American Shipping Company (AMSC), Aker-dominated owner of Jones Act-compliant tankers, is diversifying its portfolio with the purchase of one of the most advanced offshore subsea construction vessels Solstad has agreed to build for charter with the Italian Saipem.
The Oslo-listed company reached an agreement to take over the built in 2016
Maxime Normand of Maximus Limited, a company controlled by its secured lenders, for approximately $157 million. The vessel will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year after the conclusion of its current contract.
Solstad is the vessel’s current operator and will continue to do so under a new bareboat contract with AMSC, in which Aker Capital, owned by Aker-controlled Kjell Inge Røkke, holds just under 19% of the shares. The deal will see Solstad keep the vessel in its fleet for five years, with options to extend and purchase after five and 10 years.
“We have been looking for the right growth opportunity for some time and we are very pleased with the conclusion of this transaction. The transaction is accretive on all key financial measures and is expected to produce an annual return on equity of over 20% with a high current dividend yield. The offshore services market is recovering and is currently experiencing increased activity and a positive outlook. We believe the timing of the transaction is favorable and the risk/reward ratio is attractive,” said Pål Lothe Magnussen, CEO of AMSC.
The Maxime Normand was originally built for a long-term charter with Saipem, which was terminated in 2020, and Solstad has since been seeking a long-term solution for the vessel’s lease financing arrangements. Solstad accepted $48.25 million Termination Fee with Saipem last year.