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Maersk Divests from ESVAGT

Rob Almeida
Comments Off on Maersk Divests from ESVAGT

Image via ESVAGT

After nearly 25 years of majority ownership by Maersk, the Esbjerg, Denmark-based ship owner ESVAGT has just been sold to 3i Infrastructure plc and AMP Capital, two international infrastructure investors, in a deal valued at around USD $610 million.

Excelling in providing safety and support at sea, ESVAGT has since 2009 more than doubled its turnover and is one of the industry’s most profitable companies.

”ESVAGT is a sound, well-run company with an exceptional operational excellence, and we have assessed how we best serve ESVAGT’s long-term interest, as they are not part of the Maersk Group’s core business. The sale to 3i Infrastructure plc and AMP Capital has proven to be the best way of ensuring that ESVAGT can continue its development based on a strong culture and heritage, while at the same time creating value for the shareholders,” said Maersk Group CFO and Chairman of the Board in ESVAGT, Trond Westlie.

Kent Kirk, co-founder of ESVAGT and shareholder in ESE-Holding A/S, commented:
“ESVAGT was founded in 1981 to abate unemployment in the fishing industry. Many skilled employees, both current and former, have been employed by the company, and we are happy to have been able to offer a large number of young people a career at sea,” he said.

“Almost 25 years of collaboration with the Maersk Group has meant ESVAGT is now industry leader when it comes to safety at sea. We are happy that by selling to 3i Infrastructure plc and AMP Capital, we have found a shareholder group who will invest with the long-term perspective.”

With ESVAGT’s strong market position and a long-term growth strategy, which is expected to support continued profitable growth, the new shareholder group is dedicated to build on ESVAGT’s business strategy and well-known operational excellence.

Ben Loomes and Phil White, Managing Partners and Co-heads, Infrastructure, 3i Investments plc, commented:
“We are pleased to be investing in ESVAGT, a leading provider of emergency rescue and response vessel services to a diverse customer base in the offshore oil and gas industry. ESVAGT has a successful history in its core markets, Denmark and Norway. With a strong and defensible market position, the business is well placed to replicate its success in overseas markets and leverage its expertise to expand in the offshore wind sector. We look forward to working with the ESVAGT management team to build on the success of the business and deliver attractive returns to 3i Infrastructure’s shareholders.”

AMP Capital Global Head of Infrastructure Equity Boe Pahari added: “We believe ESVAGT represents an excellent opportunity for our investors. It holds leading positions in its core Scandinavian markets where there are high barriers to entry. Its contracted revenue streams, unique operating model and market-leading margins mean it is expected to continue to deliver stable and predictable revenue. The company is also well positioned to replicate its success in overseas markets as well as the offshore wind sector, which we believe offers exciting opportunities for the business.”

Completion of the transaction remains conditional upon receiving clearance from the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation. Completion is anticipated by the end of September 2015.

”We are very proud of the results we have achieved under our current ownership, and with a new dedicated owner, we will be able to ensure a continued healthy development of our business, firmly anchored in our Danish heritage and operational excellence,” says ESVAGT CEO Søren Nørgaard Thomsen.

ESVAGT has a fleet of 43 vessels (1 x SOV newbuilding scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 1 x CCV newbuilding scheduled for delivery in 2017) and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.

In 2014, ESVAGT delivered a profit of DKK 252.3m and a turnover of DKK 943.2m.