Gulf Island Fabrication, Houston, has purchased the assets of Leevac Shipyards, Houma, La., for $20 million.

The sale, announced early this week, includes Leevac’s lease interests at its Jennings, La., and Lake Charles, La., fabrication facilities and all of Leevac’s machinery and equipment. Gulf Island also agreed to lease Leevac’s facility in Houma and will retain all of Leevac’s employees.

The collapse of the oil and gas industry has put pressure on a lot of companies in the workboat market, and shipyards are certainly not immune. The acquisition represents two companies that know each other well and that is expected to realize immediate benefits, according to Chris Vaccari, Leevac’s former president and now Gulf Island Shipyard LLC's vice president and general manager.

“It just made sense. It’s a good fit,” he said. “We have a lot of customers in common.”

Vaccari will be in charge of shipyards in Lake Charles, Houma and Jennings. He said the transaction created a stronger group of shipyards working from a position of financial strength. “You’ve got two very lean organizations, and there isn’t much now we can’t chase. It’s very exciting.”

Kirk Meche, president and CEO of Gulf Island, said in statement that the deal “expands our marine fabrication and vessel repair and maintenance presence in the Gulf South market” and diversifies the company's fabrication capabilities.

In the deal, Gulf Island received $1.6 million at closing after assuming certain liabilities and payments on some ongoing construction projects. It also added $112 million to Gulf Island’s backlog. 

PPHB LP, Houston, was the exclusive financial advisor to Gulf Island in the transaction. 

The former Leevac yards are currently fabricating two 300'x62'x24' OSVs for Tidewater, and two 302'x76'x26' MPSVs for Hornbeck Offshore. Gulf Island has facilities in Houma and San Patricio County, Texas.