Marine Log

December 23, 2006

Dockwise sold to 3i

Heerema Group, and Wilh. Wilhelmsen say they have agreed to sell heavy-lift transportation specialist Dockwise Transport N.V., to London-headquartered private equity and venture capital group 3i.

The deal is valued in excess of $700 million, though the exact amount will depend on the damage incurred to the Dockwise vessel Mighty Servant 3, which recently was involved in an accident.

Dockwise is owned 76 percent by Heerema Group and 24 percent by Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA, Both firms say the sale is motivated by the fact that both wish to focus on their core businesses. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. has advised them on exploring strategic alternatives and the sale process.

"Both shareholders are extremely pleased with the transaction and believe that 3i is the best fit for guaranteeing continuation of the Dockwise organization and business," say Nico Pronk, CFO of the Heerema Group, and Sjur Galtung, deputy CEO of Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA.

Dockwise provides heavy-lift transportation for the marine and oil and gas industry. It has a fleet of 15 semi-submersible vessels, of which four are specialized yacht carriers. With a versatile fleet of vessels, Dockwise offers clients unparalleled flexibility and transport capacity on even the most complex of projects.

"Dockwise is a market leading business, recognized by its customers as offering a highly flexible and bespoke service," says Graeme Sword, head of 3i's Oil, Gas & Power team. "We are attracted by its growth prospects, its highly recognized brand and its highly qualified people. It is the type of company we want in the 3i portfolio."

3i is retaining the current management team in Dockwise, led by CEO Andre Goedee.

"This is an exciting time for Dockwise. The Heerema Group and the Wilh. Wilhelmsen group have been strong shareholders in the company and 3i is well placed to take the reins and continue supporting our strategy for continued growth and development," says Goedee