Mergers and Acquisitions

Bollinger Buys Gulf Island Shipyard Facilities

Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards announced April 19 the acquisition of the shipyard division assets and long-term contracts of Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. The acquisition includes a 437-acre waterfront facility in Houma, La., with 198,000 square feet of existing operations, fabrication and warehouse space, along with four floating drydocks.

With the purchase, Bollinger has also acquired Gulf Island Fabrication’s contracts to build both 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. Other contracts included in the sale include orders for two 40-vehicle ferries for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a 70-vehicle ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation and two multipurpose service vessels for Hornbeck Offshore Services “that are subject to dispute,” Gulf Island said in a statement.

“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, president and CEO 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.”

Bordelon, in announcing the shipyard acquisition, also welcomed Gulf Island Fabrication’s employees to the Bollinger team.

“I am excited to welcome the Gulf Island Shipyard employees into the Bollinger family,” he said. “Together, we will ensure that the ‘Bollinger Standard’ will be the high bar we measure ourselves against for superior quality and safety as we work to deliver the next generation of American-made, high-performance vessels for our government and commercial customers.”

The newly acquired shipyard site sits on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, which offers direct connection to both the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and the Gulf of Mexico, which is 30 miles to the south. Of the 437 acres included in the sale, 283 acres is unimproved land. The shipyard offers 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations facilities, 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space. In all, the new location has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads. Drydocks included offer 15,000 short ton, 4,000 short ton, 3,000 short ton and 1,500 short ton capacities.

According to Gulf Island Fabrication Inc., the shipyard and contract sale to Bollinger was valued at about $28.6 million, with net cash proceeds expected to total about $15 million. According to Gulf Island, the sale accounts for about 90 percent of the company’s backlog of existing, long-term contracts, which stretch into 2024. With the sale, Gulf Island will become a “more focused, specialty fabrication business,” according to a statement.

“This is a transformational transaction for Gulf Island, as it will enable us to accelerate our strategic priorities by significantly derisking our business and positioning us to pursue new, higher-margin opportunities within our fabrication and services division,” said Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. President and CEO Richard Heo. “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.”

Gulf Island will continue to operate a 226-acre facility on the east bank of the Houma Navigation Canal and a slip adjacent to the canal. With that, Gulf Island’s remaining facilities offer 5,970 linear feet of water frontage and 2,535 feet of steel bulkheads.