Tidewater shells out US$79m for ENSCO GoM fleet

Tidewater is banking on continued deepwater GoM drilling and development after signing a deal for US$79 million to buy the 27-vessel Gulf of Mexico based marine fleet of ENSCO International.

Five anchor handling towing-supply vessels, six modern large capacity 220-foot "stretched" platform supply vessels, 13 standard supply vessels and three utility vessels are being acquired in the deal.

The deal also includes a provision which gives Tidewater the opportunity to provide supply, anchor handling and towing vessels to ENSCO for its GoM operations. Sing off is expected in early April 2003.

The acquisition will be financed through a group of banks already participating in Tidewater's revolving credit facility.