Fleet of 35 well boats will be world’s largest.
Just before Christmas last year it became known that the private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners had acquired Mowi’s 50 per cent stake in the well boat company DESS Aquaculture Shipping. The price tag was NOK 1.2 billion (US$135 million).
Antin Infrastructure Partners is also the main shareholder in the Ålesund company Sølvtrans. Work is now underway to merge Sølvtrans and DESS Aquaculture Shipping.
“A merger with Sølvtrans is going on, so we then become part of the world’s largest player in well boats,” said CFO Anders Hall Joma to Grimstad Adressetidende (behind paywall).
DESS Aquaculture Shipping, based in Grimstad, has 12 ships in operation and two more under construction in Turkey.
“DESS Aqua has eight ships that are well boats in operation, six of them built on the design of Norwegian Salt Ship Design. In addition, we have two large well boats under construction that will be able to run on LNG or biogas. and therefore have lower emissions. In total, we own and operate eight well boats, a blue boat and three service boats,” said CEO Jon Are Gummedal.
The boats have a construction cost of between NOK 300 (US$34 million) and 550 million (US$62 million) each. They all go on long contracts, lasting five to ten years, in Norway, Scotland, Canada and Australia.
Sølvtrans is significantly larger than DESS. The company has a fleet of 23 well boats. A merger of the two shipping companies will form by far the world’s largest well boat player.