Ezra to Inject Unit Into EOC in $520m Deal
Oilfield service firm Ezra Holdings Ltd said it is injecting its offshore support services division, EMAS Marine, into its associated company, EOC Ltd, in a stock-and-cash deal worth $520 million.
The enlarged EOC Group will seek a secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange, targeted for the fourth quarter of 2014, the company also said.
After the change, EOC Group will be one the largest offshore support operators in the Asia-Pacific region by asset value, managing an offshore services platform with more than $1 billion in assets, Ezra said in a statement.
Ezra owns a 46 percent stake in EOC and mainly sources its income from subsea services like installing infrastructure on the bottom of ocean for offshore oil and gas fields.
Lionel Lee, group managing director of Ezra, said the injection of offshore support service assets will differentiate business lines of each company under the group umbrella and make it easier to attract investors.
"There will be greater financial transparency for analysts and shareholders," Lee said. "Right now a lot of people cannot understand the risk we take on the subsea level. They can understand our marine business extremely well. They like our marine business very well, but not necessarily the subsea business."
Ezra will transfer all offshore support services assets to EOC for $150 million in cash and $370 million in new shares in EOC, Ezra said in a statement.
Ezra shares have lost more than 13 percent so far this year, while Oslo-listed EOC has risen 12 percent.
Ezra earlier in the year embarked on a strategic review, and said it would consider listing its subsea assets in the United States. The strategic review is ongoing, and the U.S. listing option is still on the table, Lee said.
BET ON ACCOMMODATION ASSETS MARKET
The consolidation will move the only accommodation and construction vessel under EMAS Marine into EOC's fleet of three, as Ezra positions itself to tap a growing market for such assets, which provide additional lodging for workers on offshore oil and gas projects.
One of the main reasons for the merger "is obviously to be able to get synergy and economies of scale and the operational expertise," Lee said.
He added that the company is looking at potential new-builds for mono-hulled vessels that can accommodate 300 to 500 people and are equipped with DP3, the latest version of a dynamic positioning system capable of automatically maintaining the position and heading of a vessel.
Copyright Reuters 2014.
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