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Oaktree acquires Gulmar majority stake

Oaktree acquires Gulmar majority stake

Dubai: US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management has acquired a controlling stake in Gulmar Offshore Middle East LLC, thereby helping the  Sharjah-based company pay for the latest sophisticated newbuilds about to join its fleet.

Two new Dive Support Vessels (DSVs) featuring advanced DP2 dynamic positioning and ROVs are being built at Hanjin Shipyard after having been ordered at the top of the market for a reported $150m each - Gulmar Atlantis (pictured, under construction) and Gulmar DaVinci. The vessels should now deliver over the coming few months with the new investment in place.

The acquisition by Oaktree, which manages $75bn of global assets, involves the takeover of over 75% of Panama-registered Gulmar Energy SA, which owns Gulmar Offshore as well as Gulmar Offshore Asia PTE Ltd, a dormant subsidiary. Four existing DP2 DSV workboats are also included in the takeover.

Subsea contractor Gulmar employs 500 people and owns an 8,000 square metre yard at Hamriya Free Zone, Sharjah. It operates in 12 countries.

"We are a Middle-East based company with the Middle East as a core region for us," says Neil Guthrie, Gulmar's cfo. "We own and time-charter vessels and are providers of sub-sea services, such as personnel, equipment, and engineering."

Gulmar's origins date back to the early 1950s and the J.Y. Cousteau Group of companies. In 1998, the parent group was created, and Gulmar Offshore in 2000. In 2006, GCC Energy Holdings Ltd. and Polux Investments Ltd. acquired two thirds of the company's capital.  [08/11/10]