Royal Boskalis Westminster has reduced its stake in Dutch offshore firm Fugro once again and its holding now stands at 9.38%.
The reduction was accomplished through an accelerated bookbuild via which 12,685,878 (15%) certificates of shares in Fugro were placed with institutional investors at EUR 14.50 ($15.42) per share. The bookbuild commenced on Monday 12 December after the closing of Euronext Amsterdam.
Fugro and Boskalis have been locked in a legal battle which Boskalis trying to force a shareholder vote in regard to one of Fugro’s three protective measures, the Foundation Continuity Fugro. Both the District Court of The Hague, and later the Court of Appeal in The Hague, ruled in favour of Fugro.
The latest decision by the Court of Appeal, in May, safeguards the independent position of Fugro and likely sparked the decision by Boskalis to sell.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, did not mention the legal battle today in a release explaining the rationale for selling its Fugro stake. “Despite our conviction that parts of Fugro fit very well with Boskalis, we recently decided to sell down our Fugro holding in steps,” Berdowski said. “This decision is on the one hand based on the uncertain market conditions which continue to prevail much longer than anticipated and on the other hand also the position of the Fugro management. Through the gradual sell down we have taken away uncertainty in our own share and we expect to create more value for our shareholders going forward.”
In relation to this transaction, Boskalis agreed to a 90 days lock-up period during which it may not dispose of shares in Fugro, subject to the agreement with the joint bookrunners.