In collaboration, Aker and Kværner have initiated the establishment of Aker American Shipping, a holding company for Kværners shipyard in Philadelphia and ten product tanker vessels. An agreement in principle for long-term bareboat charter of the vessels has already been entered with Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc (OSG).
In connection with the planned listing of Aker American Shipping, Aker is evaluating the possibility of buying Kværners share and integrating Aker American Shipping as a part of the Aker-group. In that event, the share price on Aker American Shipping will be equal to the subscription price offered to the market.
In our view Aker American Shipping would constitute an interesting investment opportunity and a potential new business area for Aker. Under the management agreement with Aker Yards, Kvaerner Philadelphia has developed to become one of the most efficient shipyards in the US Jones Act market, states Leif-Arne Langøy, CEO & President in Aker ASA.
Short-term, the agreement with OSG represents predictable revenue for Aker American Shipping. In the longer run, when the ageing US fleet of commercial ships are due for replacement, other possibilities will arise, adds Langøy.
The sale of Aker American Shipping, inclusive the subsidiaries Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc and American Shipping Company, Inc. is fully in line with Kværner ASAs declared strategy. Kværners investments will be disposed of and distributed to the companys shareholders.
With the sales of two container vessels earlier this year and the agreement in principle with OSG, Kvaerner Philadelphia has reached important milestones in the extensive restructuring of the yard, and major values has been demonstrated in Kværner, says Lone Fønss Schrøder, Kværner ASAs chairman. She adds that in Kværners opinion a closer connection to the industrial expertise in the Aker group is of positive value both for Aker American Shipping and its two subsidiaries.
In the event Aker should purchase Kværners shares in Aker American Shipping, Kværner would be able to distribute both cash and Aker shares as dividend, and the Kværner ASA shareholders would through Aker still take part of the future increment of Aker American Shipping, says Fønss Schrøder.
The intention of both Aker and Kværner is to agree on the terms of a transaction before the summer holiday. The potential agreement will be subject to certain conditions, including a final contract with OSG.