RWE: Sale of the offshore installation vessel (WTIV) “Victoria Mathias”

Augusta & Co (“Augusta”) acted as exclusive financial adviser to RWE Innogy GmbH (“RWE”) in the sale of their specialised offshore wind turbine installation vessel, ‘Victoria Mathias’ to MPI Offshore B.V., a subsidiary of the privately-owned Dutch shipping group Vroon B.V. The transaction closed in January 2015.

The ‘Victoria Mathias’ is a self-propelled jack-up turbine installation vessel (“TIV”), and is described as one of the third generation of such vessels designed specifically to support the installation of larger turbines in deeper European waters. The vessel is equipped with almost 3,000 square metres of deck space, 1,000 ton crane capacity, four jack-up legs enabling the vessel to operate in water depths of up to 45 metres, and accommodation for 60.

The vessel was delivered in 2012, and immediately went to work on RWE Innogy’s 295MW Nordsee Ost wind farm situated 30KM to the north of the island of Heligoland off the German North Sea coast. The vessel successfully installed jacket foundations and 6MW Senvion turbines over a two year period finishing in late 2014 with the installation of the last of 48 turbines.

In June 2014 the ‘Victoria Mathias’ was joined on Nordsee Ost by her sister vessel the ‘Friedrich Ernestine’ for the last six months of the installation contract.

Following completion of the wind farm, the decision was taken to sell the ‘Victoria Mathias’ to Vroon.

Simon Clement-Davies who led the deal for Augusta commented:

“We were delighted to be able to act for RWE Innogy in this specialised vessel transaction. TIVs are bespoke vessels playing a critical part in the roll-out of offshore wind in Europe, and the ‘Victoria Mathias’ was shown to be fully fit-for-purpose by successfully installing the Nordsee Ost wind farm. Augusta launched a focused and discreet M&A process during a challenging time in which the marine contracting industry was undergoing a significant degree of consolidation. In Vroon we identified a buyer with a detailed understanding of the dynamics of the sector and the ability to close an acquisition swiftly and reliably “.