October 14, 2013, 8:47 PM ET
Pacific Basin Shipping Hires Citigroup to Sell Australian Units
Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd. has hired Citigroup Inc. to find a buyer for its Australian units, PB Towage and PB Sea Tow.
The units could fetch more than 500 million Australian dollars (US$476 million), a person familiar with the matter said. The Hong Kong-listed company wants to focus on its dry bulk business. Pacific Basin’s dry bulk business transports cargoes like grains, fertilizer and forestry products. That unit experienced the weakest half-year since 1986, the company said in August.
“We expect healthy demand for towage activities in Australia to continue in the medium term as a number of key offshore projects commence construction and as Australian seaborne trade continues to support growing harbor towage numbers,” Pacific Basin’s Chief Executive Mats Berglund said Aug. 1.
Pacific Basin has been active in the Australia towage market since 2007, according to its website. The units for sale operate a fleet of 45 vessels providing services like harbor towage and offshore support in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
PB Towage’s customers include maritime agents like Inchcape Shipping Services and Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. The unit generated a net profit of US$12.6 million, and Ebitda of US$19.8 million in the first half of 2013, according to filings.
A sale of the units will follow Pacific Basin’s divestment of six roll-on/roll-off vessels, known as RoRo vessels, for 153 million euros (US$207 million) last September.