Norwegian offshore vessel operator Solstad Offshore has officially exited the platform supply vessel business.
Namely, the company on Wednesday completed the sale of its PSV fleet to the U.S. offshore vessel firm Tidewater for approximately $580 million.
The transaction, first announced in March, was completed Wednesday, with all 37 platform supply vessels, primarily used for transporting essential supplies and equipment to offshore oil and gas platforms and drilling rigs, successfully delivered to Tidewater, headquartered in Houston, Texas.
Solstad said the transaction would reduce its interest-bearing debt by approximately NOK 6 billion (currently around $564 million).
Solstad Offshore said previously the sale would reduce its debt and strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position, and that the sale represented a shift in the company's strategy in a changing market, where PSVs mainly support the oil and gas industry, while the AHTSs and CSVs can service all offshore energy sectors, including oil and gas and renewables.
In March, the Norwegian offshore vessel firm said its focus going forward would be on high-end construction support vessels and AHTS vessels and project-related work, which increasingly generate its EBITDA from the renewable energy market.
The message was reiterated Wednesday by Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore, who said: "We are very pleased with the sale of our PSV fleet. This will strengthen the balance sheet of Solstad considerably, and the remaining fleet of 40 high-end CSV and AHTS vessels will all be relevant for both oil & gas and renewable energy clients. As such, Solstad will be an important operator in the ongoing energy transition," says
The transaction will have a positive accounting effect of approximately NOK 250 million (currently around $23,5 million) to be reflected in 2Q 2023.
Under the agreement, ongoing PSV charter parties will be transferred to Tidewater. It was said back in March that offshore employees associated with Solstad Offshore's PSV Fleet would be offered employment with Tidewater, and that Tidewater would also offer employment to certain of the onshore employees.
Tidewater said in March that the acquisition would make it the largest owner and operator of high-specification PSVs, "which is the OSV vessel class that has demonstrated the highest utilization through all market cycles."