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WFW advises KBS Maritime on acquisition of Typhoon 3000 jack-up barge for Portsmouth Naval Base3 May 2022

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised KBS Maritime Limited, a joint venture owned by BAE System Surface Ships (Holdings) Limited (“BAE”) and Kellogg Brown & Root Limited (“KBR”), on its acquisition of “Typhoon 3000”, a newly constructed Skylift 3000 jack-up barge. KBS Maritime was tasked by the UK Ministry of Defence (“MOD”) to procure the jack-up barge for the Portsmouth Naval Base.

The specialist vessel was constructed in the Netherlands by Skylift Marine B.V. (“Skylift”), part of the Ravestein shipbuilding group. Its purchase was finalised in March 2022 and it was named at an official naming ceremony in Portsmouth on 4 April 2022.

With four moveable legs that extend to the seabed, the jack-up barge’s working platform can be lifted out of the water to create a stable platform from which to carry out repairs and lift up machinery. The barge will be a great asset to Portsmouth’s Naval Base with its arrival meaning that smaller vessels will no longer need to enter the base’s frigate and destroyer docks during maintenance, freeing up valuable space and speeding up the process of ensuring ships are ready for duty.

As a joint venture, KBS Maritime combines the expertise of KBR as a global leader in infrastructure asset management and services with BAE’s experience and capability within the naval base, delivering ambitious, modern and enduring change to the Portsmouth base and provides world-leading fleet support for the Royal Navy and the UK in the decades ahead.

KBR deliver science, technology and engineering solutions to governments and companies around the world.

BAE Systems offer an array of services to support ships and equipment in service around the world including training solutions, maintenance and modernisation programmes.

WFW drafted the purchase contract with Skylift and assisted KBS Maritime with its back-to-back sale to the MOD in addition to various delivery and vessel registration formalities. The firm also assisted KBS Maritime with post-delivery employment arrangements for the barge.

The WFW London Assets and Structured Finance team that advised KBS Maritime was led by Partner Lucy Shtenko assisted by Associate Philip Chope. Tax advice was provided by Partner Richard Stephens.

Lucy commented: “It was a great pleasure to advise KBS Maritime on acquiring Typhoon 3000 for the naval base in Portsmouth. The barge is a vitally important asset for the base and will enhance its industrial and logistical capabilities. This transaction highlights WFW’s expertise in the commercial maritime space”.

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