I'm getting rusty...sure missed this one from more than a month ago!

well, at least my favorite subsea services company in the GoM is set to go away. Of course, I seriously doubt it will make any difference regarding whether American mariners are going to be hired in place of the foreigners on the SWORDFISH. Apparently, KINGFISHER is sold separately and going to Nigeria. GOOD RIDDANCE!

[B]Harkand set to acquire Veolia Marine Services[/B]

Acquisition will expand Harkand’s fleet and global reach with Gulf of Mexico presence, deepwater expertise and high quality assets.

Harkand, the international subsea inspection, repair, maintenance and light construction group, today announced an agreement to acquire the main assets and business of Veolia Marine Services (“VMS”).

The acquisition will add 150 onshore and offshore staff, three dynamically-positioned multi-purpose vessels (MSV), and six work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to Harkand’s growing workforce and fleet.

With Harkand already active in the North Sea, Asia Pacific and Africa, this acquisition will expand its international reach by adding a Houston operation with an established track-record in deepwater inspection, repair and maintenance in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Ehret, chairman of Harkand said: “Our long-term strategy is to establish Harkand as the leading global player wholly focused on inspection, repair, maintenance and light construction. This market is showing positive long-term growth prospects but lacks the presence of a true global specialist player, able to deliver consistent high quality services in every region. The addition of VMS, with its complementary deepwater experience and established presence in the USA, will cement our position and reinforce our ambition of becoming a global market leader.”

Harkand was launched in February 2013 through the merger of Iremis, Integrated Subsea Services (ISS) and Andrews Survey following investment by Oaktree Capital Management. Employing over 750 people at bases in Aberdeen in the UK, Dubai in the Middle East and Singapore and Perth in Asia Pacific, the group aims to grow turnover to $1 billion in the next five years.

VMS has a successful track-record in subsea inspection, repair, maintenance and light construction with clients including BP, Chevron and Petrobras, and has worked on deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects including Cascade Chinook, as well as experience in decommissioning and light subsea construction support.

The company’s assets included in the transaction are the DP2 multi-purpose support vessel Swordfish with a nine-man saturation diving system and two Triton XLS ROVs onboard; the DP3 multi-purpose support vessel Viking Poseidon, with two Triton XLS ROVs onboard; and the DP3 multi-purpose support vessel Normand Pacific with two Triton XLS/XLX ROVs onboard.

The management teams of Harkand and VMS, supported by Harkand shareholder Oaktree Capital Management, will work closely together on the business integration.

Chief executive officer of Harkand, Nicolas Mouté, added: “VMS brings significant benefits to Harkand including an experienced staff with a proven track-record including of deepwater projects, a fast-growing segment of the market, three formidable vessels, and six ROVs which will take our total ROV fleet to 35, following our recent $30million investment in six new vehicles. We are very excited by this transaction which will enable us to offer our clients a wider range of services anywhere in the world.”

The transaction is subject to certain standard regulatory conditions including authorization of the transaction by the US anti-trust authorities. The deal is expected to complete in June 2013.