October 19, 2000
Tidewater buys eight more
Tidewater Inc.has entered into an agreement to purchase eight vessels from the Sanko Steamship Co., Ltd. for $160 million in cash.
Four of the vessels are large anchor-handling, towing supply boats, each with a total horsepower of 15,000 bhp.The remaining four vessels are large North Sea type platform supply vessels. All eight of the vessels were built by Norwegian shipyards within the last two years. The anticipated closing of the transaction will be mid to late November 2000.
All of the vessels are being purchased subject to existing charter arrangements previously entered into by Sanko. The charter agreements extend out for various periods of up to three years and include additional option periods that can be exercised by the charterers.
"The opportunity to purchase these eight vessels came at a propitious time for us, given Tidewater's commitment to establishing and building a significant presence in the deepwater, high-end development segment of the offshore supply vessel market,'' said William C. O'Malley, Tidewater's chairman, president and CEO. "The acquisition of these eight high quality vessels, together with our other recently announced acquisitions of five similar vessels, further combined with the thirteen to fifteen new vessels to be added through our previously announced new-build program, will propel Tidewater into the leading ranks of companies able to service the deepwater market. Moreover, we are able to complete this purchase in a manner that will not adversely affect Tidewater's strong balance sheet and financial flexibility.''
AMCV completes $76.4 million financing for coastal cruise ships
American Classic Voyages Co. has issued $76.4 million of bonds guaranteed by the U.S. Maritime Administration. The proceeds will be used to finance construction of two coastal cruise ships at Atlantic Marine, Inc., of Jacksonville, Fla. The ships will be the initial vessels in AMCV's new Delta Queen Coastal Voyages line.
CEO Philip C. Calian said, "We are excited about the prospects for our new Delta Queen coastal ships and we are pleased with the current booking momentum on these vessels. The Maritime Administration Title XI guarantee provided us attractive long-term financing for the new vessels, which will enable AMCV to deploy its capital for further growth.''
The guarantee amount represents approximately 87.5 percent of the total anticipated cost of the two coastal vessels. These amounts include shipyard costs, design costs, vessel furniture and fixtures, interest during construction and guarantee fees.
The two 226-passenger coastal vessels, the cv Cape May Light and cv Cape Cod Light, are named for historic lighthouses and designed to resemble the classic coastal ships of the late 1800s. The shipyard launch of the Cape May Light hull was June 2, 2000; the Cape Cod Light hull will be launched at Atlantic Marine next month. Beginning May 5, 2001, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages will embark on its inaugural season with itineraries featuring the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritime Provinces and the eastern coastline of the United States.
Patriot handed over
Separately, AMCV announced yesterday that its new United States Lines subsidiary had today acquired its first ship, the ms Patriot, formerly Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam, for $114.5 million. The transfer of ownership occurred at sea, approximately 17 miles off the Oregon coast. The 1,212-passenger ship, which will cruise the Hawaiian Islands, also changed registry at sea. It now flies the U.S. flag and is operated by an American crew and staff.
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