Aker-dominated owner of Jones Act compliant tankers, American Shipping Company (AMSC), is diversifying its portfolio with the purchase of one of the most advanced offshore subsea construction vessels, Solstad agreed to build for charter with Italy’s Saipem.
The Oslo-listed company has struck a deal to take over the 2016-built Normand Maximus from Maximus Limited, a company controlled by its secured lenders, for about $157m. The vessel will deliver in the fourth quarter of this year after it concludes its current contract.
Solstad is the current operator of the vessel and will continue to do so under a new bareboat contract with AMSC, in which Aker Capital, owned by Kjell Inge Røkke-controlled Aker, holds just shy of 19% of the shares. The deal will see Solstad keep the vessel in its fleet for five years, with options to extend and to buy it after five and 10 years.
“We have for some time been looking for the right growth opportunity, and we are very satisfied with concluding this transaction. The transaction is accretive on all key financial metrics and is projected to produce more than a 20% annual return on equity with a strong running dividend yield. The offshore services market is in recovery and is currently experiencing increased activity and a positive outlook. We believe the timing of the transaction is favorable and the risk/reward attractive,” said Pål Lothe Magnussen, CEO of AMSC.
The Normand Maximus was initially built for a long-term charter with Saipem, which was terminated in 2020, and Solstad has since been looking for a long-term solution for the lease financing arrangements for the vessel. Solstad agreed to a $48.25m termination fee with Saipem last year.