June 19 - Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding Invest AS (WWHI), a fully owned subsidiary of Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA (WWH), has signed an agreement to acquire 35.4 percent of the shares in NorSea Group AS (NSG).
NSG is a leading supplier of base services and integrated logistics systems to the Norwegian oil and gas industry.
Through its fully and partly owned entities NSG operates ten strategically located supply bases along the coast of Norway, including NorSea (Stavanger), Stordbase (Stord), Coast Center Base (Bergen), Vestbase (Kristiansund),Helgelandsbase (Sandnessjøen) and Polarbase (Hammerfest).
"The investment follows our previously announced strategy aiming at exploring new opportunities within the energy, offshore and maritime industry, supplementing the activities of Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA and Wilhelmsen Maritimes Services AS (WMS)," says Thomas Wilhelmsen, group CEO in WWH.
While the investment is made on a standalone basis, there is future synergy potential between NSG and WMS related to products and services towards the offshore fleet.
"NSG's prime focus is presently the Norwegian offshore sector. While the strong development within the Norwegian continental shelf is expected to continue, NSG sees opportunities abroad. We aim at supporting NSG in this development, drawing on our global maritime network of people, related companies and partners," says Wilhelmsen. "We look forward to creating a global shaper of supply base offshore and logistics solutions together with our new partners."
NorSea Group has extensive experience in heavy lift operations through numerous field developments and other activities requiring heavy lifts. A key area of focus is facilitation and support of project developments and larger maintenance campaigns. These activities need various logistic support, such as project area near quays, traditional logistical support (forklifts, flatbeds, cranes etc.), personnel, a wide range of various suppliers (electricians, welders, riggers, NDT etc.) and heavy lift capacity.
Heavy lifts (typical 100+ tonnes) are performed by using crawler cranes or crane barges.
WWHI's total investment in NSG will be approximately NOK500 million (USD80 million), including equity investment, shareholder loan and transaction cost. To partly finance the acquisition, WWHI has received commitment for a two and a half year loan credit facility of up to NOK300 million (USD50 million).
Following completion, WWHI will be the largest shareholder in NSG. In addition, WWHI has a first right of refusal to increase to 40 percent ownership. Eidesvik Eiendomsinvest AS and Simon Møkster Eiendom AS will continue as main shareholders in NSG, each with approximately 30 percent ownership.