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After 8 years, CFE and DEME announce intention to de-merge

2021-12-06 Charlie Bartlett

06122021 DEME Group // 06122021_deme.jpg (124 K)

Photo credit: DEME Group

DEME and parent company CFE intend to de-merge into two separate listed companies, with the latter transferring its 100% stake in the former to a spin-off company, given the placeholder name of ‘Newco’.

Subject to a tax ruling, as well as a decision at the extraordinary general meeting of CFE – in which 75% of stakeholders will have to vote in favour – the move is set to be completed by mid-2022, at which point DEME will list on the Brussels stock exchange. It currently has the support of CFE majority shareholder Ackermans & van Haaren (62.1%) as well as construction giant VINCI (12.1%).

CFE became the sole shareholder of DEME in 2013, purchasing stakes from AvH and VINCI.

 “As DEME and CFE operate in different markets and geographic segments, each with distinct strategic priorities, the board believes that it is in the interest of all its stakeholders to take the next step and to split the group into two,” said CFE in a statement. “This split should in the future allow both maritime works, contracting and real estate development to develop as two separate, autonomous and solid listed companies, each with their own governance.”

The news emerges at a time when DEME has gone from strength to strength, with an offshore wind orderbook comprising some EUR4.5bn in contracts. In an encouraging development for DEME, a turbine installation contract a month ago off the coast of Virginia, United States, part of the first crop of projects in what is anticipated to be the biggest untapped offshore wind market in the world.

According to Belgian Business paper De Tijd, analysts have long anticipated the spinning-off of the company into a discrete entity. KBC Securities analyst Olivier Vandewoude recently estimated the enterprise value of DEME at EUR2.9bn.