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Gulf Capital-backed GMS sees profits jump 750%, secures $360m loan

20 May 2013

barge 170Alternative investment firm Gulf Capital reported a significant improvement in the financial performance of jack-up barges operator Gulf Marine Services (GMS), which has just received a $360m cash boost.

Since the buyout by Gulf in 2007 the business has seen its profits jump 750 per cent, putting it among the top sector companies by profitability and size of its fleet, as revenues soared 460 per cent.

In addition to the Middle Eastern market, GMS operates in the UK and the Southern north Sea in both the offshore oil and gas and wind sectors.

Gulf noted that the strong growth in profits and revenues was achieved without bolt-on acquisitions.

In the meantime, GMS has secured a “heavily oversubscribed” AED1.32bn ($360m) financing facility lead managed by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. The funding will be used to build and launch additional jack-up barges and to refinance existing bilateral banking facilities as well as for dividend payouts.

Gulf Capital’s chief executive Karim El Solh said, “Our investment in GMS has been truly a ground breaking one and will set the model for private equity deals in the region for years to come.

“During our ownership, GMS profits have grown by more than seven-fold, and the momentum over the coming years continues unabated.

“GMS today is one of the world’s largest and most profitable jack-up barge operators and our long-term goal is to seek a global listing for this exciting company.”

Last month Gulf Capital sealed a $20m anchor investment for its credit and mezzanine fund from the International Finance Corporation.

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