Hydralift to acquire BLM from FGH

Hydralift, Kristiansand, Norway, entered into an agreement with Friede Goldman Halter Inc. to acquire Brissoneau & Lotz Marine S.A. in Nantes, France, and its sister company BOPP S.A. in Brest, France. The net cash consideration for BLM is $33.5 million. Having been continuously profitable for more than the last ten years, BLM expects to generate revenues of some $50-60 millions in 2001, generating margins comparable to Hydralift's own. BLM has an order backlog of approx. 15 months, and all of its projected revenues for the current year are already in the backlog. At its two manufacturing plants in France and its three international sales offices, BLM has some 235 permanent and 100 temporary employees. Hydralift is a supplier of high-pressure hydraulic equipment to selected niches of the international offshore and marine markets. Its main products today are advanced cranes, compensation systems and drilling equipment for the oil and gas market, and cranes and other lifting and handling equipment for ships and special vessels. It is the supplier of the drilling equipment in the Bingo rigs under contract for Ocean Rig at FGH's Pascagoula, Miss., yard. As FGH has filed Chapter 11 protection, the agreement to acquire BLM entered into subject to approval by the federal bankruptcy court in Mississippi, USA. Closing of the transaction is foreseen to be consummated within May 2001. Established in 1841, BLM is a recognized international brand name, with a strong product range in offshore- and ship equipment, creating a very powerful industrial fit with Hydralift. Hydralift acquired several BLM product lines, designs and technologies the mid 1990's BLM's product lines include equipment for both fixed and mobile offshore drilling and production platforms, as well as marine deck equipment and winches and specialized equipment for fishing vessels. Its offshore equipment product lines include high capacity jacking units for jack up rigs, where the company holds a 60% worldwide market share. The back log includes orders for jacking units for the world's two largest harsh environment jack up rigs currently under construction for A. P. Moeller, as well as two (plus two options) for jack ups for Santa Fe. Complementing Hydralift's offshore crane product range, BLM has developed its own complete range of Kingpost cranes. For semi submersible drilling platforms, BLM has developed a complete range of drum mooring winches and specialized deepwater combined chain and wire mooring systems. BLM's marine deck machinery include mooring winches, cargo handling cranes for container and bulk carriers, and hose handling and provision cranes for tankers. For cruise liners, BLM has developed its own Compacwinch design for mooring winches, holding an approximate 50% market share of cruise ships currently under order world wide. Equipment for fishing vessels mainly includes winches for tuna seiners and trawlers, as well as for smaller vessels. BLM's two manufacturing plants include 30,000 m2 of indoor workshops, built on 100,000 m2 of owned lands.