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May 15, 2001
NNS faces shareholder suits
Four shareholder complaints were filed against Newport News Shipbuilding and members of its board in Delaware Chancery Court last week seeking to block the yard's planned acquisition by General Dynamics.
Disclosing the suits in a notification filed with the SEC, NNS says each of the four complaints purports to be filed by a stockholder of the company and includes a request for a declaration that the action be maintained as a class action. Each seeks, among other things, injuctive relief,unspecified damages and fees of attorneys and experts.
Generally, the complaints allege, among other things, that the offer and the merger are wrongful, unfair and harmful to the company's stockholders in that they constitute a sale of the company without an appropriate process to obtain the best price reasonably available to stockholders. Each alleges, among other things, that the defendants failed to solicit competing bids for the company and have refused to take steps to ensure that the stockholders of the company will receive maximum value for their shares. Included in the relief sought by the complaints is a request for an order that the individual defendants carry out their fiduciary duties to the stockholders of the Company.
NNS says it believes that these complaints are without merit and says it intends to vigorously contest each lawsuit. declaring that it faces four shareholder complaints.
Texaco studies Gulf offshore LNG terminal
Texaco announced today that it will soon complete a study for the development of a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) receiving and regasification Terminal in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The study examines and evaluates infrastructure requirements and costs of the project.
The proposed Gulf of Mexico terminal would be constructed as an offshore facility and initially designed to process approximately one billion cubic feet per day (BCFD). This facility would connect to Texaco's extensive offshore infrastructure, which has under-utilized capacity as Gulf of Mexico natural gas production has declined. The company's offshore natural gas infrastructure is connected onshore to several interstate pipeline systems, as well as the Henry Hub, which is operated by a Texaco subsidiary. This facility could be operational in four to five years.
According to Robert A. Solberg, President of Texaco Commercial Development, "The U.S. demand for natural gas continues to increase at a significant pace, demonstrating the need for clean burning fuels for power generation, industrial fuels and residential markets. The traditional supply basins can be developed to meet this growing demand, and LNG creates an outstanding opportunity to construct new facilities that can deliver this much needed gas supply to U. S. markets."
The facility could ultimately be expanded up to two BCFD to meet further increases in natural gas demand from the U.S. market. The supply of LNG for the terminal would be produced from one or more potential projects in the Atlantic Basin in which Texaco holds an equity interest.
Texaco says the four existing U.S. LNG receiving terminals are almost fully contracted, which creates the need for new import facilities that can deliver this important new energy supply into the U. S.
The study is being conducted over a six-month period and is expected to demonstrate that by creatively accessing and utilizing existing infrastructure in this area where traditional supplies are in decline, the project would have minimal environmental impact.
EU sets deadline for Korea
The Council of the European Union has issued a statement that "deeply regrets" that no progress has been achieved through bilateral negotiations with Korea on shipbuilding, despite the commitments given in the "Agreed Minutes" of April 2000.
The Council says it takes note of the European Commission's decision of May 8, 2001 to propose an appropriate "temporary support mechanism" for EU yards and "strongly supports" the Commission's intention to launch a WTO procedure if a solution is not achieved with Korea by June 30, 2001.