3i divests stake in Dockwise, generating 2.1x money multiple

19 Oct 2009

3i, an international leader in private equity, and funds managed by 3i, today announce they have sold their 26.2% stake in Dockwise generating proceeds of $82m, making a 2.1x money multiple on its $164m investment in January 2007. 3i’s stake was purchased by Sankaty Advisors LLC, HAL Investments B.V. and Project Holland Deelnemingen B.V./Project Holland Fonds.

3i invested in Dockwise, the global market leading heavy lift transportation provider based in the Netherlands, in a $780m transaction in January 2007. Dockwise specialises in transporting some of the largest and most complex cargos for a variety of end markets, including the oil and gas industry, military, port and marine infrastructure and luxury yachts.

During our involvement with the company we worked with the management team undertaking a challenging M&A process which involved transforming the scale and scope of the business and successfully entering into new markets, thereby reinforcing Dockwise’s position as the global market leader. Between 2006 and 2008, revenues increased from $250m to $456m and EBITDA grew from $102m to $225m. Similar levels of profitability are expected in 2009.
 
In May 2007, Dockwise undertook a reverse merger with Sealift in a $2.0bn merger and refinancing with the enlarged business remaining listed on the Oslo OTC market. Subsequently, the business migrated its listing to the Oslo Stock Exchange in October 2007 with 3i retaining a 26% stake in the business.

The merger provided capital to undertake the transformation of 6 sealift tankers into large heavy lift vessels capable of carrying some of the largest cargos, reinforcing Dockwise's position as the global market leader. In addition, the company completed the introduction of the yacht express, the largest of the yacht carrying vessels. Since then, Dockwise has sold 2 of its smaller dock type vessels bringing today’s fleet to 20.

During the past three years Dockwise has continued to develop itself as a fully integrated oil and gas service provider. In July 2007, Dockwise acquired two small affiliated Houston-based engineering businesses, Offshore Kinematics Inc and Ocean Dynamics LLC, market leaders in ‘floatover’ engineering services, for $48m, which, alongside organic investment in the engineering capabilities of the company, fast tracked the evolution of Dockwise into an integrated transport and installation provider for offshore and onshore structures. The company now competes alongside established providers, such as Saipem and Technip.

With the increasing demands of an enlarged business and scope of offering, combined with meeting public market demands we worked with the Board to bolster the management team. The Chairman, Adri Baan, has extensive public markets experience, and the non-executive Directors have substantial industry experience: Rutger Van Slobbe of Royal P&O Nedlloyd N.V.; Pietro Tali, Chairman and CEO of Saipem SpA; Tom Ehret, the former CEO of Acergy S.A; and Danny McNease, Chairman and CEO of Rowan Companies Inc. During our investment, the management team also grew to support CEO Andre Goedee; during 2008, Martin Adler was recruited as CCO and Rob Strijland as COO, with Peter Wit recently joining as CFO.

About 3i

3i is an international leader in private equity.  We focus on BuyoutsGrowth Capital and Infrastructure and invest across Europe, Asia and North America. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio, shareholders and fund investors.

For further information please contact:

Kathryn van der Kroft
email. kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3021