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Sembcorp Marine shareholders give Keppel O&M merger the green light

Photo: Lee Hong Liang Sembmarine logo.jpeg
The merger of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) and Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) is set to go ahead after the latter company’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour.

At an EGM held virtually on Thursday morning 95.28% of Sembmarine shareholders voted in favour the merger. With Keppel Corp shareholders already having voted in favour, the long-drawn transaction is set to come to a close.

The merger will see Sembmarine acquire 100% of Keppel O&M, and then the enlarged Sembmarine will then issue shares representing 54% of shares in the combined entity as consideration shares to Keppel. Sembmarine shareholders will own 46% of the combined company.

The combined shipyard group will be helmed current Keppel O&M CEO Chris Ong.

The possible merger of the two Singapore yard groups has been a source of speculation for decades and talks were officially announced between the two in June 2021, with Keppel having said in January that year it was exploring options for its offshore and marine business which included a possible sale or merger.

The structure of the merged yard group is yet to be clear. In a response to questions from shareholders issued by Sembmarine of Thursday morning it said: “It is expected that the Company will conduct a comprehensive strategic business and organisational review and decide on the best way to integrate the two companies, including the management at all levels. The aim will be to unlock synergies while taking into account the needs of the Enlarged Group.”

Initially, at least, the merged company would trade under the Sembcorp Marine  name, and Sembmarine said whether it would be renamed would be decided on by the new board and management. Such a name change would require the approval of shareholders it said.