Bollinger Shipyards will acquire VT Halter Marine

Bollinger will build the U.S. Guard Polar Security Cutter following its acquisition of VT Halter Marine. Rendering courtesy USCG

LOCKPORT, La. — Bollinger Shipyards, the largest privately-owned and operated shipbuilder in the United States, announced Sunday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire VT Halter Marine and ST Engineering Halter Marine Offshore (STEHMO) from parent company ST Engineering North America.

The transaction, which is expected to close later this year, will expand Bollinger’s new construction and repair capacity and capabilities to better serve its key defense and commercial customers, according to a news release.

Bollinger will pay $15 million for the two companies, pending final terms of the sale. Bollinger could make additional payouts totaling up $10.25 million to ST Engineering based on the future awards and performance of certain shipbuilding contracts.

“For over 75 years, my family has been dedicated to providing our government and commercial customers with the highest levels of quality, support and service in the U.S. shipbuilding industry,” said Ben Bordelon, CEO and President of Bollinger Shipyards. “The addition of VT Halter Marine and STEHMO in Pascagoula, Mississippi is strategic as it further strengthens our position in the industry and U.S. defense industrial base by allowing Bollinger to expand our footprint, capabilities and suite of innovative solutions that we can provide to our customers.

“From day one, the Bollinger team will leverage our proven and best-in-class management team, operational excellence and existing capability to ongoing commercial and government programs, especially the Polar Security Cutter program,” he continued.

This acquisition creates expanded opportunities for Bollinger to better serve and deepen its relationships with its key defense and commercial customers with an increased capacity and footprint, improved efficiencies, enhanced economies of scale, and access to a large skilled workforce, including increased engineering capacity. It also brings expanded capabilities for future programs, including an ACAT I program.

Bollinger’s acquisition increases the shipyard’s growing new construction and repair portfolio. All ongoing programs are to be conveyed with the transaction. Notably, the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program for the U.S. Coast Guard and the Auxiliary Personnel Lighter-Small (APL(S)) program for the U.S. Navy. Given the proximity to Bollinger’s existing facilities, Bollinger will be able to support further efficiencies and resolution of any potential capacity constraints.

In addition to construction of the U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) program, Bollinger builds the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel (MCM USV) and the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) programs for the U.S. Navy, as well as the Regional Class Research Vessel for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. Bollinger also has two active contracts with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build a 618-foot by 140-foot state-of-the-art Floating Dry Dock and a 496-foot by 95-foot Pontoon Launcher, both of which will support the construction and launching of the U.S. Navy’s Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarines. In addition, Bollinger is participating in industry studies for two government programs, including the U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.

“Bollinger takes great pride in being a major job creator in Louisiana,” Bordelon continued. “Today, we’re excited to grow and expand that legacy to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. We have always said that our greatest strength has and continues to be our people. By combining our skilled workforces, we’ll ensure coastal Mississippi remains synonymous with defense shipbuilding and remains a major part of our industrial base.”

The acquisition includes 378 acres comprising two shipyards in Pascagoula and two dormant yards north of Pascagoula. The newly acquired yards will be renamed Bollinger Mississippi Shipbuilding and Bollinger Mississippi Repair. The Pascagoula facilities are strategically located with direct, deep-water access to the Gulf of Mexico and houses corporate office space, engineering, fabrication, warehousing and a foreign trade zone. The shipyard consists of 225,000 square feet of covered production area in the main fabrication assembly buildings. The facility is capable of producing Panamax-sized vessels up to 50,000 DWT and features an expanded 225.6m (740-foot) tilt-beam launch system.

About Bollinger Shipyards LLC

Bollinger Shipyards LLC has a 75-year legacy as a leading designer and builder of high performance military patrol boats and salvage vessels, research vessels, ocean-going double hull barges, offshore oil field support vessels, tugboats, rigs, lift boats, inland waterways push boats, barges, and other steel and aluminum products from its new construction shipyards as part of the U. S. industrial base. Bollinger has 14 facilities, all strategically located throughout Louisiana with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region. Learn more at our website:

About ST Engineering North America

ST Engineering North America is the U.S. subsidiary of ST Engineering (SGX: S63), a global technology, defense and engineering group with a diverse portfolio of businesses across the aerospace, smart city, defense and public security segments. With our U.S. headquarters based in Alexandria, VA, we have major operations in over 50 cities across 23 states, employing about 7,000 people in the country. At ST Engineering, we enable a more secure and sustainable world through innovative technology, products and solutions across diverse market segments.

— Bollinger Shipyards

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to indicate terms of the acquisition. 

By Casey Conley