French oil services company Bourbon has agreed to acquire gas transport activities from Jaccar for $320m, diversifying into ethane shipping markets.

The acquisition is a part of Bourbon’s effort to take advantage of growth in the gas sector and reduce its reliance on the offshore services market.

As per the deal, Bourbon will acquire Greenship Gas, a Singaporean owned shipping trust that comprises 17 vessels for ethane gas, ethylene and LNG transport and gas transportation services company Evergas.

About 13 of the 17 vessels are currently in service with an average age of 3.5 years.

The firm will also acquire Greenship Gas Manager and 80% stake in JHW Engineering and Contracting from Jaccar.

Bourbon said it would benefit from a seller’s $100m credit with no interest for up to three years. It will also have $220m bridge loan for up to three years.

Upon completion of the transaction, Bourbon would resell 80% of the ownership of the vessels.

The vessels in will continue to charter for at least 10 years, thereby allowing Bourbon to repay the bridge loan.

Bourbon said: "The direction taken by its customers towards the energy transition that is underway is driving Bourbon to seek the diversification of its activities to support these new directions and open real growth prospects."

Subject to ratification by shareholders, the acquisition is planned to be completed on 26 May 2016.