THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003
May 12, 2003
Torch gets financing for Midnight Express conversion
Torch Offshore, Inc. says that its $60.0 million finance facility with Regions Bank and Export Development Canada (EDC) to fund the conversion of the Midnight Express into a DP-2 offshore pipelay and construction vessel has been completed.
The Midnight Express is at the Davie Maritime Inc. shipyard in Quebec, Canada, which is the shipyard performing a substantial part of the conversion. Following the completion of the Davie Maritime Inc. work, which is expected in December 2003,Torch's patented pipelay system and other equipment will be installed on the Midnight Express. Torch expects the Midnight Express to be part of its active fleet in the first quarter of 2004.
Lyle G. Stockstill, Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to announce the completion of this $60.0 million facility which will be an integral part of the conversion of the Midnight Express. We are very appreciative of the support from Regions Bank, Export Development Canada, and Industry Canada." The finance facility provides for a 15-month credit line equally funded by Regions Bank and EDC ($30.0 million participation by each). At the completion of that 15-month period, any borrowings outstanding under the facility will convert to a three-year term loan.
As part of the facility, Regions Bank has restructured its $25.0 million asset-based five-year revolving credit facility with Torch to incorporate this commitment into the Regions Bank $30.0 million portion of the Finance Facility. A $10.0 million accounts receivable-based working capital facility from Regions Bank remains available to Torch.
The finance facility is also supported by a Structured Finance Facility granted by Industry Canada, which will provide approximately the equivalent of $3.7 million of interest rate buy down funds to be applied to the term loan portion of the finance Facility.