February 7, 2001

Fred Olsen unit buys Harland & Wolff property interests
A subsidiary of Fred.Olsen Energy ASA has purchased the property interests of another Fred Olsen unit, Belfast shipbuilder Harland and Wolff, for £46 million (about $67 million). The price was based on independent assessments used in order to establish a fair market value.

Fred Olsen Energy says it's taken the step "to further secure its interests, and in an effort to strengthen the balance sheet of Harland and Wolff."

The property interests purchased consist of long term leases held by H&W Properties Ltd, which has long-term debt of some £ 5 million (about $7.3 million) and Titanic Quarter Ltd. . In addition to the Titanic Quarter with about 100 acres of land, the transaction includes 35 acres of partly developed commercial land adjacent to the yard.

The shares in Harland and Wolff Properties Ltd. and Titanic Quarter Ltd. have been paid for by a £16 million reduction of inter-company debt and a £ 25 mill. assumption of external bank debt, totaling a net purchase price of £41 million.

The transaction cuts Fred Olsen Energy's financial exposure at Harland and Wolff to £ 48 million (about $71 million) including a remaining £ 25 million ($36.5 million) guarantee. This exposure continues to be secured by assignment of H&W's claims on Global Marine.

Pimentel steps down from Cunard
Carnival Corporation has announced the resignation of Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of its Cunard Line Limited unit. Pamela Conover, COO of Cunard, has been given the additional title of president and will replace Pimentel as head of the unit. Both management changes are effective immediately.

Pimentel has served at the helm of Cunard Line Limited, which is comprised of the upscale Cunard and Seabourn cruise brands, since 1998, when the Miami-based combined entity was formed, following Carnival Corp.’s acquisition of Cunard. Prior to that he spent six years as president and COO of Seabourn Cruise Line, formerly based in San Francisco.

Pimentel resigned for personal reasons, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Carnival Corporation vice chairman Howard Frank indicated that Pimentel is currently in discussions with Carnival Corp. regarding a consultative role in connection with "certain corporate-wide business initiatives."

Pamela Conover, who has served as COO of Cunard Line Limited since 1998, will replace Pimentel as president, while also retaining her COO title. Prior to 1998, Conover was vice president of strategic planning for Carnival Corporation and played a key role in the acquisition of Cunard by Carnival Corp., as well as Carnival’s 1997 acquisition of Costa Cruises.

Syncrolift and TTS in joint marketing move
Syncrolift Inc., a Rolls-Royce company and the world leader in shiplift design and supply, and TTS Handling Systems, a leading designer and supplier of transfer systems, have agreed to jointly market their products worldwide.

Shiplifts are technologically advanced drydocking systems that offer speed and operational features unavailable with graving and floating docks. Coupled with the mobility of a sophisticated transfer system,a shipyard becomes a multi-berth drydocking facility, ideal for fast, competitive and cost-effective shipbuilding or repair.

In addition to shiplifts and transfer systems, shipyards will be able to order complete facility handling packages, including panel handling lines and robotic welding systems. Syncrolift and TTS will also combine their expertise in the design and supply of marine railways and side-launching systems, thereby expanding the range of systems offered to smaller ship and boat builders.

Welcoming this new venture, Syncrolift's president Geoff Stokoe said: "Syncrolift and TTS are natural partners. Our products are complementary, our companies share a strong mutual respect and our combined expertise is unequalled anywhere.''

TTS Handling Systems president Ivar Hanson added: ``At TTS, we are very excited about this cooperation with Syncrolift. We are confident that this agreement will be welcomed in the marketplace and we know our customers will enjoy the benefits of teaming with TTS and Syncrolift.''

EC to simplify port reporting requirements
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive that will simplify reporting formalities for ships that call at EU ports. Currently these formalities vary significantly between Member States, and the Commission has now decided to end this unsatisfactory situation by proposing a single set of document layouts to carry out the formalities in a uniform manner.

Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President in charge of Transport and Energy, explained that "basically, a ship has to submit the same information over and over again at different ports. A simple task like this becomes complex because the formats for submitting information vary greatly between member states. The Commission decided to overcome this complexity by proposing the adoption of uniform layouts to fulfil these reporting formalities". "

Public authorities frequently require that ships calling at ports fulfil certain reporting formalities, such as submitting basic documents and information on the ship, its stores, its crew's effects, its crew and passengers. Moreover, port calls are very frequent in European coastal short sea shipping. Therefore, this problem has primarily been identified as an obstacle to the full development of that trade.

However, the proposal does not differentiate between trades or flags. It provides for document layouts that the member states will recognize as sufficient for a ship to fulfil a number of standard reporting formalities when it arrives in or departs from an EU port. Member States that do not require some elements of information or formalities will not be required to do so in the future either.

The proposed models are based on the IMO convention on Facilitation of Maritime Transport. Most EU Member States are parties to the convention but apply its standards and recommendations in different ways.

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