GulfMark Files Chapter 11 Amid Oil Price Drop

The downturn in oil has caused half of the company's fleet of 66 offshore support vessels to be idled.
Matthew HellerMay 17, 2017
GulfMark Files Chapter 11 Amid Oil Price Drop

GulfMark Offshore, a provider of vessels for offshore oil drilling, has filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure its balance sheet amid the prolonged downturn in oil prices.

The company said in its Chapter 11 filing that the “comprehensive restructuring” would include converting $448 million in unsecured debt to equity. The plan, it said, had already been approved by 47% of senior noteholders.

“The restructuring will enhance our competitive position when contracting with customers and vendors, and it will substantially strengthen our capital structure and liquidity,” GulfMark CEO Quintin Kneen said in a news release. “While the industry conditions remain challenging, this debt reduction and [a $125 million] rights offering will significantly enhance GulfMark’s financial position.”

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting

This whitepaper outlines four powerful strategies to amplify board meeting conversations during a time of economic volatility. 

“We are confident that this step will position GulfMark to seize opportunities as the downturn continues and in the eventual market recovery,” he added.

GulfMark said it had also negotiated $35 million in debtor-in-possession financing to see it through the Chapter 11 process.

The company’s fleet of 66 vessels provides offshore marine support and transportation services, primarily to companies involved in the offshore exploration and production of oil and natural gas. According to bankruptcy court papers, the oil price plunge has “decreased demand for [offshore support vessel] services and, coupled with new construction of OSVs commenced prior to the industry downturn, led to an excess number of vessels in all of the GulfMark’s operating regions.”

“During the prolonged downturn in many regions where the company operates, day rates for OSV services have fallen below the levels needed to sustain the company’s profitability,” the filing continued. “As a result, the company has removed nearly 50% of its vessels from active service.”

Under the terms of the rights offering, holders of senior notes will receive an additional 60% of the equity in a reorganized GulfMark, providing liquidity to fund its operations. Existing shareholders will receive 0.75% of the equity as well as warrants for an additional 7.5% of the equity in the reorganized company.

In its last financial statements, GulfMark reported a loss of $24.7 million on revenue of $27.8 million for the third quarter of 2016.