Gulf Marine Services Seeks to Raise $100 Million From London IPO

gulf marine services barge keloa
GMS jackup barge Keloa at sea, image (c) Gulf Marine Services

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) — Gulf Marine Services Plc, an Abu Dhabi-based operator of support vessels for the oil and gas industry, plans to raise $100 million from an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange as it seeks to expand.

The company will use funds from the United Arab Emirates’ first IPO of the year to buy a Keloa vessel for $37.5 million, pay about $20 million in shareholder loans and finance a building program, according to a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service today.

The U.A.E. IPO pipeline is set to pick up in 2014, according to Morgan Stanley, as Dubai’s index posts the biggest gains globally and Abu Dhabi’s gauge rallies. Gulf Marine Services operates a fleet of nine self-elevated support vessels, or SESVs, focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Northwest Europe. The company had a 31 percent compound annual increase in revenue in the three years through 2013 to $184.3 million.

“Our vessels are in high demand and we believe demand for our vessels, and for the SESV market as a whole, will continue to increase significantly over the rest of the decade,” Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson said in the statement.

Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, JP Morgan Cazenove, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC will manage the sale.

Best Performer

Four Gulf Marine Services shareholders are set to sell a portion of their equity holdings in the offering, according to the statement. Investor meetings for the sale may begin later this month, according to a Gulf Marine Services spokesman, who asked not to be identified because of company policy.

Damac Real Estate Development Ltd., a Dubai-based property developer, in December raised $348 million from an IPO in London. Dubai’s DFM General Index is the world’s best performer this year among 94 equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg, with a gain of 25 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s benchmark has advanced 14 percent in the period.

Companies in the Persian Gulf will probably raise more than $1 billion in two to three IPOs, Klaus Froehlich, head of investment banking for Morgan Stanley in the Middle East and North Africa, said in an interview on Feb. 9.

Gulf Marine Services, set up in 1977, was taken over by a group of investors in 2007, with the majority owned by Abu Dhabi-based private equity company Gulf Capital, according to its website.

– Arif Sharif, Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.