GulfMark Offshore, Inc. announced it had entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Rigdon Marine Corporation (RMC), a major operator of technologically advanced offshore supply vessels. The purchase will add the RMC management team, an experienced group of mariners and a fleet of modern vessels designed to support the expanding demand in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The combined company will initially operate 90 vessels with an additional 16 vessels under construction for delivery through 2010. Geographically diversified, the combined fleet will have 24 vessels in the domestic Gulf of Mexico bringing the total fleet to 34 vessels based in the Americas, 42 vessels based in the North Sea and 14 in Southeast Asia.
The combination of GulfMark and Rigdon Marine will create an organization of over 2,000 valued employees and 90 vessels, capable of working in virtually all OSV markets, with an additional 16 vessels of several different designs under construction. Nine of the vessels will deliver between the middle of 2008 and the middle of 2009 and the remaining seven between mid 2009 and mid 2010.
Bruce Streeter, President and CEO of GulfMark said, "Rigdon Marine has an excellent employee base with a strong management team, excellent market penetration and a growing fleet of well designed vessels. The addition of Rigdon Marine will complement and expand the strong asset base of GulfMark. The integration of the two companies with strong safety cultures, highly skilled employee bases and equipment designed to meet the future needs of the industry, strategically positions the combined company for future growth and value creation. In addition to the domestic U.S. vessel operations and customer base, we will add operations in Trinidad and a vessel working in support of seismic services worldwide. Our Americas operations will now encompass the U.S., Mexico, Trinidad and Brazil. We expect the combination to be accretive to GulfMark earnings and cash flow per share from the outset, including the remaining part of 2008. More importantly, as future vessel deliveries of the combined company enter the market, GulfMark will have a strong position in the domestic United States market and the capacity to expand to further locations, thus complementing our strong international presence."
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