Offshore services provider Tidewater has signed an agreement to acquire smaller rival GulfMark Offshore to create a $1.25bn global offshore company.
Under the terms of the deal, GulfMark stockholders will receive 1.100 shares of Tidewater common stock for each share held.
The deal is expected to result in forming a major global offshore support vessel (OSV) provider to capitalize on significant cost synergies and higher growth opportunities as the OSV sector recovery gains traction, Tidewater said.
Planned to be operated under the Tidewater brand, the combined company will have one of the largest fleets and the broadest global operating footprint in the OSV sector. It will be able to support customers across geo-markets and water depths.
Tidewater expects the transaction to produce cost synergies of approximately $30m no later than the fourth quarter of 2019.
Tidewater president and CEO John Rynd said: “By combining our fleets and shore-based activities we will be better able to provide customers with access to modern, high-specification vessels while maintaining a strong commitment to safe operations and superior, cost-effective customer service.
“The transaction preserves Tidewater’s strong financial profile and allows the company to fund both organic growth and possible additional acquisitions.”
The deal is planned to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including stockholder approval of the merger by GulfMark’s stockholders and of the share issuance by Tidewater’s stockholders.
GulfMark president and CEO Quintin Kneen said: “At GulfMark, we have been longstanding advocates for consolidation of the OSV industry. This transaction is an important first step in that process.
“The combined company will be better positioned to build upon GulfMark’s strong track record in the recovering North Sea region.
“The combined company’s global operating footprint also provides scope for significant scale-based economies and improved utilization of our fleet by redeploying under-utilized vessels across the combined company’s broader operating footprint.”