American Shipping Company ASA (AMSC) has agreed to acquire the Normand Maximus construction support vessel from Maximus Limited, a company controlled by its secured lenders.
In parallel with the transaction, AMSC will enter into a long-term bareboat agreement with a subsidiary of the Norwegian offshore services provider Solstad Offshore. Solstad Offshore has managed the vessel for years, and the deal with AMSC means it will continue to do so.
The total purchase price for the vessel is about USD 157 million, and AMSC expects to take delivery in Q4 2022, after “Normand Maximus” has finished its current contract.
"AMSC intends to finance the Transaction through 70% debt and the remaining amount through a combination of cash on hand and new equity. AMSC has already received indicative debt financing terms and has strong support from key stakeholders to finance the Transaction," AMSC, formerly known as Aker American Shipping ASA, said Thursday.
AMSC CEO, Pål Lothe Magnussen said: “We are excited about this value-accretive acquisition as it creates significant growth in cash flows and leads to a substantial increase in annual EBITDA. It also diversifies AMSC’s leasing portfolio and adds additional stable and predictable returns to our shareholders.
"We look forward to working together with Solstad as a long-term tonnage provider going forward. We have for some time been looking for the right growth opportunity and we are very satisfied with concluding on this transaction. The transaction is accretive on all key financial metrics and is projected to produce more than 20% annual return on equity with strong running dividend yield. The offshore services market is in recovery and is currently experiencing increased activity and positive outlook. We believe the timing of the transaction is favorable and the risk/reward attractive”.
The Normand Maximus is an offshore construction vessel and has been described as one of the most modern heavy duty subsea construction vessels globally.
The vessel was built in 2016, and has 2600 m2 working deck, an accommodation capacity for 180 people, and a carousel for flexible products with about 4000t capacity. The main workscope is laying flexible pipes and umbilicals and installation of subsea equipment. Additional workscope in the future includes the installation of power cables for the offshore wind industry, AMSC said.
Strong interest in Normand Maximus
In a separate statement, Solstad Offshore confirmed the deal and said it was experiencing strong interest from clients to charter the “Normand Maximus” on shorter and longer contracts after the current time charter expires during the fourth quarter 2022.
"In order to secure long term operational control of the vessel, a subsidiary of SOFF has entered into a term sheet for an amended long term bareboat agreement for “Normand Maximus” with AMSC, including a purchase option for the vessel," Solstad Offshore said. The agreed charter term is for five years, with 5+5 years options. The bareboat charter also includes purchase options for the Solstad group after 5 and 10 years.
Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore said: "We are very pleased that we have been able to secure the continued availability of Normand Maximus to our customers. Normand Maximus is one of the most sophisticated vessels within this segment, and a vital part of the Solstad offering to our clients.”