Nicolas Saverys-led Exmar has agreed to integrate its LNG assets and infrastructure with those of John Fredriksen’s Geveran and Flex LNG under a new USD 2.3 billion company – Exmar LNG Ltd.
Belgian liquefied natural gas
(LNG) carrier owner and operator Exmar and Geveran will pool their LNG assets and infrastructure under Flex LNG, in exchange for new shares in Flex LNG.
Following the transaction, Exmar have a stake of 64.6 percent in Flex LNG, while Gerevan sits at 30.7 percent of the shares. The trade is however conditional upon the approval of both governments and third parties. The transaction establishes Flex LNG as a major player in the LNG market.
The agreement includes six LNG vessels, four of which are under construction. Also included Five FSRU'er, one of which is under construction, and two FLNG units.
The deal also includes firm timecharters from “reputable companies” for the LNG carriers, which combined make up 80 years’ of employment for the units. The vessels have been fixed on timecharters that are 11 years long, on average.
According to reports, Nicolas Saverys, CEO and managing director of Exmar, is expected to become chairman of the board of Exmar LNG. Bart Lavent will be CEO of the new company; he is currently managing director of LNG upstream/downstream for Exmar.
FLEX LNG was incorporated in 2006 and is listed in Norway under the ticker code FLNG. The Company is constructing two Panamax LNG carriers with a capacity of 174,000m3 with Samsung Heavy Industries, for delivery in H1 2018.
Commenting on the Transaction, David McManus the chairman of the board of directors of the Company said: "Since completing the restructuring of the Company it was clear that the next step was to create strong partnerships with industry players to grow the company into a major force in the LNG value chain
. This process started with the investment in the Company by GEVERAN and I believe that now combining our efforts with EXMAR, a company that has been at the forefront of the technological developments for decades, positions the Company to maximize shareholders' value in the long term."
Nicolas Saverys (Chief Executive Officer of EXMAR) commented: "We are excited about this new combination of strength with FLEX LNG and GEVERAN. This new venture will enable us to create shareholders value for the long term and will allow us to continue to grow in all segments of the LNG value chain. We are deeply committed to making this a success for all stakeholders and existing as well as future customers."
Commenting on the Transaction, John Fredriksen said
: "I have known Nicolas Saverys and Exmar for more than 30 years. They have developed an impressive technical platform within the LNG industry. Together I believe we are uniquely positioned to grow and develop this company to the benefit of all shareholders. I am very enthusiastic about this partnership."