Aker Philly to change name, sell shipping assets

Time to repaint the gantry crane? Time to repaint the gantry crane?

JULY 16, 2015 — Time to repaint that gantry crane. Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (OSLO: AKPS) plans to sell off its portfolio of shipping assets and to change its name to Philly Shipyard ASA. Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI) will likewise change its name to Philly Shipyard, Inc.

AKPS's shipping assets consists of what it describes as "a potential exposure toward eight product tankers through its future interests in the four-ship AKPS-Crowley joint venture and its investment in Philly Tankers."

All of the AKPS-Crowley joint venture vessels and two of the four Philly Tankers vessels have commitments for long-term charters.

The company says these assets provide a mechanism for AKPS to achieve returns on the ownership, chartering and operation of the vessels it builds, in addition to returns on traditional shipbuilding activities.

For the past several quarters, AKPS has been evaluating and exploring strategic initiatives and potential transactions with regards to its shipping assets. Now, it says, it negotiatiing with a third party related to the buy-out of AKPS' future interests in the four-ship AKPS-Crowley joint venture. In addition, Philly Tankers is currently engaged in negotiations with a third party related to the purchase and sale of all four of its product tankers. It is anticipated that both potential transactions will be finalized in third quarter 2015.

Why the name change?

"Changing our name to Philly Shipyard more accurately reflects the shipyard we have become in recent years," remarked Steinar Nerbovik, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard's President and CEO. "We have delivered on our promises and stand firmly on our own two feet as a company. The new name also represents the proud tradition of shipbuilding in Philly and the city with which we are so intimately linked."

Kristian Rokke, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard's Chairman, remarked "The planned divestment of our shipping assets will show that we have created significant shareholder value and will greatly focus the business going forward. While we will remain opportunistic in our investment approach, the name change comes at a natural time and will better illustrate how the shipyard connects with its stakeholders as a strong, stand-alone, Philadelphia-based company."

The company expects that, pending shareholder approval, the name change will be complete by the end of the year.

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