Monaco investment fund HAL Holding is making a €2.26bn ($2.5bn) offer to buy the rest of the stock it does not already own in giant Dutch contractor and shipowner Boskalis.
HAL is the biggest investor with a 46.5% stake currently, and has been a shareholder since 1989.
But the fund believes Boskalis’ Amsterdam listing offer limited added value for the group and does not outweigh the costs involved.
The offer price of €32.5 per share values Boskalis at €4.2bn and is 28% higher than Wednesday’s close.
“HAL believes that given Boskalis’ business characteristics, the long-term nature of its larger projects, typically spanning multiple years, and the cyclicality of its underlying markets, Boskalis could benefit from private ownership with a long-term investment horizon,” HAL said.
The fund added that private ownership could also enhance merger and acquisition opportunities.
Management will remain in place and HAL said it supports the group’s current strategy.
Boskalis owns 211 ships and is best known for its dredgers and tugs.
But the group also has a big fleet of anchor-handling tug supply units, platform supply vessels, cable-layers, research ships and semi-submersible heavylifters.
Two ships are currently on order: an anchor-handling tug and a multipurpose support vessel for delivery this year.
VesselsValue assesses the 79 offshore and heavylift ships as worth $228m.
HAL had told Boskalis of the offer on 8 March.
Offer under review
Boskalis said managers and directors will now “carefully consider all aspects of the proposed offer in accordance with their fiduciary duties”.
The group announced a net profit of €151m for 2021 on Thursday, compared to a loss of €97m the year before.
In December, Boskalis said it was reviewing the ownership of the Rotterdam-based offshore support vessel (OSV) and tug group Smit Lamnalco, owned jointly with Saudi Arabian ship manager and broker Rezayat Group.
Each joint venture partner owns 50% of Smit Lamnalco, which controls 160 vessels and has 2,500 staff operating in 25 countries.
Offshore wind work targeted
Boskalis is moving more into offshore wind farm work and has been selling non-core operations in recent years.
In November, the company banked about €80m from selling its Asian tug businesses.
Boskalis had a 49% stake in Keppel Smit Towage (KST) and Maju Maritime, which control 58 ships.
The Dutch group sold its stakes in Saam Smit Towage and Kotug Smit Towage in 2019.