Houston TX - Cal Dive International, Inc. (Nasdaq: CDIS) has purchased a significant minority stake in Aquatica, Inc. of Lafayette, LA for an undisclosed amount of cash. The Company has also committed to lend additional funds to allow Aquatica to purchase vessels and fund other growth opportunities.
Aquatica purchased Acadiana Divers, a 15 year old surface diving company, in October of 1997. In four months, its new owners have grown the business by 50% and in December purchased its first vessel, the 120 foot Mr. Jack. Sonny Freeman, Aquatica's Chairman stated "We believe we have a great opportunity to grow based upon industry demand and strategic acquisitions. We respect the people of Cal Dive and their funding will assist in quickly reaching our business objectives." Mr. Freeman, a well known industry executive, spent 12 years at American Oilfield Divers (Nasdaq: DIVE), and until April 1997 was its Chief Operating Officer.
Owen Kratz, Chief Executive Officer of Cal Dive, said "We believe Sonny Freeman can quickly build a very successful business and we look forward to working with him. The CDI investment in Aquatica will allow us to expand penetration in a market segment that is experiencing strong demand while allowing Cal Dive to continue its focus on our deepwater strategy."
CDI, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a leading subsea services contractor which operates the largest fleet of permanently deployed dynamically positioned support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.