April 28, 2007
Sealift to merge with Dockwise
Sealift, the heavy lift transportation specialist established in January by John Fredriksen's Frontline, is to merge with market leader Dockwise.
Following the merger, the Sealift vessels will be integrated into the existing Dockwise fleet and the company will trade under the Dockwise name.
London-headquartered private equity and venture capital group 3i, the largest shareholder in Dockwise, and Bermuda based Frontline, the largest shareholder in Sealift, have both approved the merger.
Sealift, which is listed on the Oslo OTC market, was founded by Frontline to manage and operate six large Suezmax tankers, which are due to be converted into semi-submersible heavy transportation vessels.
The first of these six vessels will be operational in May, following the completion of its conversion in China. Delivery of the bulk of the remaining vessels will follow later in 2007, with the final vessel to be delivered fourth quarter 2008.
Following the merger, the new entity will be listed on the Oslo OTC market. Both 3i and Frontline will continue as shareholders of the new company, whith 3i retaining the largest shareholding in Dockwise.
André Goedee, CEO of Dockwise commented: "The six Sealift vessels will reinforce our core business and allow us to accelerate our focus on new markets, such as the installation of oil platforms and the management of large and complex logistic projects."
Bert Bekker, CEO of Sealift, said: "The introduction of the six new sister vessels combined with the versatile Dockwise fleet will greatly benefit our customers."
Bekker retired as CEO of Dockwise in 2003 and was recruited to head up Sealift's management in January.
Dockwise was acquired by 3i in December 2006. It was previously owned 76 percent by Heerema Group and 24 percent by Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA.
Headquartered in Breda, the Netherlands, it operates a fleet of 15 semi-submersible heavy transport vessels, four of which are specialized yacht carriers.