Robert Kuok's POSH to venture into new markets, buy assets

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Bulk Carriers Bhd’s (Maybulk) 21.23%-owned associate PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH), which is headed for a listing in Singapore by the end of the month, plans to actively expand its fleet to include deepwater accommodation vessels and break into new markets such as Latin America.

POSH, a top five international operator of offshore supply vessels (OSV) by fleet size globally and the largest in Asia, was also looking to explore the inspection, maintenance and repair business, the company said in its preliminary prospectus lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Monday.

“These services complement our company’s OSV services by allowing us to provide additional value-added services (for instance, divers to conduct inspection and survey of deepwater structures) to customers of the OSV segment in respect of deepwater structures that our company has provided OSV services for.

“In connection with this, we are currently exploring the feasibility of acquiring new asset classes such as multi-functional support vessels,” said POSH, which is controlled by Robert Kuok, one of Asia's richest men.

POSH has approved a capital expenditure (capex) budget of US$291.5mil (RM950.29mil) to fund its fleet expansion programme.

The preliminary prospectus did not disclose figures on the pricing of the initial public offering (IPO), number of shares to be sold, or total proceeds, but StarBiz reported last week that the exercise could raise some US$325mil (RM1.07bil), not including the overallotment option.

The document showed that POSH had secured Hwang Investment Management Bhd and Fortress Capital Asset Management (M) Sdn Bhd as cornerstone investors, confirming the report by StarBiz.

They will take up a combined 85.61 million shares under the IPO. Unlike the existing major shareholders and key management, the cornerstone investors are not subject to a six-month moratorium that prohibits them from selling shares in POSH following the IPO.

“We see POSH as a good medium-term investment. Valuations for the listing were fair and the fundamentals look healthy,” Fortress Capital CEO Thomas Yong told StarBiz over the phone.

POSH said it had a diversified fleet servicing offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities. Its OSVs perform anchor handling services, ocean towage and installation, ocean transportation, heavy-lift, offshore accommodation services, harbour towage and emergency response services.

As at Dec 31, 2013, the group owned a combined fleet of 112 vessels, including 45 held under joint-ventures.

It also has on order and scheduled for delivery 15 vessels, consisting of two deck cargo barges, two Azimuth Stern Drive harbour tugs, three dynamic positioning 2 (DP2) accommodation vessels, three DP2 anchor handling tug supply vessels, two DP3 semi-submersible accommodation vessels, and the rest under joint venture.

“Our large and diverse fleet, coupled with our ability to provide value-added services (such as the added value in providing transportation services through our transport and installation segment together with positioning and set-up services through our OSV Segment), enables us to deliver comprehensive solutions to our customers by leveraging on our multi-segment offshore capabilities to actively cross-sell our services and secure contracts that are otherwise difficult as a single service provider, thereby setting us apart and positioning us favourably to compete for tenders.

“Our involvement across a wide scope of the offshore oilfield services through our different business segments enables us to better understand and respond to our customers’ needs and allows us to anticipate future offshore oilfield service needs.

“Our diversified fleet and service offerings enable us to achieve financial performance and resilience during industry downturns. We have been profitable every financial year since our business expansion in 2007,” POSH noted.

The offshore services firm will also seek to expand its presence in Mexico, which will serve as its springboard into other regions of Latin America.

All proceeds from the share sale will be used to repay part of its revolving debt facilities, which are being used for working capital and capex.

According to its financial statements, POSH has total debt of US$783.15mil (RM2.55bil) against cash of US$1.59mil (RM5.18mil) and shareholders’ funds of US$876.64mil (RM2.86bil), which translates to a net gearing ratio of 0.89 times as of Feb 28.

While its revenue has softened over the past three years to US$237.26mil (RM773.47mil) last year from US$240.95mil (RM785.5mil) in 2011, net profit grew at an impressive trajectory, rising from US$26.22mil (RM85.48mil) to US$73.37mil (RM239.19mil) in the same period, or a compounded 41% annually.

POSH said it did not have a formal dividend policy but may consider paying dividends from time to time.

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