Pipavav Shipyard, the shipbuilder that has among its clients the billionaire John Fredriksen’s shipping line, is negotiating the purchase of an oil rig and a shipping company in Europe, the Pipavav Shipyard’s Chairman, Mr Nikhil Gandhi, said. The deal size may be around $ 100 million, of which Pipavav Shipyard may put $40 million through equity and another $60 million by raising debt, Mr Gandhi revealed.
According to Exim News Service, Pipavav Shipyard has Rs 178 crore ($ 40 million) in cash that it can use for the purchase.
A 74 per cent gain in oil prices in the last one year is encouraging companies to boost oil and gas exploration, explained an analyst. The company expects its presence in the European shipping industry to attract new customers, Mr Gandhi explained.
Developments in drilling activity in mid-to-deep water are expected to increase because of the firming crude prices.
"The offshore market looks very good for two to three years," the analyst added.
Pipavav Shipyard’s largest investor, SKIL Infrastructure, proposes to raise Rs 1,500 crore ($ 338 million) from an initial public offering (IPO) before the end of 2010, Mr Gandhi, who is also the Chairman of SKIL Infrastructure, said. The company may use the proceeds to pay debt.
Last month, SKIL bought a 19.43 per cent stake in Pipavav from Punj Lloyd and also offered to purchase an additional 20 per cent stake from other shareholders.
Pipavav Shipyard also plans to expand capacity over 18 months and may add one or two dry docks to its existing facilities, Mr Gandhi said.