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GC Rieber and Rasmussengruppen create new seismic vessel player

Norwegian shipping heavyweights GC Rieber Shipping and Rasmussengruppen have teamed up to establish a new marine geophysical company called Shearwater GeoServices AS.

Shearwater has been set up to become an integrated provider of marine geophysical services to oil and gas companies worldwide. The venture will start with a fleet of four modern seismic vessels.

Irene Waage Basili, CEO of GC Rieber Shipping, commented: “Over a period of time, we have examined opportunities to establish a new geophysical company, based on the four high-end vessels we currently own. In Rasmussengruppen, we have found a partner who shares our view of the opportunities offered by the geophysical market at present, and, equally important, who shares our vision to build and develop Shearwater into a leading player in the industry.”

Basili will act as interim CEO for Shearwater until a permanent CEO is appointed.

Rasmussengruppen, which owns a stake in Denmark’s Norden, and GC Rieber Shipping will each own a 50% stake in the company and are injecting $60m in cash.

“Shearwater is set up from the start with a modern and cost-efficient fleet, an experienced organization, and a solid financial platform. Supported by GC Rieber’s extensive industry experience, we believe Shearwater will have a unique position in the market that can also consider further strategic opportunities,” said Dag Rasmussen, group CEO of Rasmussengruppen.

Shearwater will take over GC Rieber’s high-capacity seismic vessels Polar Empress, Polar Duke, Polar Duchess, and Polar Marquis. The sale of the vessels has been set for a price of $228.5m.

The new company has also agreed on terms to purchase the seismic equipment and the operative entity, Dolphin Geophysical UK, including the processing business from the former lending banks of Dolphin Geophysical ASA.

The finalisation of the agreement between GC Rieber Shipping and Rasmussengruppen for the new company formation is scheduled before the end of the year.

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Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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