study U.S. OPA
Following the Erika disaster, the French government is moving
forward with plans to push for a European Union initiative to
minimize the risks and costs of pollution from tankers. With
much talk of a "European OPA" in the air, marinelog.com
has learned that French officials are closely studying the U.S.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Their research includes an examination
of the Act's legislative history. Something that has caught the
French officials' attention is that charterer liability, which
was in the House-passed version of the original OPA 90 legislation
never made it out of the House-Senate conference.
Washington insiders offer two explanations
for how charterers got off the OPA hook. One is that then Senate
majority leader George Mitchell didn't want public utilities
exposed to unlimited liability. The other is that Big Oil lobbyists
agreed to yield gracefully on the issue of double hulls so long
as charterer liability went away. Sources in Paris indicate that
the French government is in no mood to be so accommodating.
NCL moves to block Star
While Singapore-listed Star Cruises says it is "currently
evaluating all alternatives" in light of Carnival Corporation's
renewed interest in acquiring NCL, the NCL Holding board is now
moving to prevent Star from voting its 47% share at the company's
upcoming February 4 general meeting.
NCL argues that Star failed to comply with
Norway s Business Acquisition Act. This requires that any firm
seeking to acquire parts of a Norwegian business notify the Industry
Ministry when its holding exceeds one-third, one-half and two-thirds
of the stock.
NCL says Star held one-third of the stock in December without
informing the ministry. Shipping companies, however, are apparently
exempt from this requirement and Star says that NCL is a shipping
company and so is exempted from the notification
requirement. Not so, says NCL. It says it is classified as a
travel business and, in any case, has a sales volume within Norway
that makes it subject to the act.
On December 17, Star said it had acquired
50.2% of NCL's stock. NCL executives and top shareholders have
since been scrambling to acquire stock. Yesterday, for example,
several key executives exercised stock purchase options. Such
moves and the conversion of debt to equity seem to have pushed
Star's stake down to around 40%.
Today, shareholder Christen Sveaas said
that his Kistefos A/S controlled 20.9 percent of NCL (9.5% in
shares and 11.4% in options).
Yesterday we reported that Ugland
International Holdings plc (UIH) is planning
to dispose of its principle business--vehicle carrying. Seeing
that UIH promotes itself as "the world leader in vehicle
transportation," that raises the question of what the company
does next. And, in particular, what happens to its ship management
operations.These are performed though Interocean Ugland Management
in the USA and IUM Shipmanagement AS in Norway.
Here's the fleet list Interocean Ugland
Management was showing on its website today:
Fleet List for IUM Corporation
||Lo/Lo - Ro/Ro
||Sea Star Line
Today, the UIH board was notified that
the entire shareholding of the Ugland family in UIH, comprising
54,237,581 ordinary shares, has been acquired by Maiden Capital
Partners ("Maiden") at a price of 63 U.K. pence per
share. The board was also notified that Andreas O. Ugland has
subsequently acquired 17,144,420 ordinary shares in UIH from
Saltchuk Resources, Inc. ("Saltchuk") at a price of
63 pence per share, following which Mr. Michael Garvey, the principal
shareholder of Saltchuk, resigned as a director of UIH.
Maiden is a Cayman Islands company, controlled
by Andreas O. Ugland, other members of the Ugland family and
Jonathan D. Palmer, and is therefore deemed to be acting in concert
with Andreas O. Ugland. The combined holding of what is called
"the Ugland Concert Party" therefore totals 71,382,001
ordinary shares in UIH, representing approximately 53.3 per cent.
Provisions in UIH's articles of association
require that, the Ugland Concert Party is now required to make
a mandatory unconditional offer for the balance of UIH's share
capital not already owned. This cash offer is required to be
made at not less than the highest price paid for UIH ordinary
shares during the preceding twelve months by any member of the
Ugland Concert Party.
The UIH Board has been informed that the
mandatory offer will be made at 63 pence per share, and that
the intention is to post the formal offer document to UIH shareholders
during the month of February.
Navy contract for Moon Engineering
Moon Engineering Company, Inc,
Portsmouth, Va., is being awarded a $5,387,767 fixed-price contract
for a phased maintenance fixed price availability of USS CARTER
HALL (LSD-50), which includes miscellaneous structural, electrical,
and mechanical repairs and ship alterations. Work will be performed
in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be complete by June 2000.
Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal
year. This contract was competitively procured through the Commerce
Business Daily and via the SUPSHIP Portsmouth web page, with
eight proposals solicited and four offers received. The Supervisor
of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, USN, Portsmouth, Va.,
is the contracting activity (N00024-92-H-8636).
Repair pays off for Todd
Todd Shipyards Corporation has
announced financial results for the third quarter ended January
Net income for the quarter was $2.5 million
or $0.26 per diluted share on revenue of $24.9 million. For the
nine month period, net income was $7.0 million or $0.71 per diluted
share on revenue of $87.7 million. In the prior year third quarter
ending December 27, 1998, the company reported net losses of
$1.8 million or $(0.19) per diluted share. For the nine month
period then ended, the Company reported net losses of $1.7 million
or $(0.17) per diluted share on revenue of $60.5 million.
Todd's third quarter revenue of $24.9 million
reflects an increase of $10.9 million (78%) from fiscal year
1999 third quarter levels. Fiscal year 2000 nine month revenue
of $87.7 million reflects an increase of $27.2 million (45%)
from last year.
Todd says therevenue increases reflect
its decision to discontinue new
construction and continue emphasizing commercial and government
repair and overhaul activities. During the third quarter and
first nine months, revenues from commercial and government repair
and overhaul activities increased $19.2 million and $44.1 million,
respectively, while new construction revenue decreased $8.3 million
and $16.9 million, respectively from the comparable prior year
BIMCO signs anti-drug smuggling agreement with
A formal anti-drug smuggling agreement
will be signed today by Director General
of the Finnish Customs, Tapani Erling, and BIMCO Deputy Secretary
Tvedt. Finnish BIMCO member, Bengt Bj¢rkholm of Rederi Engship,
will take part
in the official ceremony as well, which will be hosted by the
National Board of
Customs in Helsinki.
The partnership, known as a Memorandum
of Understanding, aims to address the increasing utiliszation
of Finnish ports as transit points for illegal
This agreement is the eleventh MOU between
European customs authorities and
BIMCO. Each MOU is designed to enable BIMCO shipowner members
to reduce exposure to the most common repercussions arising from
the discovery of smuggled
narcotics on board their vessels. Such a discovery often leads
to heavy fines,
detention of vessels, and the arrest and incarceration of crew
The basic principles of the Finnish MOU
are identical to those incorporated in
the previous European MOU's, as well as in the United States'
Initiative Agreement (SCIA). Generally, shipowners agree to implement
preventive measures on board all their vessels in order to reduce
opportunities available to drug smugglers. Additionally, owners
agree to inform
Finnish customs authorities whenever they become aware of any
activities that might be connected with drug smuggling.
The Finnish customs authorities, in turn,
agree to handle all information in the
strictest confidentiality. Should drugs be discovered on board,
the customs will
take the established preventive measures into account, a consideration
significantly reduce vessel delays that could otherwise occur
when such seizures
Under the agreement, Finnish customs officials
also will also inform shipowners
if they obtain information regarding smuggling activities on
Presently, 611 of BIMCO's owner members
participate in one or more of the
anti-drug smuggling agreements, representing roughly 62% of all
In addition to the Finnish MOU and the
United States' Sea Carrier Initiative
Agreement, MOU's have been established with the following customs
Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the
Belgium and the United Kingdom.
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