Shipbuilding and marine renewables: British alliance deals for two Atlantic France companies

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The shipbuilder OCEA, which is based in Atlantic France, has announced that it will merge with the UK company The Wight Shipyard. Similarly, the British energy and marine consultancy firm ABL Group has recently taken full control over Innosea, a marine-renewables engineering company in Nantes.

Two shipbuilding companies specialising in aluminum have decided to merge: the shipbuilder OCEA, based in Atlantic France, and the British shipbuilder The Wight Shipyard. Objective: to capitalise on fast ferries and offshore-renewable-energy market opportunities.

OCEA: globally recognised expertise in shipbuilding

Founded in Les Sables-d’Olonne in 1987, OCEA has three other sites in Atlantic France (in Fontenay-le-Comte, in Saint-Nazaire, and more recently in La Rochelle), with a total of 30,000 sqm of workshops in the region.

The company employs 500 people and declared an annual turnover of €136 million in 2019. It builds between 20 and 25 ships, of up to 90 metres, per year. OCEA has become a world-renowned expert in the construction of commercial and naval vessels, exporting ships across the world as far as Asia. 

A merger deal with The Wight Shipyard to encourage synergies

OCEA is a specialist in solutions for the marine renewables sector. Last April, the company launched the first of three CTVs (crew transfer vessels) it is building for the Saint-Nazaire wind farm.

Like the Isle of Wight-based shipbuilder The Wight Shipyard, the French company is known for its aluminum-construction expertise. The two companies therefore aim to create a combined group to grow opportunities in the fast-ferry and offshore-renewable-energy markets. 

The merger deal will allow OCEA to establish a base in southern England and strengthen its skills thanks to the expertise of the British company’s workforce.

The British group ABL acquires the marine renewables specialist Innosea

Another innovative company located in Atlantic France has tightened its ties with a player on the other side of the channel. The global energy and marine consultancy group AqualisBraemar LOC has recently acquired the remaining 29% stake of Innosea, a Nantes-based engineering firm specialising in marine renewables. With this total takeover of Innosea, ABL Group aims to generate 50% of its revenue from services related to the energy transition by 2025. 

A few weeks ago, Innosea opened a new business unit in Barcelona. Spain has recently announced its roadmap for offshore wind development, and aims to reach between 1 and 3 GW of floating offshore wind power capacity by 2030.

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