Shipping Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Naviera F. Tapias S.A.
Teekay has also entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Tapias to establish a 50/50 joint venture that will pursue new business in the oil and gas shipping sectors, focusing specifically on the Spanish market. The Tapias acquisition will establish Teekay's presence in LNG shipping, one of the fastest growing sectors of sea-borne energy transportation. It will position the Company as a key supplier of LNG shipping to Spain, the world's third largest importer of LNG, and provide a strategic growth platform for Teekay. As a major provider of crude oil transportation to Spain, the acquisition of Tapias will
also extend Teekay's leading position in the crude oil tanker sector.
Tapias has established itself as a high quality operator with a modern fleet of LNG carriers and crude oil tankers. Its LNG fleet consists of four vessels, including two newbuildings scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2004. All four vessels are contracted under long-term fixed-rate charters to major Spanish energy companies. Tapias' conventional crude oil tanker fleet consists of nine Suezmax tankers, including three newbuildings scheduled for delivery in 2004 and 2005. Five of these vessels are contracted under long-term fixed-rate charters with a major Spanish oil company. The average remaining terms of these LNG and Suezmax charter contracts are approximately 21 and 18 years, respectively. The other four Suezmax tankers, two of which are currently trading under short-term contracts, are expected to join Teekay's spot tanker fleet during the next 18 months.
"We are excited about the strategic benefits this acquisition provides to Teekay: it accelerates our entry into the high growth LNG shipping market in a profitable but low risk manner; it significantly increases our cash flow from vessel operations stemming from long-term, fixed-rate contracts; and it provides us with further operating leverage to the spot tanker market at an opportune time," said Bjorn Moller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teekay. "We are also excited about the growth opportunities for our new joint venture with the existing shareholders of Tapias. This venture will focus on leveraging Teekay's strong balance sheet and large, high-quality fleet in combination with Tapias' leading market position and strong growth prospects in Spain."
Teekay will acquire Tapias for a total enterprise value of approximately $810 million through a combination of cash, and the assumption of existing debt. In addition, Teekay will assume approximately $540 million in newbuilding commitments, most of which is expected to be fully debt financed prior to the vessel deliveries, thereby requiring a relatively small total cash outlay by the Company. Teekay expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings and to provide cash flow from vessel operations of approximately $85 million in 2004 (on an annualized basis), $120 million in 2005 and $125 million annually thereafter, following delivery of the newbuildings. Mr. Moller added, "Tapias' long-term charter contracts with financially strong customers will add significantly to Teekay's fixed-rate segment. We anticipate that the acquisition will further increase Teekay's annualized cash flow from vessel operations from long-term fixed-rate contracts to approximately $400 million by the end of 2005."
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close by April 30, 2004.