Polish Offshore Wind Foundation Manufacturer Put Up for Sale One Last Time
The Official Receiver of the insolvent Polish manufacturer of offshore wind foundations, ST3 Offshore, is putting the company up for sale once again. This is most likely the last time buyers are invited to take over ST3 Offshore as a complete entity, following several earlier attempts to sell the company over the past few years.
The company’s Official Receiver has launched the sixth tender to sell ST3 Offshore. If there are no bids this time, approval will be requested from the relevant court to sell the company’s individual components to raise funds that would cover obligations to creditors.
To participate in the tender, interested parties can file written and unconditional bids (in the Polish language) until 14:00 on 3 March.
Asking Price Dropped from Around EUR 50 Million to EUR 34.4 Million
The price of the insolvent company is set at PLN 164.3 million (approximately EUR 34.4 million). This is the same price as in the two previous tenders and shows the Official Receiver has further lowered the initial asking price, after already doing so in the second and third tenders.
In the second tender, which opened in March 2021, the initial asking price was lowered by 10 per cent for the first time. Then, on 30 April 2021, in the third sale attempt, the Official Receiver put a price tag of PLN 187.7 million (approx. EUR 41.3 million at the time; approx. EUR 39.3 million now) on ST3 Offshore, cutting the asking price by further 10 per cent.
The Official Receiver of the company in insolvency put ST3 Offshore up for sale for the first time in the second half of February 2021, with an asking price of PLN 234,680,000 (around EUR 52 million at the time; around EUR 49 million now).
The Polish manufacturer filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of 2020, after both its financial support and order book dried up. The Szczecin-Centrum District Court officially declared the company bankrupt on 31 March 2020.
From Major Offshore Wind Contracts to First Sign of Struggle
The ST3 Offshore foundation fabrication facility is located in Szczecin, Poland, next to the border with Germany. According to the now-insolvent company’s presentation, this is an ideal location for offshore wind projects in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as it is within a short transport distance to these markets.
Operational since July 2015, the site has been designed for serial production of jacket foundations and transition pieces for offshore wind turbines and substations, with a focus on foundations for water depths of up to 60 metres.
The company was founded in 2012 as Bilfinger Mars Offshore, a joint venture between Bilfinger and MARS Investment Fund. The same year, the partners started building the new serial production facility for on Gryfia Shipyard island in the Odra river in Szczecin.
In 2015, the same year the site was opened for business, Bilfinger Mars Offshore was awarded a contract for the Race Bank offshore wind farm with Ørsted (DONG Energy at the time), under which it delivered 91 foundations for the 580 MW project in the UK.
In 2016, ST3 Holding, a company owned by the Munich VTC group, bought the shares in the company from Bilfinger, acquiring a 20 per cent stake, with the remaining 80 per cent still held by Poland’s state-owned Mars investment fund.
Around the time it became ST3 Offshore, the foundation manufacturer won another contract with Ørsted, this time for the production and delivery of 20 suction bucket jacket foundations for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea.
In 2017, ST3 Offshore first filed for restructuring and bankruptcy and at the beginning of 2018, the manufacturer withdrew the bankruptcy petition after receiving positive feedback from the District Court on its application to open restructuring proceedings.
The company then also renegotiated the delivery deadline for its contract with Ørsted for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm.
All of the 20 suction bucket jacket foundations were delivered by June 2018.