September 4, 2007
Craig Stevenson tapped for Ship Finance International chair
Former OMI Chairman & CEO Craig H. Stevenson Jr. has been appointed to the board of Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE:SFL).
Following the Annual General Meeting, scheduled to September 28, 2007, Mr. Stevenson will be recommended to take over as Chairman of the Board from Mr. Tor Olav Troim. Mr. Troim has been Chairman of the Board since October 2003, and will continue as a non-executive board member.
Mr. Stevenson (53) has had a long career as senior executive in several companies, including Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of OMI Corporation ("OMI"), a NYSE listed shipping company, from 1998 until 2007. In this period, the market capitalization of OMI increased more than ten times and the company was transformed from a relatively small shipping company with an elderly fleet to become a company with one of the largest and most modern fleets in the Suezmax and product tanker segments. Mr. Stevenson left OMI this summer following its sale to Teekay Shipping Corporation and A/S Dampskibsselskabet Torm.
Non-executive board member Mr. Svein Aaser, has decided to resign, as he will focus more of his attention on certain companies where he serves as Chairman of the Board, such as Marine Harvest ASA, Aktiv Kapaital ASA and Deep Sea Supply Plc. Mr. Aaser is an executive director of Seatankers, an affiliate of Ship Finance's largest shareholder, John Fredriksen's Hemen Holdings Ltd., and was thus not defined as an independent director of Ship Finance.
The appointment of Mr. Stevenson will therefore also increase the number of independent directors in the Company.
Tor Olav Troim, Chairman in Ship Finance, said in a comment: "We are very pleased that Mr. Stevenson has accepted a directorship and also accepted to be nominated as the new Chairman of the Board in Ship Finance. His broad international background, prior experience as CEO and Chairman in a large NYSE listed shipping company and his outstanding track record in the capital markets secures our company a very competent and professional director. We have always respected Mr. Stevenson as the Chairman in one of the best performing shipping companies, and we are delighted that he has decided to join the Board of Ship Finance. The transfer of the Chairmanship to Mr. Stevenson follows naturally in the process of making Ship Finance a strong independent company."
Craig H. Stevenson Jr. said in a comment: "I am excited to take on my new role as director and future Chairman. Ship Finance is growing and diversifying its asset base, and has announced more than $1.6 billion of new acquisitions over the last 18 months. The company has recruited a very competent management team, and with a market capitalization of $2.1 billion and a charter backlog of $5.5 billion we have an excellent platform for growth. The combination of predictable long-term cash flows and our strong balance sheet creates opportunities also in times of turbulence in the financial markets, when the attractiveness of our financial products increases and there may be more corporate opportunities."