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Royal IHC gets new owners

Dutch shipbuilder and equipment supplier Royal IHC is getting new owners after a heads of agreement was reached with a maritime industry consortium and the company’s existing banks for the acquisition and refinancing of IHC Merwede Holding.

Dredging and offshore sector players HAL Investments, Ackermans & van Haaren, MerweOord and Huisman lead the industry consortium and are supported by Royal IHC’s existing syndicate of banks. The acquisition is also being supported with a short-term bridging loan and guarantee facility from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and an export credit insurance contribution from the Ministry of Finance.

The acquisition and refinancing gives Royal IHC a strong balance sheet, allows the consortium to retain Royal IHC’s leading technology, and keeps the Netherlands as an important hub in the maritime cluster. Gerben Eggink will lead the company as interim CEO of Royal IHC, replacing Dave Vander Heyde who has stepped down.

Jaap Huijskes, chairman of Royal IHC, commented: “I am very pleased to announce today the Heads of Agreement with an industry consortium of major players in the maritime sector to acquire and refinance Royal IHC. It demonstrates the confidence of many stakeholders in – and their commitment to – Royal IHC’s high-quality shipbuilding. This is an important step for the continuity of shipbuilding in the Netherlands, including employment opportunities and the sector’s global export position. We are convinced that, with this agreement, we will strengthen Royal IHC’s innovative power and the leading position it has held in the maritime sector for more than 350 years.”

The agreement is subject to a final agreement between the parties involved and regulatory approvals.

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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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