Fabrikant: A long but bumpy recovery path

Seacor chief executive says soon-to-be spun-off offshore business has the right assets for opening innings of an upturn.

Seacor Holdings chief executive Charles Fabrikant told shareholders that he is cautiously optimistic that the bottom may be behind his company's offshore vessel business as it prepares for a spinoff.

But in an annual report, his outlook was well shy of bullish for offshore subsidiary Seacor Marine, describing his forecast that a serious upturn is unlikely before 2019 as possibly optimistic.

"I think we have seen the worst days, at least for the [Seacor Marine's] mix of vessels, but the road to a solid recovery will be long and full of bumps," he said.

"The road to a solid recovery will be long and full of bumps."
Charles Fabrikant

His comments come on a pivotal day for US offshore vessel owners, as GulfMark Offshore filed for bankruptcy and Tidewater was preparing to do so by the close of business.

Fabrikant said Seacor Marine's focus  on platform supply vessels, fast supply vessels and liftboats, while shunning large PSVs and sophisticated offshore construction vessels, has it in a unique position.

"We believe supporting shelf production, moving personnel and decommissioning, along with the laying of pipe and subsea completion work and maintenance, will attract dollars in the early stages of a cycle recovery," he said.

But he said that while offshore activity is picking up, New York-listed Seacor's oil industry customers are getting smarter.

As TradeWinds has reported, Seacor is planning to hive off Seacor Marine as a separately-listed company on 1 June.