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Tidewater and GulfMark in $1.25bn merger to create largest OSV operator

In another consolidation in the offshore sector US offshore support vessel (OSV) players Tidewater and GulfMark are to merge in a $1.25bn all-stock transaction.

The merger will create what the companies say will be the largest global OSV operator with a fleet of 245 platform supply vessels (PSVs) and anchor handlers (AHTS), leapfrogging Bourbon with 185 OSVs.

Under the all stock merger GulfMark shareholders would receive 1.1 shares in Tidewater for each GulfMark share in a transaction that values the combined company at $1.25bn. Following the merger the company would operate under the Tidewater brand with GulfMark shareholders beneficially owning 27% of the combined company.


The new company will be led by Tidewater ceo John Rynd with the board of directors expanded to 10 seats with three filled by directors from GulfMark.

"By combining our fleets and shore-based activities we will be better able to provide customers with access to modern, high-specification vessels while maintaining a strong commitment to safe operations and superior, cost-effective customer service. The transaction preserves Tidewater's strong financial profile and allows the company to fund both organic growth and possible additional acquisitions,” said Rynd.


The companies are aiming for cost related synergies of $30m by no later than Q4 of 2019.

Quintin Kneen, GulfMark president and ceo said, "At GulfMark, we have been longstanding advocates for consolidation of the OSV industry. This transaction is an important first step in that process. The combined company will be better positioned to build upon GulfMark's strong track record in the recovering North Sea region.

“The combined company's global operating footprint also provides scope for significant scale-based economies and improved utilisation of our fleet by redeploying under-utilised vessels across the combined company's broader operating footprint."

The merger is targeted to close in Q4 2018 subject to shareholder approval.