G C Rieber Shipping acquires 40 per cent stake in Bluestone OffshoreNews // May 20, 2008
GC Rieber Shipping has acquired 40 per cent of the shares in Bluestone Offshore Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company specializing in deepwater geotechnical analysis.
"We continue enhancing our position in the subsea market," said the company's CEO, Sven Rong. "Deepwater geotechnical analysis is an attractive niche segment with few players, significant growth and high entry barriers. Our activities in the subsea market will be expanded and at the same time we strengthen our position in the growing Asian market."
Bluestone will have its first vessel, the ROV support vessel Bluestone Topaz (previously Toisa Mariner), delivered by the end of May 2008. The vessel will be upgraded and equipped with a derrick system and drill pipe capable of operating in water depths of up to 1,800m, which is suitable for most offshore locations in the Asian region. The vessel is expected to be in operation by end 2008.
Total capital expenditure for the vessel purchase and subsequent conversion is expected to be approximately US$20 million, which will be funded through a combination of equity and bond financing.
Further plans include investing in two more vessels, targeting extended operation in 2009 and 2010. The strategy also includes investments in additional laboratories.
Said Mr Rong: "By acquiring a stake in Bluestone, we get a financially attractive entrance into this market with moderate risk, and in addition we can benefit from combined utilisation of vessels."
Through performance mechanisms and share options under the shareholders' agreement entered into with the other major shareholders of Bluestone, GC Rieber Shipping's stake in Bluestone may increase or be reduced, but is expected to be in the range 34-40 per cent.