Bourbon diversifies into ethane gas

French offshore services provider Bourbon Offshore has announced a major expansion into ethane gas transportation as the company weathers a “very difficult” market facing the offshore sector.

The expansion comes in the form the acquiring the ethane activities of JACCAR Holdings, a private equity firm and major shareholder of BOURBON, Greenship Gas, Greenship Bulk, Sinopacific Shipbuilding and Sapmer Holding.

Under the deal, Bourbon Offshore will acquire 100% of Greenship Gas, a Singaporean-owned “shipping trust” and global leader in ethane gas transportation with a market share greater than 50%. The acquisition also includes 100% of EVERGAS, operator and contractor of gas transportation services, Greenship Gas Manager Pte. Ltd, the manager of the Greenship Gas, and 80 % of JHW Engineering & Contracting limited, a company that designs and engineers vessels. All companies are majority owned by JACCAR Holdings.

Bourbon says the purchase price for the companies is US$320 million with a net debt as of December 31, 2015 of US$389 million.

The final completion of the acquisition, which was authorized by the Board of Directors on March 28, is subject to shareholder approval to be voted on on May 26, 2016.

“In the very difficult market facing the offshore services sector, Bourbon is particularly resilient due to its operational performance and cost control but also due to the end of its investment program which is enabling free cash flow generation,” the company said in a statement announcing the expansion.

“However, the direction taken by its customers towards the energy transition that is underway is driving Bourbon to seek the diversification of its activities to support these new directions and open real growth prospects,” the statement added.

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