Marine Log

October 14, 2006

Norwegian group buys Davie

The on-again, off-again, on-again sale of the Davie shipyard in Levis, Quebec, was officially concluded Friday. The yard has been sold to a group of Norwegian investors with global interests in offshore drilling platforms. Reportedly, the price was C$28.3 million (about US$25 million).

To take full advantage of the technical expertise and capabilities at the yard, says a release issued by Davie, the "new owner immediately entrusted all senior management positions to Quebecers and appointed Gilles Gagne as the company's new president. The company's new name--Davie--owes its ready familiarity to the illustrious family that founded the Levis yard some 125 years ago. It will replace the old name, Industries Davie."

"Our firm designed and built twelve offshore platforms in the early eighties, and is fully equipped to deliver jack-up drilling platforms with very competitive turnaround. This makes us a very serious world player," stated Gagne.

"With no formal ties except those to its Norwegian purchasers--a reassurance for customers--Davie is free to move ahead with international development activities wherever buyers, brokers, and shipowners require its services." says the release. "Operations are up and running again starting today."

So, who exactly are the new owners?

Canada's CBC reports that Teco Management of Norway will invest $13 million to buy the facility, while the Quebec government will guarantee half of a $15.5-million loan. In exchange, Teco must employ a certain number of workers or face fines.

Teco Management is part of the Teco Group founded in 1994 by Tore Enger. The group includes the Oslo Stock Exchange listed Teco Coating Services SA, which issued a stock exchange announcement on September 27, saying it had acquired a 7.9% stake in Davie Yards AS through a private placement. The purchase cost was NOK 8.2 million (US$ 1.2 million).

The purchase was undertaken in connection with a NOK 53 million (US$ 7.8 million) private placement in Davie Yards AS. TECO Coating Services now owns a total of 9.8% of the shares in Davie Yards after the completion of the private placement.

The announcement said that Tore Enger, Chairman of TECO Coating Services, had through his investment company TECO Group AS purchased a total of 25.1% of the shares in Davie Yards.

The Oslo Stock Exchange announcement said the shipyard is expected to be fully operational within 4-6 months, building offshore rigs, vessels and sub sea structures, in addition to performing regular shiprepair and maintenance.