Bourbon Receives Four Takeover Offers, Extends Deadline

Bourbon Corporation has received four takeover offers since the holding company suspended its listing and started a reorganisation procedure to deal with its severe financial problems. The Commercial Court in France has now extended the deadline for offers. 

The identity of the four bidders is unknown, although one company is known to be formed by a group of French banks. The Commercial Court in France had originally set the deadline for takeover bids on 20 November 2019. Last week, however, the court decided to prolonge the period until 10 December to allow Bourbon time to rake in more offers.

Bourbon Corporation officially opened a reorganisation procedure on 7 August, after Chinese company ICBC Leasing requested a repayment of its guarantees for an amount exceeding 800 million US dollars. At that time, Bourbon’s sub-holding company Bourbon Maritime was already involved in another financial dispute with French creditors who demanded repayment of the company’s debt of 720 million euros.

The reorganisation only concerns the holding companies Bourbon Corporation and Bourbon Maritime and not the operating companies, which can continue their operations normally, emphasises the company. ‘The objective of the procedure is to preserve the group’s operating activities in order to actively participate in the emerging recovery of a profoundly changing market,’ the company notes in a statement.

Bourbon Offshore is one of the largest offshore service providers in the world over 450 offshore supply vessels and other support ships. Like all offshore service providers, the company has been struggling with the downturn of the oil and gas markets since the crude crash in 2014.

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, a sister publication of SWZ|Maritime.

Picture: The Bourbon Borgstein (by Alan Jamieson).

Author: Tobias Pieffers