Britoil Offshore Services acquires 30 offshore-service vessels and offices

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Britoil Offshore Services (Britoil), a leading global provider of marine transportation and anchor handling vessels focused on executing complex offshore energy projects worldwide, announced today the acquisition of 30 offshore-support vessels and two management offices in Singapore and Italy from Dutch shipping group Vroon. The acquisition will see an expansion of Britoil’s operating footprint into the Mediterranean, the North Sea and Asia Pacific. The operations will also synergise in the Middle East and Africa.

The 30 vessels and supporting offices were part of Vroon’s offshore services business. Earlier this year, Vroon announced it would sell these vessels as part of a strategic reorientation. The two management offices supporting the fleet will continue their operations as usual, with Ernest Loh and Sivakumar Ramadu continuing to lead the team in Singapore and Andrea Cavo helming the team in Italy. They will report to Florent Kirchhoff, Chief Executive Officer of Britoil, headquartered in Singapore. This ensures a high degree of continuity for existing clients and contracts. Vroon will ensure a smooth and seamless transition of its vessels, crews and organisation to Britoil.

The acquisition will increase Britoil’s fleet strength as it gains access to another 30 vessels, doubling its current fleet. It propels Britoil in the selected group of top 10 offshore service vessel owners, with one of the youngest average fleet ages, at 11 years for the combined fleet. This acquisition fits well within Britoil’s growth strategy, acquiring modern assets, expanding into a global network as well as building a strong foundation for growth in the offshore renewables market. Transport Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Britoil.

“It has been an exciting period for us at Britoil. After setting up our Dubai office and acquiring seven offshore service vessels last year, this acquisition provides a robust platform for growth as a combined company. We are truly honoured to be working with an experienced management team, and we look forward to the opportunity to widen our geographical offerings and a diversified client portfolio together as one team,” commented Florent Kirchhoff, Chief Executive Officer of Britoil Offshore Services.

“Vroon’s reliable, sustainable and cost-effective solutions have seen many successes with their clients. Sustainability is no longer a want but a must and need. Britoil’s customers will be able to benefit and see cost-effectiveness in our solutions moving forward,” Florent added.

Martijn Schouten, CEO of Vroon, commented, “With the sale to Britoil of 30 offshore-support vessels and our offshore management offices in Genoa and Singapore, we have virtually completed the divestments that are part of our financial restructuring and strategic refocus, which we communicated earlier this year. We see a good fit with Britoil’s existing offshore operations and believe the combined fleet will be a strong global provider of offshore services to existing and new clients across the world. Together with Britoil, we will ensure a smooth and seamless transition of our vessels, crews and supporting organisation to their new owner. We wish our former colleagues all the best under new ownership.”

Formed in 1988, Britoil has operated in the energy industry for 35 years with vast experience in anchor handling, towing, and transportation at sea. Over the last three decades, Britoil has built a reputation for excellence, relying on vessels tailor-made for the offshore environment as well as experienced crew. In 2021, HICO Investment Group, the private investment business of the Hartnoll Family based in Singapore, acquired a significant stake in Britoil.

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