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Swire Pacific Offshore readies war chest

Swire Pacific Offshore readies war chest

Singapore: Rapidly expanding Swire Pacific Offshore is keeping an eye out for acquisitions during the downturn. The Singapore offshoot of Swire Pacific Hong Kong already has a fleet of 70 ships, with another 20 still to deliver. The current fleet programme is mainly replacement tonnage for the company's 1982-1986 built vessels, but with business growing the leading offshore support player is keeping tabs on potential acquisition targets. 'I expect there's got to be some consolidation in this sector next year,' maintained md Brian Townsley when interviewed yesterday. 'We do have expansion plans, but we will wait for a market upturn. We are looking for assets as the sector consolidates, likely in the latter part of 2010. We have a war chest.' He suggested that among his peers there were many 'heavily geared companies', something Swire Pacific Offshore is not burdened with. He conceded that while the market has gone down and down this year there has been 'no abundance of opportunities' to acquire rivals. [25/11/09]

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