According to Howard Frank, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Carnival Corporation, Siem has indicated that, based on the facts as they exist today, he would recommend acceptance of the Carnival offer to the NCL board. "If we are successful, we believe that the transaction, which represents a 19% increase to the enterprise value of our previous bid, is still attractive and in Carnival's and NCL's best interest,'' Frank said.
In December last year, Carnival made an uninvited NOK 30 a share offer for NCL. Howver, it let its tender offer expire on December 22, after news that Singapore-listed Star Cruises, which is making a NOK 35 per share offer, had acquired a substantial holding in NCL.
Star is believed to hold just short of 50% of NCL's stock, but earlier this week came news that the NCL board was seeking a mandate to issue 120 million new shares at a price of at least NOK 35 crowns per share, the company said in a statement to the Oslo bourse.
With NCL's share price heading higher, several insiders have exercised options as follows:
Shipping sheds old panamax tankers
to sell vehicle carrier interests
In consideration for the sale to it of the HUAL Interests, LHC will pay a cash sum of $238 million for the 50 per cent. of HUAL and the 50 per cent. of JVL it does not already own, together with UIH's seven vehicle carrier vessels. LHC will also assume UIH's share, currently amounting to approximately $64 million, of the net debt in JVL.
In addition, LHC will assume the majority
of UIH's obligations in relation to two car carrier new buildings
in respect of which UIH has signed bareboat charters, each of
which runs for an initial term of six years from delivery. Under
these arrangements LHC will time charter from UIH each vessel
at a daily rate of $18,000 for similar periods to those of UIH's
bareboat charters. The net present value of the charter obligations
Ugland says it has long held the view that the development of HUAL and its value to its shareholders has been held back by joint ownership and that HUAL's interests would be better served by it having a single owner. From early 1999, Ugland and Höegh have explored the possibility of Uglandselling the HUAL Interests to Höegh or, alternatively, Höegh selling its vehicle carrier interests to Ugland. However, during the course of these negotiations, Ugland's share price fell to a level which, by the end of November 1999 meant that, in the opinion of the Ugland board, it would not have been in the interests of shareholders to raise the equity necessary to proceed with a possible purchase of Höegh's vehicle carrier interests.
On December 3, 1999 a final proposal from Höegh to purchase the Ugland's HUAL interests was rejected by the board and the formal negotiations were terminated.
Andreas O. Ugland, Ugland's non-executive chairman, informed the board that, following the termination of the negotiations he entered into a conditional agreement to purchase the 17,144,420 ordinary shares in Ugland owned by Saltchuk Resources, Inc. ("Saltchuk"), representing approximately 12.8 per cent. of UIH's issued share capital, at a price of 63 pence per share (the "Saltchuk Shares").Ugland director Michael D. Garveyhas a majority holding in Saltchuk .
Under the articles of association of Ugland International Holdings plc , Andreas O. Ugland's deal with Saltchuk, when completed, would require him to make an offer for the remaining share capital of UIH. The agreement with Saltchuk is conditional on Andreas O. Ugland raising the finance necessary to make such an offer.
Soon after the announcement of the Saltchuk agreement , Lohit Limited, an investment vehicle controlled by Mr Leif Höegh acquired in the market a significant shareholding in UIH. The current holding of Lohit Limited and entities associated with it is thought to amounts to approximately 12.3 per cent. of UIH's issued share capital.
Subsequent to these purchases, LHC initiated new discussions which led to a price being agreed for the sale by UIH of the HUAL Interests to LHC on the terms announced today. These terms represent a significant improvement on the proposal which was rejected on 3 December 1999.
UIH is obliged, under the terms of the agreements governing the HUAL partnership, to offer its assets in that partnership firstly to LHC, thus precluding their sale (without LHC's approval) to a third party. The Company has evaluated the joint venture with LHC against the background of this restriction and in the light of the current trading noted above. The board considers that the agreement reached with LHC represents a better option for the company than continuing with the present arrangements.
The proposed sale of the HUAL Interests,
when completed, will result in the disposal of UIH's principal
business and will result in the company having substantial net
cash balances. In the light of the potential offer from Andreas
O. Ugland referred to in the appendix, the independent directors
of the Company have not yet formally considered the application
of the sale proceeds. In the event of such an offer being made,
the independent directors will consider its merits, and make
their views known to shareholders thereafter.
Ingalls, Lucent announce agreement to develop high-tech apps
for the US Navy
"Our goal is to work with Ingalls to create 'smart ships,'" said Jim O'Neill, president of Lucent's Government Solutions business. "Cutting-edge technologies from Bell Labs are used routinely to solve the global communications needs of corporations, but those same technologies also hold great potential for shipboard use. They can be used to automate ship systems, equipment and displays, and to provide the Navy with ready access to information -- when and where it's needed."
"We're looking forward to providing a showcase for high-tech solutions that improve a ship's mission capability," added Pat Keene, president of Litton Ingalls. "Conditions at sea can present unusual demands on technology. But we intend to use Ingalls' experience in design and manufacturing to demonstrate that it is possible to routinely use leading-edge technologies at sea. As the Navy moves to 'Knowledge-Centric' technology, Ingalls will be ready."