Bollinger buys Gulf Island’s shipyard division for $28.6 million

Written by Nick Blenkey
Headshot of Bollinger CEO Ben Bordelon

Ben Bordelon, CEO and President of Bollinger Shipyards: “As we grow and expand, it’s important that the leadership team grow and reflect the organization – both where it is today and where we’re heading in the future.”

Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. (NASDAQ: GIFI) today reported that it has sold the assets of its Shipyard Division along with certain long-term vessel construction contracts to Bollinger Shipyards LLC for approximately $28.6 million.

According to Gulf Island, the transaction includes the Shipyard Division property and assets in Houma, La., including all four of the division’s dry docks. In addition, the transaction includes the long-term contracts and all related obligations for the construction of three research vessels for Oregon State University and five towing, salvage and rescue ships for the U.S. Navy.

Among exclusions from the transaction are the contracts and related obligations for the construction of two 40-vehicle ferries for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a 70-vehicle ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation, and two multi-purpose service vessels for Hornbeck Offshore Services that, says Gulf Island, are subject to dispute.


Privately-held Bollinger Shipyards says the acquisition creates expanded opportunities for it to better serve and deepen its relationships with key defense and commercial customers with an increased capacity for new projects and footprint, access to a larger workforce skilled in steel construction, improved efficiencies and enhanced economies of scale.

“The addition of the new Houma shipyard further strengthens our position within the U.S. defense industrial base as a leading shipbuilder and vessel repair company,” said Ben Bordelon, CEO and president of Bollinger Shipyards. “For 75 years, we’ve developed a deep expertise in and proven track record of building reliable, high endurance steel vessels for the Coast Guard, Navy and our commercial customers. As the needs of these customers change and grow, we are constantly looking for ways to invest in and expand our capabilities and innovative solutions so that we can continue to provide them with the highest levels of quality, support and service in our industry.”

“For three quarters of a century,” Bordelon continued, “Bollinger’s greatest strength has and continues to be our people and their American ingenuity and quality craftsmanship. I am excited to welcome the Gulf Island Shipyard employees into the Bollinger family. Together, we will ensure that the ‘Bollinger Standard’ will be the high bar we measure ourselves against for superior quality and safety as we work to deliver the next generation of American made high-performance vessels for our government and commercial customers.”

The new Bollinger Houma facility encompasses 437 acres on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, of which 283 acres is unimproved land that is available for expansion.

The facility includes 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations facilities, 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse facilities. It also has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads.

Located just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the strategic location provides short and unrestricted access to the newly acquired Houma facility from open waters.

The four dry docks included in the are a 15,000-short-ton dry dock, a 4,000-short ton dry dock, a 3,000-short-ton dry dock and a 1,500-short-ton dry dock.

Bollinger’s acquisition increases the shipyard’s growing new construction and repair portfolio. In December of last year, Congress appropriated funds for Bollinger to build four additional Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) for the U.S. Coast Guard. Bollinger is also under contract to construct an Ocean Transport Barge and Floating Dry Dock for General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.

In addition, Bollinger is participating in industry studies for five Government programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, the U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.

Gulf Island had been building the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the U.S. Navy and Regional Class Research Vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. As noted, these projects were conveyed with the transaction

Bollinger now has 11 shipyards, all strategically located throughout Louisiana with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Bollinger is the largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region.

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