Signal Acquires Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company

PASCAGOULA, MS–21 JANUARY 2010 - Signal International Inc. is pleased to announce the purchase of the Bender Shipbuilding & Repair assets through a bankruptcy auction. Signal was the winning bidder of the Mobile, Alabama shipyard for $31.25 million, which is contingent upon approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

The Bender transaction provides a strong complement to Signal’s operations in the offshore industry and heavy fabrication market, thereby positioning the company for future growth. “This purchase is consistent with diversifying the company while continuing the focus on our core competency in the overhaul, repair and upgrade of offshore drilling rigs,” commented Dick Marler, Signal’s president and chief executive officer. This is great news for our company, our clients, RSA and the entire Mobile area," Marler added. According to Marler, Signal plans to make an additional investment of about $5 million on upgrades and repairs, and increase employment to 400 to 500 within 18 months.

After closing, which is slated for end of January 2010, the company will begin operations as Signal Ship Repair (SSR). The new division will bring another dimension to the Signal International portfolio as it adds the capability to build, overhaul, and repair ships and maritime vessels.

The asset purchase includes 3,300 feet of deepwater frontage, six repair/construction yards, three steel floating dry docks and other equipment on 26 acres. As SSR, the new operation will remain focused on vessel overhaul and repair adopting many of the policies and procedures that have made Signal International a success. This is particularly true in the areas of safety, quality, and workmanship.

Signal is one of the largest marine and fabrication companies in the Gulf of Mexico known for its overhaul and repair on some of the most notable drilling rigs and platforms around the world. The company recently invested over $33.5 million in their continuous flow manufacturing and heavy fabrication facility located in Orange, Texas. The yard boasts nearly 500,000 sq ft of covered fabrication and building production incorporating world class lean manufacturing techniques capable of building a multitude of heavy manufactured products for the marine and energy markets.

Most recently, Signal’s Orange yard has completed the SIGNET ATLAS, which is one of the first heavy-duty deck barges 100 x 300 ft (30.5 x 91.5 m) with a 5,000 pounds per square foot deck strength. In addition to large ocean going rugged barges, Signal is also competing for modular construction projects, offshore floating platforms, tug boats and similar opportunities.

Morgan Keegan & Company which provides merger and acquisition advisory to public and private middle-market companies, acted as Signal’s financial advisor in the transaction.


For more information, contact:
Joe Roche
Tel: 281-899-2121