July 1, 2005

Aker American raises $125 million

Aker American Shipping ASA has completed a successful private placement of shares that raised $125 million, giving the new company a market value of approximately $275 million--and putting it firmly on course to build 10 products tankers for OSG at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard.

Aker American Shipping ASA has been set up to build, own and bare boat charter out vessels to U.S. vessel operators in accordance with the U.S. coastwise laws (Jones Act). It will act through various wholly-pwned U.S. subsidiaries.

The vessels will be constructed at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard.

Aker American Shipping already has contracts for the bareboat charter of 10 product tankers to Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc.

The biggest stake in the company is held by Aker ASA, which yesterday acquired Kv¾rner ASA's shareholding, giving it a 54.7 per cent share in the company.

"After years of hard work and steady progress we are very pleased with the feedback we have received from the market, both in Norway and internationally," says Dave Meehan CEO of Aker American Shipping ASA, who is also President and CEO of Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard.

Together with bank financing, the private placement secures the implementation of the agreement with Overseas Shipholding Group, says Meehan.

In the private placement, the share price was set at NOK 65 ($9.95) and investors subscribed for a total of 67.3 million shares, which indicates that the placement was covered five times over. Approximately 50 per cent of the subscribers were international investors.

Aker American Shipping says it is working "intensively" to get a listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Prior to that listing, there will be a secondary sale of NOK 20-25 million

Prior to the listing on Oslo B¿rs, there will be a secondary sale of AKAS shares by Aker for an amount of up to NOK 20-25 million (US $3-3.8 million).

The secondary sale will enable retail investors to invest in the company at the same NOK 65 per share price as investors in the private placement (NOK 65 per share). Additional share offers may be considered at a later stage.

"We aim to have a shareholding in the company after the listing in excess of 50.1 per cent," says Leif Arne Langoy, CEO of Aker ASA. "As part of reducing the shareholding, we will execute a smaller secondary sale of shares in connection with the listing. We have great belief in the company and the unique possibilities it has to become a leading actor in the US Jones Act market."

Existing shareholders in Aker and Kv¾rner will be eligible for a preferential allocation in the secondary sale of shares.

Management representatives in the Aker group of companies also intend to acquire shares from Aker ASA in connection with the listing.

The board of directors of Aker American Shipping ASA will consist of Leif Arne Langoy as Chairman, Marianne Heien Blystad, Elin Karfjell, Karl-Erik Kjelstad and Orjan Svanevik. Blystad and Karfjell will take office on the first day of listing or at the latest July 31, 2005.

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