Mermaid to Buy 25% Stake in Worldclass, Orders $26.4M Vessel

BANGKOK Dec 07, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Singapore-listed Mermaid Maritime PCL (DU4.SG) signed an agreement via its wholly owned unit to acquire a 25% stake in Malaysia's Worldclass Inspiration Sdn.Bhd. for MYR33.5 million ($10.1 million), Mermaid's Thai parent firm said Friday.

Mermaid Offshore Services Ltd. also signed a contract with Singapore's Jaya Shipbuilding & Engineering Pte.Ltd. to construct a support vessel for $26.4 million, Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL (TTA.TH), which owns 36.62% of Mermaid Maritime, said in a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Under the agreement, Mermaid Offshore Services will acquire 8.2 million new shares of Worldclass Inspiration, using proceeds raised from Mermaid Maritime's initial public offering in October.

The move is to enable Mermaid Offshore to enter subsea engineering services in the Malaysian market through Worldclass Inspiration, which is expected to complete a deal to raise its stake in Allied Marine & Equipment Sdn.Bhd to 90% from 55% by the end of this month, the statement said.

Allied Marine & Equipment holds a license from Petroliam Nasional Berhad to provide underwater services in Malaysia.

The new vessel is expected to allow the company to cater to the expected increase in demand for offshore subsea services in the oil and gas industry in Southeast Asia.

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