A takeover of Norway’s Green Energy Group has been suspended.

The former Seabird Exploration, an owner of seismic survey ships, had said in April it had signed a letter of intent with a potential buyer to conduct due diligence on the company.

This week, the Oslo-listed operation announced that an agreement with the unnamed buyer had been reached.

But, “due to events outside of both parties’ control”, the negotiated deal has been put on hold.

“It is currently unclear to the company whether the deal will go through or not,” Green Energy added.

The period of exclusivity granted for the purchaser to pursue a transaction has lapsed.

Green Energy has now restarted negotiations with other suitors.

The takeover gave an enterprise value for Green Energy of $53m.

The company owns two research vessels and two survey units.

It also operates another two ships depending on demand, or more than 30% of the capacity in this shipping segment.

Interest from buyers

Green Energy said in January it was considering a strategic review after being approached by interested parties, as well as the disposal of a seismic survey ship after receiving interest from buyers.

The company revealed that “several” prospective purchasers were circling the 80-loa Petrel Explorer (built 2008).

The two big players in the market are Shearwater GeoServices and PGS.

One other competitor was taken out of the equation last year, as Middle East owner Polarcus collapsed when its banks pulled the plug.

Most of the Polarcus fleet eventually ended up with Shearwater, an aggressive consolidator in the sector.

In 2020, rival PGS was restructured through a $1.2bn refinancing.