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    Aker Maritime sells seismic ships, leases them back

    News // November 3, 2000
    Aker Maritime says it has sold a pair of seismic survey vessels but intends to lease them back, thus making some NOK 750 million in capital available for other uses, including short term financing for its 49 per cent purchase of Aker Gulf Marine.

    Aker Maritime sold the ships for NOK 900 million. It says the capital made available by selling and leasing the ships will replace short-term financing established in connection with the purchase of its stake in Aker Gulf Marine.

    To date Aker Maritime, in contrast to many other companies in the seismic sector, has chosen to own its ships. The capital, which has now been freed will be reinvested in a yard which is well positioned with respect to the growing international deepwatermarket.

    The ships have been purchased by a company in which Aker RGI owns 51 per cent of shares and Aker Maritime the remainder. The company will not be consolidated in Aker Maritime, and accordingly will not have any effect on the group's balance sheet.

    The company is financing the purchase of the ships using a loan of NOK 600 million from a syndicate of Norwegian and international banks arranged by Den Norske Bank.

    Aker Maritime says two independent Norwegian offshore brokers provided an independent assessment of the value of the seismic ships, and the price agreed was in line with their assessment.

    The sale and leaseback of the ships will have no significant effect on the financial results of either the Aker Maritime group or Aker Geo as the sale price corresponds to the book value of the ships.

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