December 9 - Royal Boskalis Westminster in The Netherlands says good progress is being made in preparation for the merger of the company with Smit Internationale NV (Smit).

In a statement, Boskalis said due diligence is progressing well and the intention remains to realise the merger through an all-cash public offer of EUR60 (USD89.1) for all outstanding shares in Smit.

At the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of Boskalis on December 7th, shareholders approved the issue of ordinary shares up to a maximum of 20 per cent of the number of currently issued shares, excluding any pre-emptive rights. To (partly) finance the public offer, Boskalis intends to place a share issue up to an amount of EUR200-230 million.

Boskalis and Smit have started preparations for filing with the competition authorities and have informed the relevant works councils and unions of the intended public offer.

Boskalis said it intends to apply for approval of the offering memorandum with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten) as soon as possible but no later than February 4th 2010.