Wight Shipyard signs merger deal with Ocea
Wednesday March 9th, 2022
The Wight Shipyard Co., based at East Cowes, has made an all-share merger with multinational shipbuilder OCEA to create a combined group to ‘capitalise on the fast ferry and offshore renewable energy markets opportunities’.
The merger aims to tap opportunities in the fast ferry and offshore renewable energy space. The combined entity will offer employment opportunities at the East Cowes yard.
Wight Shipyard CEO Peter Morton said: “This is a transformational deal for The Wight Shipyard and for the Isle of Wight, confirming the resurgence of the shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom.
“We have enjoyed a first-class working relationship with Ocea to produce vessels and solutions to the highest standards, pushing the boundaries in terms of fuel efficiency, the environment and modern shipbuilding practices.”
While Wight Shipyard provides green vessels both domestically and internationally, Ocea delivers passenger vessels, multipurpose workboats and transoceanic yachts.
Following the merger with the Wight Shipyard Co., the group will share resources and operations in East Cowes that will ramp up significantly, helping the Isle of Wight to ‘level up’ with the creation of employment opportunities.
Based at its primary yard in Les Sables d’Olonne, OCEA develops high-quality builds for the maritime security, passenger vessel, multipurpose workboat, transoceanic yacht and hydrographic research markets.
After the merger, the group will be involved in aluminium shipbuilding operations, with an order book that provides business security as well as sustainability in upcoming years.
Roland Joassard, CEO and founder of OCEA, says: “OCEA is expanding internationally to respond to strong demand in these markets and appreciates the new ‘Global Britain’ and refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy outlook. Wight Shipyard Co. shares the same DNA, passion and high quality of workmanship as OCEA and its expertise in the fast ferry market complements OCEA’s qualities in other markets. Having worked with the Wight Shipyard Co. and Peter’s team in a number of ways already, we feel that they are the perfect partner to develop global orders for the fast ferry and offshore renewable energy markets.”
Both companies also have complementary expertise supporting the offshore renewable energy sector.
Morton concludes: “For East Cowes and the Isle of Wight, this is a step change in terms of future employment and security for the outstanding team at The Wight Shipyard Co. We will be able to bring in more high-skilled shipbuilders and technicians as well as providing career pathways all through the production chain. It’s a deal that secures livelihoods and is transformational for East Cowes as the epicentre of aluminium shipbuilding in the UK.”