07 March 2019
Dutch maritime services provider Royal Boskalis has acquired a majority stake in UAE geotech company the Horizons Group, with strategy and corporate finance firm JBR among the advisors.
The Dutch maritime services provider Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) – a leading global dredging and offshore contractor with operations in 90 countries and 10,000-plus worldwide employees – has picked up a majority stake in the UAE’s Horizon Group, with the deal advised on by Netherlands-based corporate finance firm JBR together with global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Established in 2004, the Sharjah-based Horizon Group primarily operates in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea with the provision of geophysical surveys and geotechnical services – via a fleet of seven large and five smaller survey/geotechnical vessels along with a range of other technical equipment – counting national oil companies and international oil & gas industry contractors among its clients.
The purchase will complement Royal Boskalis own existing fleet of more than 900 vessels and floating equipment. “Through this transaction, we are adding an important strategic position to our existing marine survey and subsea geotechnical business. Horizon is a market leader in the Middle East and we are committed to continuing and expanding the high quality of services they deliver to their clients,” said Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski.
Boskalis has altogether picked up a 62.5 percent share in Horizon – with revenues in the 2018/2019 financial year expected to exceed $100 million, adding to annual Boskalis revenues regularly in excess of $2.5 billion (the company is scheduled to release its full year 2018 results today). The remaining 37.5% stake, meanwhile, will continue to be held by the incumbent Horizon management according to a press release from Boskalis.
Along with legal support from international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the more than a century-old Dutch company received M&A guidance for the transaction from fellow Netherlands-based corporate finance firm JBR. The M&A firm’s deal team, which has come to be a trusted advisor to Boskalis in recent times, consisted of Kees van Biert, Rick ter Maat, and Mirthe van Schrojenstein Lantman.
Previously, JBR – which also provides cross-sector services in the areas of strategic consultancy, restructuring and interim executive staffing – supported the 2016 sale of Boskalis’ stake in SMIT Amandla Marine for approximately €50 million. The advisory firm has also helped Boskalis in the establishment of a number of joint ventures.
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