulf Island, as it will enable us to accelerate our strategic priorities by significantly de-risking our business and positioning us to pursue new, higher-margin opportunities within our Fabrication & Services Division. We are well-positioned given the strategic initiatives implemented over the past year and we are excited by the opportunities for profitable growth that lay ahead,” said Richard Heo, Gulf Island’s president and CEO. “We believe this divestiture is in the best interest of all our stakeholders, including our shareholders, employees and customers.”

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