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Seacor Marine sells crew transfer vessel business to CMB

Photo: Windcat Workboats Windcat.jpg
New York-listed Seacor Marine has penned a deal to sell its crew transfer vessel (CTV) business with a fleet of 46 CTVs to Belgium’s Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB).

Seacor Marine will sell Windcat Workboats Holdings to CMB for GBP32.8m ($43.8m) in cash with CMB also assuming approximately GBP20.4m of debt outstanding under Windcat’s existing revolving credit facility.

The transaction is expected to close by 12 January 2021.

The 46 CTVs of Windcat operate in the European offshore wind market. Windcat employs approximately 180 shore-based and sea-going personnel.

“The acquisition of Windcat fits into CMB’s strategy to diversify its business portfolio into the fast-growing offshore wind market and scale up the deployment of hydrogen ships and engines. CMB wants to grow Windcat’s business by building on its strong market-leading European platform whilst expanding into new European and non-European markets, diversifying into the owning and operation of Construction Service Operation Vessels and Service Operation Vessels (CSOVs and SOVs), and deploying hydrogen engines developed by CMB.TECH onboard the existing and newbuilding Windcat fleet,” said Alexander Saverys, ceo of CMB.

“The first hydrogen powered CTV, the Hydrocat, is expected to be operational as early as June 2021. The construction of hydrogen refuelling stations in dedicated Windcat ports will be investigated as well,” Saverys added.

Willem van der Wel, managing director of Windcat, said the company has been working with CMB over the past two years in the development of Hydrocat.

“With the global challenges to reduce the carbon footprint CMB and Windcat will continue the development of the fleet in order to make significant steps in providing clean fuel solutions to wind farm support vessels,” van der Wel said.

John Gellert, ceo of Seacor Marine, commented: “This sale represents another milestone in our strategy of optimising our regional footprint and reducing costs. The proceeds from this transaction will enhance our liquidity, further strengthen our position in a challenging environment, and allow us to continue developing other opportunities in our core markets, including with our hybrid battery powered platform supply vessels that we believe have significant potential.”

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