Aker Evaluating Future of US Shipyard, ASC

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 30, 2014

Aker Philadelphia Shipard view: Image courtesy AKPS

Aker Philadelphia Shipard view: Image courtesy AKPS

Norway's Aker ASA may decide to merge or otherwise restructure two listed units that have seen strong benefits from the U.S. shale oil energy boom, Aker's Converto investment vehicle said in a statement released late on Monday.

Converto, the top owner of both Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and American Shipping Company (ASC), seeks to "evaluate and execute potential strategic initiatives to visualize and maximize shareholder value" for the two firms.

"This could include M&A and financial restructuring ... as well as investigating potential joint strategic alternatives for the two companies," it added.

Converto said it had recently considered selling its shares in American Shipping Company, but decided against it after receiving indications there were "several parties" interested in discussing other options.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard constructs ships that comply with the U.S. Jones Act, which tightly restricts which ships can be used for the domestic transport of goods such as products from the oil industry. American Shipping Company has been the top buyer of the yard's vessels.

Both companies have seen their shares rise heavily during the last two years.

By Terje Solsvik

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