AmericasOffshore

Seacor makes $305m GulfMark approach

Seacor Holdings chief executive Charles Fabrikant has written to GulfMark Offshore chairman David Butters suggesting the pair merge.

Seacor, which has $54m worth of GulfMark’s notes due in 2022, is looking to be a major consolidator in the OSV sphere. Fabrikant said he felt Gulfmark is at “a crossroads”.

“It can restructure its debt and continue operating independently, incurring costs of a public company and overhead for a small fleet with limited employment. This will most certainly deplete value to the detriment of shareholders and creditors,” Fabrikant noted.

Another option facing GulfMark is to restructure its debt and combine with a financially stronger participant in its industry, Fabrikant suggested.

“Nobody knows how long the current low level of demand for support vessel services will continue. This uncertainty, coupled with your balance sheet, puts the issue of Gulfmark’s survival front and center,” Fabrikant noted, adding: “It appears to be only a matter of time before Gulfmark will be in covenant default.”

The Seacor boss then implored his counterpart to look at a merger.

“We urge Gulfmark’s board to consider a prepackaged reorganization and a combination with SEACOR Marine Holdings,” he wrote.

The pair would control a giant fleet of 252 vessels with Seacor willing to pay $305m for the acquisition.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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