07/07/2014 - 11:56

Bhagwan the biggest

07/07/2014 - 11:56

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Geraldton-based Bhagwan Marine has become Australia’s largest vessel hire business with the acquisition of Brisbane-based MDT Maritime.

Bhagwan the biggest
Bhagwan Marine managing director Loui Kannikoski

Geraldton-based Bhagwan Marine has become Australia’s largest vessel hire business with the acquisition of Brisbane-based MDT Maritime.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, takes Bhagwan, which services the oil and gas industry, to about 800 staff and 140 vessels spread across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Managing director Loui Kannikoski said the Queensland acquisition was part of Bhagwan’s growth strategy.

“We’re by far the largest business in the country now,” he said.

“We intend the business to grow, it’s never been a business that’s sat still.

“We want to be truly Australian. We expect to have a presence, I suppose, in every major port throughout Australia, so we’ll be setting up in Melbourne and Sydney and South Australia especially over the next 12 months.”

When Bhagwan Marine won the Business News Rising Star award last year it had 70 vessels and 450 people in WA.

Shortly after winning the award, it acquired Darwin-based business Workboats Northern Australia, including 180 staff and more than 30 vessels for an undisclosed amount.

The MDT Maritime acquisition, completed two months ago, includes 22 vessels and 170 people working in Hay Point, south of Mackay, and Brisbane.

Both acquisitions were financed by equity from the family-owned business and its 40 per cent shareholder, Catalyst Investment Managers.

For more details on Bhagwan Marine’s growth and a comprehensive look at the WA vessel hire market, which has been hit hard by some major construction projects being delayed and Chevron’s Gorgon project nearing completion, see next week’s printed edition of Business News

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