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Royal IHC to be refinanced and have new ownership

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: Royal IHC

Dutch shipbuilder Royal IHC, long a leader in dredge design and construction and other areas, is to be refinanced and come under new ownership.

An outline agreement on the acquisition and refinancing of holding company IHC Merwede Holding B.V. has been reached with an industry consortium and the company’s existing syndicate of banks.

The refinancing is being carried out with support from the Dutch ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Finance.

HAL Investments, Ackermans & van Haaren, MerweOord and Huisman have joined forces in the consortium. By establishing a continuity foundation (stichting continuïteit) to hold the shares in IHC Merwede Holding B.V., the consortium aims to retain for the Netherlands both Royal IHC’s leading technology and its position as an important hub in the Netherlands maritime cluster.

The support from the state being made through a short-term bridging loan and guarantee facility from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and an export credit insurance contribution from the Ministry of Finance.

Atradius Dutch State Business, as trade credit insurer, has pledged its full support for future export projects.

Jaap Huijskes, Chairman Royal IHC, said the preliminary agreement “demonstrates the confidence of many stakeholders in – and their commitment to – Royal IHC’s high-quality shipbuilding. This is an important step for the continuity of shipbuilding in the Netherlands, including employment opportunities and the sector’s global export position. We are convinced that, with this agreement, we will strengthen Royal IHC’s innovative power and the leading position it has held in the maritime sector for more than 350 years.”

The Supervisory Board has appointed turnaround specialist Gerben Eggink as new interim CEO. He succeeds Dave Vander Heyde, and will lead Royal IHC through this new phase. Eggink has extensive experience in successfully leading organizations in transition. He previously served as CEO at the Gardline Group and Smit Lamnalco, among others.

Paul van der Harten became CFO of Royal IHC with effect from April. He has extensive international experience with large energy-related companies. He previously worked as CFO of AEG Power Solutions, and held various financial positions at OMV and Royal Dutch Shell.

The Board of Directors also includes Chief Transformation Officer Gert-Jan Antvelink.

The agreement is subject to final agreement between the parties involved and regulatory approval.

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