Antwerp, Belgium – Exmar, a prominent gas shipowner and infrastructure provider, has made a strategic move by acquiring an 11.5% stake in Vantage Drilling, marking a significant shift in the company’s focus towards offshore drilling. This investment signals the Belgian ship owner’s re-entry into the drilling sector, a domain it had stepped away from over two decades ago.
The acquisition, announced in Exmar’s third-quarter accounts, reflects a strategic pivot led by Nicolas Saverys and his family, who are major shareholders of the Antwerp-listed company. This move is particularly notable as it represents Exmar’s renewed interest in offshore drilling after a long hiatus, signifying a diversification of the company’s portfolio beyond its traditional stronghold in the gas shipping sector.
Vantage Drilling, an OTC-listed business, is now partially under the control of the Saverys family, a move that has raised interest in the offshore drilling industry. This investment marks a re-entry into a sector where Exmar once had a notable presence, suggesting a renewed confidence in the future of offshore drilling.
The significance of this acquisition is twofold. Firstly, it demonstrates Exmar’s strategic vision in diversifying its business operations, indicating a broader outlook beyond its established role in gas shipping. Secondly, it underscores the Saverys family’s ongoing commitment to the maritime and offshore industries, cementing their position as influential players in these sectors.
This investment in Vantage Drilling International also raises questions about the future direction of Exmar and its potential impact on the offshore drilling industry. Analysts are keenly observing how this move will influence the market dynamics and whether it signals a broader trend of shipping companies diversifying into offshore drilling.
In conclusion, Exmar’s acquisition of an 11.5% stake in Vantage Drilling, under the leadership of Nicolas Saverys, marks a significant moment in the company’s history. It not only represents a strategic shift in Exmar’s business focus but also signifies a potential reshaping of the offshore drilling landscape, with traditional shipping companies playing an increasingly active role.