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Bollinger Acquires Gulf Island Fabrication’s Shipyard Facilities

Published Apr 20, 2021 3:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a deal that enhances its position as the largest privately-owned shipbuilder in the United States, Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana has acquired the assets of the Shipyard Division of Gulf Island Fabrication located in Houma, Louisiana. The acquisition expands Bollinger’s portfolio of 11 shipyards located in Louisiana enhancing the construction and repair capacity of the shipbuilder and largest vessel repair company in the Gulf of Mexico region.

This acquisition creates expanded opportunities for Bollinger to better serve and deepen its relationships with key defense and commercial customers with an increased capacity for new projects, access to a larger workforce, improved efficiencies, and enhanced economies of scale. Located just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Island facilities have unrestricted access from open waters.

“The addition of the new Houma shipyard further strengthens our position within the U.S. defense industrial base as a leading shipbuilder and vessel repair company,” said Ben Bordelon, CEO and President of Bollinger Shipyards. “For 75 years, we’ve developed deep expertise and a proven track record of building reliable, high endurance steel vessels for the Coast Guard, Navy, and our commercial customers. I am excited to welcome the Gulf Island Shipyard employees into the Bollinger family.”

Gulf Island reported that the sale price was approximately $28.6 million. They said the transaction would permit Gulf Island to become more focused on its specialty fabrication business.

The new Bollinger Houma facility includes 437 acres on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, of which 283 acres is unimproved land that is available for expansion. The acquisition includes a 15,000-short ton drydock, a 4,000-short ton drydock, a 3,000-short ton drydock and a 1,500-short ton drydock along with 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse facilities. It also has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads. 

The transaction also includes the long-term contracts and all related obligations for the construction of three research vessels for Oregon State University and five towing, salvage, and rescue ships for the U.S. Navy. Excluded from the transaction are the contracts and related obligations for the construction of two forty-vehicle ferries for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a seventy-vehicle ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation, and two multi-purpose service vessels for Hornbeck Offshore Services that are subject to dispute.

Current customers for Bollinger include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, General Dynamics-Electric Boat, and non-defense and commercial customers servicing energy production to dredging. Gulf Island had been building the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the U.S. Navy and Regional Class Research Vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University.