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Emanuele Lauro shocked the shipping industry and Wall Street last summer when he announced that Scorpio Bulkers, the NYSE-listed dry bulk shipping company he founded in 2013, would transition away from the sector entirely in favor of a more “sustainable future” in offshore wind.
With a new name and no longer any dry bulk vessels on its books, Eneti Inc. (NYSE: NETI) has now announced a deal to acquire UK-based Seajacks, catapulting it to one of the world’s leading owners and operators of Wind Turbine Installation Vessels.
Eneti announced Thursday a binding agreement with Marubeni Corporation, INCJ, and Mitsui O.S.K., Lines to acquire 100% of Atlantis Investorco Limited, the parent of Seajacks International Limited, for approximately 8.13 million shares, $299 million of assumed net debt, $74 million of newly-issued redeemable notes, and $12 million of cash.
Upon closing later this month, existing Eneti shareholders will own 58% of Eneti and the current owners of Seajacks will own 42%.
Based in Great Yarmouth, UK, Seajacks was founded in 2006 and is one of the largest owners of purpose-built self-propelled WTIVs in the world with a fleet of 5 vessels on-the-water, along with a track record of installing wind turbines and foundations dating back to 2009.
Seajacks’ flagship, NG14000X design “Seajacks Scylla” was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in 2015 and is currently employed in Asia. Seajacks also owns and operates the NG5500C design “Seajacks Zaratan”, which is currently operating in the Japanese market under the coveted Japanese flag, as well as three NG2500X specification WTIVs which are employed in the North Sea market.
“This transaction reflects the biggest step yet in our transformation into a world-class contractor for offshore wind,” said Lauro, Chairman and CEO of Eneti. “Seajacks is a market leader with a fleet of five advanced jack-up vessels; via this combination we will gain the valuable support of Seajacks shareholders who now become Eneti shareholders; moreover what is central to this combination is the committed and experienced professionals who join our team.”
Since its inception, Seajacks has successfully installed 2.2GW of offshore wind capacity. In 2021, the company is expected to generate $125 million of EBITDA from projected revenues of $224 million, of which 89% is from firm contracts.
Upon closing, Eneti will become the only NYSE-listed WTIV owner-operator and provide shareholders with immediate exposure to the burgeoning offshore wind market.
“Their organization has delivered on complex projects for demanding customers in the most difficult operating environments. We are truly excited to be able to work with the Seajacks management team to build on these accomplishments, creating the world’s leading owner and operator of WTIVs listed on the New York Stock Exchange,” added Lauro.
As a result of the transaction, Hiroshi Tachigami of Marubeni Corporation, and Peter Niklai of INCJ, Ltd. will join the Eneti Board of Directors.
“We welcome our new shareholders from Japan, and we welcome Hiroshi and Peter to our Board of Directors. The Company starts a new phase with modest leverage and considerable levels of contract cover. With the well-evidenced demand growth for offshore wind well beyond this decade, we are ideally placed to provide the right assets and the right services for the coming years,” Lauro said.
The transaction is expected to close by mid-August.
In addition to the five WTIVs included in the Seajacks acquisition, Eneti also has one high-specification WTIV under construction at South Korean shipyard DSME, with delivery expected in third quarter of 2024, and is also in advanced discussions with American shipbuilders for the construction of a Jones Act-compliant WTIV.
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