3i exits Dockwise

Oslo-listed marine contractor Dockwise said on Monday it is planning a secondary listing in Amsterdam as private equity firm 3i sold its stake in the firm to a new group of investors.

The move is part of a recapitalisation effort that Dockwise says will raise betwee nUS$220m and US$250m and help it weather what are still uncertain conditions in its market.

“We often had feedback from equity investors that we had an overleveraged balance sheet and this transaction has clearly taken care of this problem,” Dockwise Chief Financial Officer Peter Wit said in a conference call.

Dockwise says the move will bring its debt-to-EBITDA ratio down from 3.4 to close to 2.5 while debt-to-equity will shift from 75:25 to 50:50.

The fixed income arm of private equity firm Bain Capital and Dutch investment outfits Project Holland Fonds and HAL Investments have acquired 3i’s 26.2% stake in Dockwise for NOK464m (US$82.2m), Dockwise said.

They will also be issued new shares for up to US$235.2m in a direct placement, while for the remaining investors a subsequent offering of new shares will be made for up to US$117.9m.

ABN AMRO is running the transaction and is also the listing agent for the Amsterdam listing, which is expected in early December and will involve a reverse stock split. This is subject to special general meeting approval on Nov. 4, Dockwise said.

Dockwise, which undertakes oil and gas transportation projects, said it saw client caution toward new assignments and a clearer determination to conserve capital, adding that it expects these conditions to continue well into 2010.

The company reported on Monday a third-quarter adjusted net profit of US$8m, up 33% year-on-year.