The consolidation between GulfMark and Tidewater is positive for the market. With Tidewater’s steadfast and unyielding attitude towards the scrapping of non-performing vessels, this is a good chance for the market to reduce some of its oversupplies. Hopefully, with this new entity taking the lead, other market players might follow suit.
It is also important to note that consolidation in today’s market only works if lenders are willing to take haircuts and provide an opportunity for these companies to start afresh with a clean balance sheet.
See below for the spread of Tidewater and GulfMarks live OSV fleet
In the case of Solstad Offshore, they undertook restructuring and consolidation as well. However, without a clean balance sheet, problems are only going to resurface further down the road. Bourbon is another major player who has struggled to service their debt and are actively looking for financiers. Kicking the can down the road is not a viable option in this market.