Aker's Ocean Yield subsidiary acquires Lewek Connector

Lewek ConnectorOCTOBER 11, 2012 — Ocean Yield, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Aker ASA, has entered into an agreement to acquire the offshore construction and cable lay vessel Lewek Connector from AMC Connector AS for a total consideration of $315 million.

After delivery, the vessel will be chartered on a hell and high water bareboat charter contract to EMAS AMC AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ezra Holdings Ltd. The bareboat charter will be fully guaranteed by Ezra.

The Lewek Connector was built in 2011 (as the AMC Connector) and is a large and sophisticated subsea construction vessel. The vessel is equipped for subsea installation in harsh environments and can operate down to 3000 meters water depth. EMAS AMC AS will have options to acquire the vessel during the charter period, with the first option being exercisable after five years.

"We are very pleased to announce this transaction with Ezra, a company with an excellent reputation in the subsea installation market,'' Ocean Yield's Chief Executive Officer Lars Solbakken said in a comment. "This transaction will contribute to further diversify our portfolio of vessels on long-term charters to high quality counterparties. Combined with the Pure Car Truck Carriers newbuildings recently announced, the two transactions will generate an annual EBITDA of more than $52 million for Ocean Yield, once all vessels have been delivered."

Ocean Yield has secured long-term financing with banks for approximately 75 per cent of the investment on competitive terms. The remaining amount will be funded with equity. Ocean Yield's charter backlog will, after the transaction, stand at $1.7 billion. Delivery is expected in October 2012.

Ocean Yield is a vessel owning company with focus on oil service and industrial shipping. The company's current asset base consists of three offshore units and two newbuilding Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTC) with long term charters. Ocean Yield also owns bonds in American Shipping Company, which owns 10 modern US- built product tankers (Jones Act vessels) on long-term charters to OSG. Ocean Yield was established in March 2012 and is currently 100 per cent owned by Aker ASA.

The seller of the vessel, AMC Connector AS, is a 50/50 joint venture between Ezra and Aker Solutions ASA. Aker ASA indirectly owns 28 per cent in Aker Solutions ASA through Aker Kværner Holding AS.

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