June 4, 2008
Rigdon operations to remain New Orleans based after acquisition by GulfMark
Rigdon Marine says that its operations will remain based in the New Orleans area following closing of its May 28 agreement to sell all of its equity interests to GulfMark Offshore (NYSE:GLF).
GulfMark's corporate headquarters are in Houston, Texas, but the company currently has only minimal U.S. operations.
That will change with the acquisition of Rigdon Marine, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2008 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. The combined company will initially operate 90 vessels, with an additional 16 vessels under construction for delivery through 2010. The combined fleets will give GulfMark a significant presence in the domestic Gulf of Mexico as well as the North Sea, Brazil and Southeast Asia, to compliment smaller but growing operating areas in Trinidad, Mexico, West Africa and India.
Rigdon Marine said today that "the addition and retention of Rigdon Marine's experienced and highly trained mariners and its seasoned and knowledgeable shore-based management" will be key components of the enhanced operations.
"More than 300 skilled men and women are currently employed by Rigdon Marine, most working in the US Gulf region, with New Orleans area employment expected to grow to more than 400. Going forward, the Rigdon Marine Team will play a central role in the expansion of GulfMark's presence in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean markets," says Rigdon Marine
Richard M. Currence, Jr., Senior Vice President of Operations for Rigdon Marine, and longtime resident of New Orleans, foresees a long-term and beneficial relationship between the Gulf Coast communities and the new business organization.
"Rigdon Marine has always designed its future business plans based on operating in the New Orleans area, due to its rich maritime heritage, essential vendors, and a large talented pool of professional mariners," said Mr. Currence. He noted that Rigdon's recent long-term lease extension and expansion of its St. Rose, Louisiana, facility highlights the overall organizational commitment to the region.