Kristian Røkke–led Akastor is forming a 50:50 joint venture with Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co to pursue subsea opportunities around the world, starting in Brazil. The venture is buying the Skandi Santos hull from DOF Subsea and the Skandi Santos topside from AKOFS. The joint venture will subsequently enter into a lease agreement with AKOFS corresponding to the remaining contract duration between AKOFS and Petrobras. DOF Subsea will continue to provide the ROV and marine services onboard the vessel as part of the subsea equipment support vessel contract with Petrobras.
Røkke, Akastor’s ceo, commented: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Mitsui and are excited about additional joint business opportunities currently being explored. This transaction will increase Akastor’s financial flexibility, while laying the groundwork for longer term value creation together with Mitsui.”
Røkke has been the kingpin in much Norwegian OSV consolidation in recent months.
Upon closing of the transaction, AKOFS will realize a cash gain of $66m, net of investments in the joint venture. The annual bareboat charter and related costs will increase by $8.5m per year over the remaining contract period. The contract with Petrobras for the operations in Brazil will remain in a 100% owned subsidiary of AKOFS and will continue to generate positive results over the contract period, also when considering the increased bareboat charter rate. The transaction will result in an accounting gain of approximately $19m for Akastor, corresponding to half of the total sales-gain of $38m.
The agreement is subject to Petrobras consent, bank approvals and certain other conditions, which are expected to occur during by the end of this year.