Dockwise Plans Oslo Listing

Monday, September 17, 2007
According to Dow Jones Dockwise Ltd. will launch an initial public offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange by Oct. 12.

The IPO will give Dockwise shareholders 3i Group (III.LN) and Frontline Ltd. ( FRO.LN) the opportunity to sell part of their combined 47% stake in the company, the chief executive said. The company's management owns a 6% stake in Dockwise, and the remaining 47% of the company is traded in the Norwegian over-the-counter market. The company wants to have a formal listing to increase liquidity and exposure. The reason it chooses Oslo is that there are a lot of analysts and investors in the country with knowledge and interest in the offshore industry, Goedee said.

Private equity company 3i currently has a stake of 30% in the company, Bermuda based tanker company Frontline has a stake of 17%. Frontline is expected to make a total exit from Dockwise, 3i will retain a small stake in the company after the listing of around 10%. 3i bought Dockwise last year for over $700 million from Dutch offshore services company Heerema Group and Norwegian maritime group Wilh. Wilhelmsen. In May 2007 Dockwise merged with Frontline unit Sealift.

Dockwise will use part of the IPO proceeds to pay off a part of its debt of around $958.4 million at the end of the first half year of 2007. Financing costs in the first half were $54.2 million, which partly led to a net loss of $41.5 million on revenue of $134.9 million in the first six months of 2007. In the first half the operating result before depreciation and amortization was $53,1 million. According to market estimates Dockwise will have an operating result of $260 million in 2008, growing to $360 million in 2009. Revenue is expected to grow to $460 million in 2008 and $590 million in 2009.

Dockwise currently operates sixteen semi-submersible heavy transport vessels. The merger with Sealift provides the company with another six big vessels. Five of them will be rebuilt from old tanker ships and are expected to be delivered in 2007 and 2008. The first vessel was delivered in May this year. (Source: http://money.cnn.com)

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