2001 Maritime

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November 26, 2001

Kværner struggles on
Kværner today said that its Board, in an extraordinary meeting last night, decided that operations can continue until shareholders vote over the proposed refinancing of the Group at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 29 November.

"In negotiations over the last two days, a basis has been established for the necessary funding of the group until the end of November – amounting to NOK 250 million," said a statement The necessary liquidity will be secured through new loans from the Group’s major banks and, additionally, an amendment to the payment terms for a major ongoing project. The new loans will be established against a standstill agreement previously negotiated as part of the long-term refinancing. It is expected that the standstill agreement will ultimately be approved by Kvaerner’s lending syndicates before the end of tomorrow.

The Board has been talking with the Group’s largest shareholders with a view to seeking a refinancing arrangement that can gain maximum support from shareholders. A proposal put forward by Aker Maritime has been at the center of these discussions. The deal required Kværner to buy Aker's oil and gas activities in return for Aker gaining up to 60 percent control of Kværner. The Board concluded that this proposal could not be developed into an acceptable solution, and would not subsequently secure support from other major shareholders or lenders.

Manitowoc to build two more buoy tenders
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. says its Marinette Marine subsidiary has been awarded options to build two additional seagoing buoy tenders for the U.S. Coast Guard. The options, valued at approximately $60 million, are extensions to an existing series of contracts awarded by the Coast Guard in 1993 and 1998 to build up to 16 Juniper-class buoy tenders.

"These options mark nearly $350 million in new shipbuilding contracts won this year alone, and they further enhance our position as the U.S. Coast Guard's largest supplier of shipbuilding and ship-repair work," said Manitowoc's president and CEO Terry D. Growcock, . "We're pleased to continue the strong partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard, Manitowoc Marine Group, and Marinette Marine."

The two new Juniper-class (WLB) buoy tenders - numbers 15 and 16 in the series - will be 225 feet in length and will operate with a crew of six officers and 34 enlisted personnel. Themulti-mission vessels will be equipped to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, pollution response, and domestic icebreaking missions, as well as servicing aids to navigation.

Scheduled for delivery in April and September of 2004, it is proposed that at least one of the additional cutters will be homeported on the Great Lakes.