(EnergyAsia, July 16 2014, Wednesday) — Singapore’s Ezra Holdings Limited said it is aiming to create one of Asia’s largest offshore services providers by merging an offshore division with an associated firm to own and operate a vessel fleet worth more than US$1 billion.

The enlarged EOC Group will comprise EMAS Marine, Ezra’s offshore support services division, and EOC Limited which is listed on the Oslo Børs stock exchange in Norway. The US$520 million consolidation comprises US$150 million in cash and US$370 million through the issuance of approximately 280.1 million new EOC shares to Ezra based on the issue price of 8.18 Norwegian krone per new share. (US$1=6.2 krone).

“Upon completion of the transaction, EOC Group will be one of the largest offshore support operators in Asia Pacific by asset value, managing an offshore services platform comprising over US$1 billion in offshore support assets,” said Ezra.

“Its diverse and versatile fleet of 50 offshore vessels is among the youngest in the region. The fleet has a combined bollard pull of almost 4,000 tons, more than 37,000 dead weight tonnes (dwt) and a total of almost 350,000 BHP, making it one of the strongest and most powerful in the region, with capabilities to operate globally at ultra-deep water depths.”

EOC will control a fleet that includes technologically advanced vessels with strong deepwater capabilities to meet growing demand arising from increased offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities globally. It will leverage EMAS Marine’s extensive execution capabilities and established track record in asset management to strengthen its position as a leading offshore solution provider, offering a suite of offshore support services, including, OSVs, accommodation, construction, and resource management.

With an experienced independent team helming the enlarged EOC Group, Ezra said its management will be able to focus on developing the fast-growing subsea services business, which has become the group’s main revenue generator.

“By bringing together EMAS Marine and EOC, Ezra has created an offshore solutions provider in the region that is ahead of its peers in terms of fleet capabilities,” said Lionel Lee, Ezra’s Group CEO and managing director.

“This move allows us to capitalise on investors’ growing interest for exposure in the different segments of the offshore oil and gas sector, and at the same time, meet increasing demand for newer offshore support vessels (OSVs) with large deck areas, accommodation capacity, bollard pull and dynamic positioning capabilities among our clients.

“By combining our established platform of resources, talent and technical capabilities, together with EOC’s strategy to expand into the offshore accommodation space, we believe it is now time to unlock value and consolidate our business units.”

Lee Kian Soo, Ezra’s group founder and a non-executive director, said:

“This is a significant milestone for us. When we started in 1992, we were a simple ship operator. Seven years later, we obtained our first vessel. Today, I am pleased to present to the market this new platform which manages 50 vessels. Through the years, we have gained international recognition for our strong execution capabilities and operational flexibility. I believe that with our enlarged platform, we can capture a greater market share and serve our clients better.”

As part of the proposed consolidation, EOC is considering a secondary listing of its shares on the Singapore Exchange main board while Ezra will undertake a secondary sale of its shares of up to US$20 million in Norway to serve EOC’s existing shareholders in the Norwegian Central Securities Depository.

The proposed secondary listing will allow EOC to leverage the EMAS branding in Asia for greater access to competitive sources of debt and equity and is expected to improve the overall trading liquidity in EOC shares.

The proposed offering is subject to approval from the Singapore Exchange and EOC’s shareholders of EOC with a view to prevailing market conditions. Shareholder approval will be sought at extraordinary general meetings that Ezra and EOC will each be holding at a future date.