Gulf Capital-backed barge operator GMS eyes $100m London IPO

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Abu DhabiPrivate equity-backed UAE-based barge operator Gulf Marine Services (GMS) is looking to raise $100m via an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

GMS, which is 79 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi private equity firm Gulf Capital, said it will use the IPO proceeds to buy a small vessel currently leased by the company for $37.5m and repay around $20m of shareholder loans.

Gulf Capital is expected to part-exit its stake, GMS said in a statement. In June last year the firm’s attempts to sell its 79 per cent stake in the company for around $500m ground to a halt.

The company’s revenues increased to $184.3m last year from $106.9m in 2012, while EBITDA showed 33.9 per cent annual growth during the period.

GMS CEO Duncan Anderson said, “We continue to deliver on our strategy of providing our clients with the most efficient and flexible SESVs in our target regions. With our focus on long-term client contracts and high utilisation, we have delivered consistent EBITDA growth since 2007.

“Our vessels are in high demand by our clients and we believe demand for our vessels, and for the SESV market as a whole, will continue to increase significantly over the rest of the decade.

“This gives us confidence to proceed with the planned expansion of our fleet which the net proceeds of the IPO will help to accelerate.”

BofA Merrill Lynch and Barclays Bank are acting as joint co-ordinators for the IPO.

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