GulfNav targets expansion with offshore oil and gas acquisition

Offshore drilling platforms in Singapore. The UAE-based shipping company Gulf Navigation is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-listed Atlantic Navigation as part of its plans to expand into the offshore oil and gas sector. (Reuters)
Updated 29 January 2018
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GulfNav targets expansion with offshore oil and gas acquisition

LONDON: The UAE-based shipping company Gulf Navigation (GulfNav) is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-listed Atlantic Navigation as part of its plans to expand into the offshore oil and gas sector in the Gulf.
“This investment marks a major milestone in Gulf Navigation’s strategy to grow our offering to our customers in the regional offshore oil and gas sector. At the same time it gives Gulf Navigation a significant position in the GCC regional OSV O&G market,” said Khamis Juma Buamim, group CEO of GulfNav, in a statement.
Atlantic operates a fleet of 25 vessels including offshore cargo barges, offshore supply vessels and lift boats. It also has a 50 percent share in a consortium to work on a $45 million deconstruction project with a Middle East-based national oil company, a GulfNav statement said. The project involves demolishing and removing offshore and onshore structures at an abandoned oil field in Abu Dhabi.
The planned acquisition is another step in GulfNav’s growth plans launched in July 2016 as it aims to respond to the anticipated demand for the shipping of petroleum and petrochemical products.
GulfNav set a target to double the size of its fleet of chemical tankers and offshore vessels to 20 ships by 2020 as well as increase its revenues by 300 percent by 2021.
In line with that strategy, GulfNav announced on Jan. 2 said it would increase the company’s capital by approximately 448 million dirhams ($121.9 million) to reach a total share capital of 1 billion dirhams. The offering will be launched in the first quarter of this year.
“Many GCC countries have allocated more than $140 billion over the next decade to expand their production,” said Buamim in a statement earlier this month, citing Saudi Aramco as an example which is looking to increase its oil refining capacity from 2.9 million to 3.3 million barrels per day by 2020.
“We are confident that we have all the required expertise to win a large share of this market, and we plan to be ready by having the capabilities and the fleet size sufficient to keep up with this expansion,” he said.
The company said this month it would refinance two petrochemical carriers Gulf Mishref and Gulf Mirdif to increase the firm’s fleet capacity. The vessels have the capacity to carry more than 26,000 tons each of chemical cargo. They will operate on the East Coast of the US, the Gulf of Mexico and will travel between the coast of West Africa and Europe.
Signs of a revival in GulfNav’s fortunes follow a major financial restructuring after it posted a net loss of 147.83 million dirhams in 2012. At the time the company cited poor trading conditions in the VLCC market and a tightening lending market.
The company had to sell two of its VLCCs, Gulf Sheba and Gulf Eyadeh, about four years ago.


Ghosn sues Nissan and Mitsubishi for breach of contract: report

Updated 23 min 20 sec ago
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Ghosn sues Nissan and Mitsubishi for breach of contract: report

  • Ghosn is seeking up to $16.8 millions in damages
  • He spent over 100 days jailed in Japan over financial misconduct trials
PARIS: Former auto titan Carlos Ghosn, currently under house arrest in Tokyo, is suing Nissan and Mitsubishi in a Dutch court for “improper termination” of his contract, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
Ghosn is accusing the Japanese manufacturers of breaching his contract as an employee of NMBV, their joint subsidiary based in the Netherlands, and seeking up to $16.8 million in damages, it said.
The big-spending former chief of both Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan is awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.
He was kept behind bars for over 100 days before being granted bail and sacked from all his management roles.
Ghosn is accused of under-reporting millions of dollars in income at Nissan and of using company funds for personal expenses — charges he denies.
His lawyers argue that while Ghosn resigned from Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV), he had not done so from NMBV and “the breach of contract” was unwarranted, Le Figaro said.
Nissan and Mitsubishi argue that Ghosn’s contract was invalid as it would not have been submitted to NMBV’s board, according to the daily.
NMBV had thanked Ghosn after a meeting of his board of directors on March 12, the same day as the announcement of its dissolution.
Ghosn’s spokesperson and his lawyer both declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Le Figaro said the manufacturers were seeking to recover some $8.79 million paid to Ghosn by NMBV between April and November 2018.
Renault announced in early June it was considering taking action against its former boss after it identified $12.36 million of “questionable expenses” linked to Ghosn at RNBV.
The 65-year-old Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November as he stepped off his private jet at Tokyo airport.
His dramatic downfall stunned the business world and laid bare tensions in the alliance between Renault, Nissan and their smaller Japanese partner Mitsubishi.
Ghosn has not been charged in connection with his activities at NMBV.