Farstad delays reporting its quarterly results as takeover speculation mounts

Farstad delays reporting its quarterly results as takeover speculation mounts

Farstad Shipping has postponed reporting its second-quarter financial results while it continues to negotiate with its creditors, banks and “other parties”, which has fueled speculation that the company will be merged with another.

The offshore support vessel owner was due to make its presentation on Wednesday, but instead the results will be posted in two and a half weeks’ time.

“The basis for the postponement is that we have a piece of work to do with regard to the information to be out associated with half reporting. Due to high workload in general, we have decided to postpone the announcement,” Karl-Johan Bakken, Farstad’s CEO, told Norway’s E24 newspaper.

The news has fired up speculation that the company will be consolidated with another big-name player in the offshore support industry through the sale of a majority stake in its bonds.

Norwegian investment firm Alfred Berg Asset Management is reportedly thinking of selling its controlling stake in Farstad’s bonds to other offshore players such as Fredriksen-led Deep Sea Supply, Kjell Inge Røkke’s Aker and Kristian Siem, who controls Siem Offshore.

Another investor, DnB Asset Management, has also been buying Farstad’s bonds and together the two investment firms have controlling stakes worth a combined NOK 400m in one of Farstad’s two bond issues, each of which is worth NOK 1.4bn.

Bakken told Afterposten last week the market “probably will not come back the same way as before”.

“It would therefore be wise for participants to be creative and open to organize your business in a different way in the future – thus ensuring a sustainable and competitive development,” he continued.

 

Debate over Farstad’s future has been raging on our new discussion forum Splash Chat. You can join the conversation here.

 

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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