MOL dives deeper into subsea, buys into AKOFS Offshore

Written by Nick Blenkey
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From left: MOL Executive Officer Hiroyuki Nakano, Akastor CEO Karl Erik Kjelstad, General Manager of Third Projects Development Division, Infrastructure Projects Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Koichi Wakana and AKOFS Chairman Paal E. Johnsen

JUNE 19, 2018 — Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. have entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 50% of the shares in Oslo headquartered subsea support vessel specialist AKOFS Offshore AS from Kjell Inge Røkke controlled Akastor ASA (OSE: AKA).

Initial net cash release for Akastor at the time of transfer of the shares will be $142.5 million.

MOL says its acquisition of shares in AKOFS means MOL will become more deeply involved in the operation and ship management of subsea support vessels, marking its full-scale move into this field.

AKOFS currently operates three subsea support vessels. Two, including the Skandi Santos, are chartered to the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and another is planned to be chartered by Equinor Energy AS (formerly Statoil Petroleum AS).

MOL says the the subsea support vessel business requires advanced design and operation technologies, and is a field in which MOL can draw upon its 50-plus years of experience in management of cable laying ships. MOL anticipates stable demand and earnings in the subsea field, and plans to get involved in every phase of operations, from research of sea bed petroleum and gas fields to construction, maintenance, repair work, and removal as it strives to expand the business.

Akastor say the partnership with Mitsui and MOL in the ownership and operation of the AKOFS Offshore group is an important strategic transaction for Akastor, and also a natural development of the cooperation established in 2016 through Mitsui’s and MOL’s purchase of 50% of the ownership of the vessel Skandi Santos. Akastor believes AKOFS Offshore will benefit from the strong partnership established together with Mitsui and MOL. 

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