TY Offshore gets private equity injection

Written by Nick Blenkey

TY-Offshore-Launches-FMT-3256MAY 28, 2013 — TY Offshore is to start a $9 million capital improvement plan after revamping its ownership structure and getting an equity investment from a private equity firm.

Barge launch at TY Offshore

TY Offshore and sister company Trinity Yachts today announced the formation of the Gulf Coast Shipyard Group which will own and operate the operation’s two Gulf Coast based shipyards and will also operate International Yacht Collection (IYC), a wholly owned yacht brokerage unit and Greenwich, CT, based private equity investor Littlejohn & Co., LLC announced that it has made an equity investment in the group.

Littlejohn & Co. says it intends to work closely with the existing Gulf Coast management team to support their strategic growth plans and continue investments in both shipyards. John Dane III, President and CEO, will continue to lead the company as he has for the past 13 years since taking Trinity Yachts private from Halter Marine in 2000. Felix S. Sabates Jr. will step down as Chairman to become an advisor and consultant to the new organization.

Gulf Coast Shipyard Group’s management—which has a long history of building and operating major diversified shipbuilding operations— says it is enthusiastic about its partnership with Littlejohn, which has a well-established track record of investing in and working with management teams to build significant competitive enterprises in their target industries.

“Littlejohn has an impeccable reputation along with the ability to bring equity, strategy and experience in order to successfully grow our operations and market share,” said Mr. Dane. “I am also happy to announce that we will be starting a $9 million capital improvement program to the Gulfport, Mississippi yard which will increase our efficiency and annual output. These improvements will also upgrade our Syncrolift to 4,300 tons in anticipation of building ice class vessels for Artic operations.”

Edmund J. Feeley, Managing Director of Littlejohn, said, “We look forward to our partnership with the Gulf Coast management team to continue the company’s strong growth trajectory into new markets. The company has a strong backlog of orders, and oil and gas drilling and production activity is expected to remain strong with demand for vessels serving this industry expected to continue, as well as vessels targeted for other commercial and military markets.”

Littlejohn & Co. describes itself as “investing in middle-market companies that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth that can benefit from its operational and strategic approach.” The firm is currently investing from Littlejohn Fund IV, L.P., which has over $1.3 billion in capital commitments.

Gulf Coast Shipyard Group entered the commercial vessel market in 2010 with the brand name TY Offshore and has invested significant capital into its facilities to serve the commercial vessel market and has successfully built a significant backlog of offshore supply vessels and inland tank barges. The company also expanded its presence in the military vessel market.

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