January 9, 2008
HOS buys MPSV newbuild, adds to OSV orders
Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. (NYSE: HOS) announced today that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with Superior Offshore International, Inc. (Nasdaq: DEEP) to acquire the Superior Achiever, a T-22 class DP-3 new generation multi-purpose support vessel ("MPSV") and related owner-furnished equipment, currently under construction at Merwede Shipyard in Holland with an anticipated fourth quarter 2008 delivery. Merwede Shipyard is also building for Hornbeck the HOS Iron Horse, an MPSV of the same design, with an expected fourth quarter 2009 delivery.
With acquisition of the Superior Achiever, the HOS MPSV program now consists of four vessels.
Hornbeck has also agreed to a five-year time charter with Superior for the Superior Achiever or another acceptable vessel. Superior will have the option to terminate the charter with 90-days' advance notice at the end of each sequential six-month period within the term.
Hornbeck and Superior plan to negotiate on establishment of a non-exclusive joint marketing and cooperation agreement and t to seek mutually beneficial business opportunities utilizing their complementary resources.
Hornbeck also announced plans to expand its current offshore supply vessel ("OSV") newbuild program. It has contracted for the construction of two additional proprietary 240 ED class OSVs with Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, Florida, which is currently building four identical sister vessels for Hornbeck. The two new vessels are anticipated to be delivered in 2010.
With these incremental newbuilds, the company's fourth OSV newbuild program now consists of vessel construction contracts with three domestic shipyards to build 16 DP-2 vessels comprised of six proprietary 240 ED class OSVs, nine proprietary 250 EDF class OSVs and one 285 class new generation OSV.
In addition, HOS has agreed to purchase a leasehold interest in a parcel of improved real estate adjacent to HOS Port, its existing shore-base facility located in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The new facility lease has close to seven years remaining on its initial term, with four additional five-year renewal periods. The acquisition of this additional shore-base will provide more lay-down area in support of HOS'sgrowing MPSV program. The combined acreage of the two adjoining properties will be approximately 60 acres, more than double the present size of HOS Port. The acquired facility, currently known as the "Rowan Base," will also increase the company's shore-base lifting capacity by two cranes, and will extend its waterfront bulkhead by over 1,000 additional linear feet to nearly 3,000 total linear feet. The acquisition closing is subject to customary conditions, including third party consents, environmental testing and regulatory approvals, and is expected to occur in mid-January 2008.
HOS plans to fund the incremental expected cost of these transactions of approximately $190 million in the aggregate, along with its previously announced newbuild and conversion programs, from projected cash flows from operations and an expanded revolving credit facility. In conjunction with these announcements, Hornbeck is in the process of increasing its revolving credit facility with its existing bank group to a borrowing base of at least $200 million, up from $100 million today. The credit facility, which is presently undrawn, has an "accordion" feature that allows for a maximum available borrowing base of $250 million.