An illustration of the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS).

Bollinger Acquires Gulf Island Fabrication’s Houma Shipyard

Mike Schuler
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April 19, 2021

Bollinger Shipyards announced today it has acquired the shipyard facilities of Gulf Island Fabrication (NASDAQ:GIFI).

Lockport, Lousianna-based Bollinger Shipyards is a leading privately-held designer and builder of steel military and commercial vessels. Its current customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, General Dynamics-Electric Boat, and non-defense and commercial customers servicing energy production to dredging

The acquisition will expand Bollinger new construction and repair capacity and capabilities through the addition of Gulf Island’s 437-acre waterfront facility in Houma, Louisiana, with 198,000 sq. ft. of existing operations, fabrication and warehouse space, and 4 floating dry docks.

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. These projects conveyed with the transaction.

“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.”

Bollinger did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction, but Gulf Island says the sale is valued at approximately $28.6 million and includes assets and certain long-term vessel construction contracts of the Shipyard Division, including 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. 

“This is a transformational transaction for Gulf Island, as it will enable us to accelerate our strategic priorities by significantly de-risking our business and positioning us to pursue new, higher-margin opportunities within our Fabrication & Services Division,” said Richard Heo, Gulf Island’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are well-positioned given the strategic initiatives implemented over the past year and we are excited by the opportunities for profitable growth that lay ahead.”

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 location provides short and unrestricted access to the newly acquired Houma facility from open waters.

The acquisition also includes a 15,000-short ton drydock, a 4,000-short ton drydock, a 3,000-short ton drydock and a 1,500-short ton drydock.

Bollinger’s acquisition increases it’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. In addition to construction of the FRC, Bollinger is 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.

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