Great Lakes Dredge eyes "strategic alternatives"

OCTOBER 18, 2015 — Is America's largest dredging company up for sale?

After markets closed Friday, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ:GLDD) announced it has "initiated a process to review potential strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value." This phrase is generally accepted as being corporate gobbledygook meaning "we're for sale, if the price is right?"


The company also withdrew its previously announced adjusted EBITDA guidance for the year ending December 31, 2015 "due to unanticipated project losses, delays and lower than expected new business in the environmental and remediation segment during the third quarter, and continued uncertainties in the segment."

When the company reported its second quarter results on August 4, CEO Jonathan W. Berger said, "looking forward to the rest of the year, we expect robust revenue and earnings in the dredging segment as fleet utilization will continue to be at an elevated level. We expect the environmental and remediation segment's performance to improve in the second half of the year, likely peaking in the third quarter, and thus we continue to expect to achieve total company adjusted EBITDA in the range of $97 million to $107 million for the year."

On Friday, though Great Lakes said it now "does not intend to provide adjusted EBITDA guidance going forward for the year ending December 31, 2015. Greater detail on the third quarter results will be provided in the upcoming earnings release and investor call."

Mr. Berger has notified the board of his intention to retire, "effective as of the earlier of April 13, 2017 or a date chosen by the board." The company is "in the process of identifying a successor to fill the vacancy that will be created by Mr. Berger's retirement."

In changes to the board, Nathan D. Leight, director and chairman of the board and Denise E. Dickins, director and chair of the audit committee, have both handed in their resignations effective as of October 13, 2015.

Current director Major General (Ret.) Michael J. Walsh has been appointed as chairman, effective immediately.

Joining the board is Robert Uhler. He is president and owner of a privately held strategy and marketing firm that assists companies with successful execution of strategic objectives.

Previously, Mr. Uhler spent 36 years in the engineering and construction field, most recently at MWH Global Inc., a water and natural resources firm that provides technical engineering, construction services, and consulting services.

While at MWH, says Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, "Mr. Uhler acted as the company's chief business strategist for over 20 years through a variety of corporate leadership positions, including chief strategy officer, president, chief executive officer and chairman. In addition, he led the international expansion of MWH through a disciplined sequential approach of geographical and client set expansion, widening the service offering and automating the delivery system."

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