SEACOR Marine Holdings, a provider of marine and support transportation services to offshore oil and natural gas and wind farm facilities worldwide, announced that it is selling Windcat Workboats which operates a fleet of 46 crew transfer vessels supporting the offshore wind industry in Europe. Windcat, with headquartered the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is being acquired by Compagnie Maritime Belge, a diversified shipping and logistics group headquartered in Antwerp.
Under the terms of the definitive sale and purchase agreement, CMB will pay SEACOR Marine approximately $44,6 million in cash, and assume all of the approximately $28 million of debt outstanding under Windcat’s existing revolving credit facility. Windcat, which employs approximately 180 shore-based and sea-going personnel, will continue to lead by the company’s current management team.
“This sale represents another milestone in our strategy of optimizing our regional footprint and reducing costs. The proceeds from this transaction will enhance our liquidity, further strengthen our position in a challenging environment, and allow us to continue developing other opportunities in our core markets, including with our hybrid battery powered platform supply vessels that we believe have significant potential,” said John Gellert, SEACOR Marine’s Chief Executive Officer.
CMB currently owns and operates more than 90 large sea-going ships in dry bulk (Bocimar), container transport (Delphis) and chemical tankers (Bochem). For the past two years the two companies had been working together to develop the Hydrocat, the world’s first Hydrogen driven CTV. SEACOR had been an investor in Windcat for the past nine years.
“The acquisition of Windcat fits into CMB’s strategy to diversify its business portfolio into the fast-growing offshore wind market and scale up the deployment of hydrogen ships and engines,” said Alexander Saverys, CMB’s Chief Executive Officer. “CMB wants to grow Windcat’s business by building on its strong market-leading European platform whilst expanding into new European and non-European markets, diversifying into the owning and operation of Construction Service Operation Vessels and Service Operation Vessels (CSOVs and SOVs), and deploying hydrogen engines developed by CMB.TECH onboard the existing and newbuilding Windcat fleet.”
The first hydrogen powered CTV, the Hydrocat, is expected to be operational as early as June 2021. The companies noted that they are also investigating the construction of hydrogen refueling stations in Windcat ports