Monday, June 12, 2000

Cruise to nowhere company acquired

American Imaging, Inc. (NQB:AMIG) announced today that it has agreed to acquire 100% of SeaEscape Casino Cruises and its operations in a stock-for-stock transaction. The company also announced that it would be changing its name to SeaEscape Entertainment, Inc., and will be applying for a new ticker symbol, which will be announced as soon as it has been assigned. SeaEscape will assume management and control of the public company, which has been dormant for some time.

SeaEscape is believed to be the originator of "cruises to nowhere." It operates 13 five- to six-hour cruises weekly from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale on the M.V. Island Adventure, which at 512 feet and over 15,000 tons is, by far, the largest such vessel in this type of service, with a capacity of over 1,150 passengers per cruise. SeaEscape carried 370,000 passengers in the past 12 months and a total of over 6 million in its 18-year history,.

The transaction is expected to be consummated in the next several weeks, subject to certain corporate formalities remaining. No assurances can be given as to the exact timing of the closing, and although the parties are very optimistic that it will be accomplished, the financial community must be aware that it is possible that the pending transaction will not be finalized.

A spokesman for AMIG stated that the company has been looking for an acquisition partner for the past several months and that SeaEscape, with 18 years in operation and estimated annual gross revenue for fiscal year 2000 in excess of $29 million, seems to be a perfect match.

SeaEscape executive VP Bruce Yasukochi said that SeaEscape plans to expand its operations in the near future and that the acquisition by AMIG would give SeaEscape greater access to public capital markets for that expansion. Yasukochi said that the company's plans would be announced shortly.

Indian Coast Guard monitors hijacked ship
An Italian owned ship, the 10,576 gt Med Star, has been seized by stowaways en route from Banda Abbas, Iran for Kandla, India. Reports from the Times of India and All India Radio say the 14 stoways (10 iranians and four Iraquis) have a bomb. They are seeking asylum in Germany, reports say.

The 1980-built general cargo carrier is owned by Alcove Shipping of Savona, Italy, and managed by B Navi, which shares the same office address as Alcove. It flies the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Equasis data base shows that B Navi manages 30 ships.

The Med Star left Banda Abbas last Thursday. On Sunday, says the Times of India, it was scheduled to arrive at Kandla port on Sunday afternoon to load 2,000 tonnes of granite. "But its master, G. Bartolomei, sent a message to B Navi, which was passed on to the shipping agent, Pearl Shipping Agency at Gandhidham, on Friday morning saying the vessel had been captured by stowaways."

The ship reportedly has a crew of 20, mostly Ukrainian and Filipino nationals.

Earlier today, two Indian Coast Guard vessels had the vessel under observation in international waters 70 miles west of Okhaport. India, according to All India Radio.

Apparently, the hijackers are negotiating by radio with the vessel's P&I Club, which has forwarded their request for asylum to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

SEACOR announces potential financing plan for Chiles
Seacor Smit Inc. says its 55% owned subsidiary Chiles Offshore LLC is contemplating a plan of financing that may include an initial public offering of its equity. The principal purpose of such a financing plan would be to enable Chiles to retire indebtedness, including its outstanding senior notes, and to fund further growth and working capital.

On April 10, Chiles Offshore announced that a wholly owned dedicated subsidiary had entered into an agreement with Singapore's Keppel FELS Limited to build a KFELS MOD V "`B'' jackup drilling rig at a total construction cost estimated not to exceed $110.0 million.

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