2001 Maritime
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April 23, 2001

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Frontline makes public offer for Mosvold
Frontline Ltd. today announced that it intends to present a public offer for all outstanding shares in Mosvold Shipping Ltd. at 5.50 Norwegian Kroner per share. The offer represents a 34% premium over Mosvold Shipping's average closing price for the last 30 days on the Oslo Stock Exchange. This values Mosvold Shipping at approximately 420 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately $ 46 million).

Frontline says the public offer for Mosvold is part of its strategy of continuing the consolidation process within the highly fragmented tanker industry. It says a combination of Mosvold and Frontline will reduce the combined cost structure and that inclusion of Mosvold's newbuilding program will also further strengthen Frontline's position as the premium operator of modern tanker tonnage.

The offer document will be sent to all Mosvold Shipping shareholders this week with an acceptance period of two weeks.

Frontline controls 12 % of the share capital of Mosvold Shipping Ltd. through shares and forward contracts.

The main pre-conditions for the offer are

  • that shareholders representing minimum 95% of Mosvold Shipping's issued and outstanding shares accept the offer.
  • that Frontline Ltd. is given the opportunity to review the loan agreement in respect of Mosvold Shipping Ltd.'s convertible loan and finds this not to include terms that will influence Frontline Ltd.'s valuation of Mosvold Shipping negatively.
  • that the board of Mosvold Shipping declares that Frontline Ltd. will have complied with its duty to make an offer to all shareholders in Mosvold Shipping according to Art. 42 in Mosvold Shipping's Bye-laws by making the offer.
  • that the board of Mosvold Shipping declares that it will not make use of the provisions of Art. 35 in Mosvold Shipping's Bye-laws as a basis for denying approval of any transfer of shares to Frontline as a consequence of the offer.

    Any of these pre-conditions may be waived by Frontline.

Frontline Ltd. is the Bermuda registered holding company of the world's largest crude oil tanker group. The company has a market capitalization of approximately NOK 14 billion, and is listed on the Oslo and London Stock Exchanges and on the NASDAQ.

Hydralift to acquire BLM from FGH
Hydralift, Kristiansand, Norway, today entered into an agreement with Friede Goldman Halter Inc. (FGH) to acquire Brissoneau & Lotz Marine S.A. in Nantes, France, and its sister company BOPP S.A. in Brest, France).

The net cash consideration for BLM is $33.5 million. Having been continuously profitable for more than the last ten years, BLM expects to generate revenues of some $50-60 millions in 2001, generating margins comparable to Hydralift's own. BLM has an order backlog of approx. 15 months, and all of its projected revenues for the current year are already in the backlog. At its two manufacturing plants in France and its three international sales offices, BLM has some 235 permanent and 100 temporary employees.

Hydralift is a supplier of high-pressure hydraulic equipment to selected niches of the international offshore and marine markets. its main products today are advanced cranes, compensation systems and drilling equipment for the oil and gas market, and cranes and other lifting and handling equipment for ships and special vessels.

It is the supplier of the drilling equipment in the Bingo rigs under contract for Ocean Rig at FGH's Pascagoula, Miss., yard.

As FGH has filed Chapter 11 protection, the agreement to acquire BLM entered into subject to approval by the federal bankruptcy court in Mississippi, USA. Closing of the transaction is foreseen to be consummated within May 2001.

Established in 1841, BLM is a recognized international brand name, with a strong product range in offshore- and ship equipment, creating a very powerful industrial fit with Hydralift.

Hydralift acquired several BLM product lines, designs and technologies the mid 1990's

BLM's product lines include equipment for both fixed and mobile offshore drilling and production platforms, as well as marine deck equipment and winches and specialized equipment for fishing vessels.

Its offshore equipment product lines include high capacity jacking units for jack up rigs, where the company holds a 60% worldwide market share. The back log includes orders for jacking units for the world's two largest harsh environment jack up rigs currently under construction for A. P. Moeller, as well as two (plus two options) for jack ups for Santa Fe. Complementing Hydralift's offshore crane product range, BLM has developed its own complete range of Kingpost cranes. For semi submersible drilling platforms, BLM has developed a complete range of drum mooring winches and specialized deepwater combined chain and wire mooring systems.

BLM's marine deck machinery include mooring winches, cargo handling cranes for container and bulk carriers, and hose handling and provision cranes for tankers. For cruise liners, BLM has developed its own Compacwinch design for mooring winches, holding an approximate 50% market share of cruise ships currently under order world wide.

Equipment for fishing vessels mainly includes winches for tuna seiners and trawlers, as well as for smaller vessels.

BLM's two manufacturing plants include 30,000 m2 of indoor workshops, built on 100,000 m2 of owned lands.

Bunker barge service on Mexican west coast
ICS Petroleum and Naval Mexicana SA de CV have announced the introduction of their first bunker barge to operate on the West Coast of Mexico.

The tanker Orion (1,014 dwt) will be based at Manzanillo where it will service vessels at berth or anchorage eliminating the need for the customer to shift its vessel to the pipeline facility.

The rapidly expanding deepwater port of Manzanillo is located approximately 1,200 miles south of Los Angeles and 1,700 miles north of Panama and is the largest container shipping port on the Pacific coast of Mexico, handling nearly 30% of the national container shipping volume.

ExxonMobil Marine Fuels expands U.S. Gulf bunker supply
ExxonMobil Marine Fuels (EMMF), the world's largest supplier of marine fuels, is increasing its involvement in the bunker production and supply market serving the U.S. Gulf region. Initially, production expansion is being centered on EMMF's facility at Beaumont, Texas, and the company is also working with its refinery and supply groups to optimize fuel oil production at other ExxonMobil refineries.

Dan Bryce, EMMF General Manager for the Americas, says, "As part of an increased focus on marine fuels, we are improving and increasing supply at Beaumont."

Joe Rud, EMMF Trading & Business Development Manager, adds, "Initial customer response to news of our increased emphasis on bunker supply in the Gulf has been favourable."

The ExxonMobil refinery at Beaumont has a fuel run of approximately 400,000 barrels a day.

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