Birdon America has acquired Metal Shark Boats’ 32-acre shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
The acquisition brings a fully developed shipyard into Birdon’s growing portfolio of facilities throughout the US and will allow the company to provide a further range of shipbuilding and repair services.
The acquisition will also ensure the successful delivery of the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) Program, part of Birdon’s US$1.187 billion contract to design and build 27 new vessels for the US Coast Guard.
“The investment in this facility will not only ensure we deliver on our promise to the US Coast Guard, but it will also provide an opportunity for our subcontract partners in southern Alabama to build and install all components of these vessels in one location,” said Birdon Group CEO, Jamie Bruce.
“I am extremely grateful to Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard and his team for collaborating diligently with us, in a short period, to complete this deal.”
As part of the acquisition, Metal Shark’s existing workforce will transfer to Birdon and will continue to execute the current order book of repair work.
Birdon also plans to make ‘significant’ capital outlays in the shipyard’s infrastructure, creating 300 jobs in the area over the next two years and accelerating technological advancement.
The shipyard fronts a dredged deep water inlet and includes five steel buildings for fully self-contained fabrication and construction work, with over 1,700ft of waterfront, a 660-ton Travelift, multiple cranes, and all the equipment required for the construction of steel and aluminium vessels up to 300ft in length and 1,500 tons launch weight. The shipyard is situated minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.