GulfMark gets rival merger bid from Harvey Gulf

(HOUSTON) — GulfMark Offshore Inc. confirmed on Monday that it has received a nonbinding, unsolicited proposal to merge with Harvey Gulf International Marine, the Houston Business Journal reported.

The offer from New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf comes less than a month after GulfMark and Houston-based Tidewater announced plans to merge.

Under the terms of the new proposal, GulfMark would acquire Harvey Gulf and remain a publicly traded company. However, GulfMark stockholders would own 41.2 percent of the combined company.

GulfMark advised its stockholders to take no action at this time and said its board of directors will review the unsolicited proposal. The proposal letter says Harvey Gulf’s enterprise value is $900 million, but GulfMark has not confirmed that valuation.

Both GulfMark and Tidewater emerged from bankruptcy in 2017. GulfMark’s reorganization plan included converting about $429.6 million of outstanding bonds into equity and raising about $125 million of new equity capital. Tidewater eliminated $1.6 billion in principal of outstanding debt.

Harvey Gulf emerged from bankruptcy on July 2, eliminating about $1 billion in debt. Harvey Gulf and affiliated debtors had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Houston less than four months earlier.

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The following is text of a news release from VesselsValue:

(LONDON) — With a combined fleet size of 274 vessels, a merger between GulfMark and Tidewater would lead to one of the largest offshore supply vessel (OSV) fleets in terms of overall size with an average age 10.7 years old, according to Matthew Freeman, director of London-based VesselsValue.

If a merger would materialize between Harvey Gulf and GulfMark, it would mean a smaller overall fleet size of 129 vessels but with an average age of 9.2 years old.

The Harvey Gulf fleet consists of 57 OSVs and six offshore construction vessels (OCVs), a sector that GulfMark does not currently have a presence in, so the main questions here are size over speciality and what the future holds, Freeman said.

By Professional Mariner Staff