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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Finance News

$252m Finance for LNG-Powered Tankers

Gary Walsh is a partner in the firm’s Asset Finance Group. Photo WFW

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised ING Bank (“ING”), as agent, security trustee and the syndicate of lenders on the US$252m financing of the world’s first ever LNG-powered aframax tankers for leading Russian shipowner Sovcomflot Group (“SCF”). The six 114,000dwt, ice-class vessels are being built by Hyundai Samho, with two of the vessels to operate under time charter to Shell for up to ten years. Shell will also provide LNG fuel for all six tankers across north-west Europe and the Baltic.

Scorpio Bulkers Refinances Ultramax Vessel

Photo: Scorpio Bulkers Inc.

Monaco-based Scorpio Bulkers announced that the Company has entered into a financing transaction in respect of one of the Company’s Ultramax vessels with an unaffiliated third party in Japan. As part of the transaction, the Company will sell a 2015 Japanese built Ultramax dry bulk vessel, SBI Tango, for a consideration of $19.0 million and then lease it back from the buyer through a five-year bareboat charter agreement at a rate of $5,400 per day. If converted to floating interest rates…

COSCO Shipping Development Reports Higher Revenue

Photo: COSCO Shipping Development Co., Ltd

China-based ship leasing and transportation businesses company COSCO Shipping Development announced its 2017 performance and stated that the company realized revenue of RMB 16.34bln (USD 2.59bln) in 2017, up 2.4% compared with that of 2016. The net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent company is RMB 1.46bln (USD 230mln), up 296.6% compared with that of 2016. Over the past year, the Company continuously improved its management level, increased its asset size and economic benefits and achieved collaborative development in its three business sectors…

Star Bulk Acquires 16 Ships

Photo courtesy Star Bulk

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. agreed to acquire 16 vessels from entities affiliated with Augustea Atlantica SpA and York Capital Management in an all-share transaction. As consideration for the Vessel Acquisition, Star Bulk has agreed to issue approximately 10.5 million common shares to the sellers of the 16 vessels, equal to approximately 14.1% of Star Bulk’s common shares after the closing of the Vessel Acquisition. Under the terms of the agreement with the sellers, the consideration…

Odfjell Drilling to Expand Fleet

(Photo: Odfjell Drilling)

Offshore rig firm Odfjell Drilling plans to expand its floating rig fleet to between six and 10 from four now, it said on Friday, the latest sign of recovery in the energy industry.After cuts in exploration spending following an oil price plunge that began in 2014, energy firms are now hiring rigs as crude prices have recovered some ground.Odfjell raised $175 million via a new share issue on Thursday to help buy semi-submersible Stena Midmax Rig from Samsung Heavy Industries for $505 million.

Damen Delivers Third Shoalbuster to Kazmortransflot

Damen Shoalbusters 2709 TALAS and EMBA (Photo Tijmen Kielen / Damen Shipyards Damen)

National Maritime Shipping Company Kazmortransflot LLP has taken delivery of its third Damen Shoalbuster 2709, the last in the current order.The vessels are ideal for operations in the shallow waters of the Caspian Sea and are now playing a role in the development of oil fields in the Kazakh section of the inland sea and significantly expanding the range of services that Kazmortransflot can offer its clients. The contracts for the three Shoalbusters 2709 were signed in July 2017 between Damen, NMSC Kazmortransflot LLP and Al Hilal Islamic Bank, which arranged the Sharia compliant financing.

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation Inks Sale and Leaseback Pact

File Photo: Navios Maritime

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation, an owner and operator of tanker vessels, announced that it has completed a $71.5 million sale and leaseback agreement  for four MR2 product tankers. The proceeds have been used to extinguish $69.25 million of indebtedness. The Agreement provides for 24 quarterly payments of $1.5 million each plus interest at LIBOR plus 305 bps per annum. Navios Acquisition has an obligation to purchase the vessels at the end of sixth year for $35.8 million.

SCF Secures Funds for Six Aframax Tankers

Pictured left to right Florin Boros, Associate Director – Transportation Clients, ABN AMRO Bank; Pierre Frachon, Head of Shipping & Offshore for France, Benelux, Italy and Eastern Europe, ‎BNP Paribas; Michael Parker, Global Industry Head for Shipping, Logistics and Offshore industries, Citibank; Nikolay Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer, SCF Group; Rodolphe Olard, Managing Director, Global Head of Natural Resources Advisory, ING; Delphine Leroche, Director, Kf

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) informed that it has signed a new $252 million 7-year credit facility with a consortium of six leading international banks, which includes: ABN AMRO Bank; BNP Paribas; Citibank; ING Bank; KfW IPEX-Bank, and Société Générale. The funds will be used towards financing a series of six Aframax tankers, the first-ever such vessels purpose-designed to be powered by LNG, currently under construction and due for delivery from Q3 2018 to Q2 2019. These innovative…

BTMU to Refinance Two K-Line Vessels

Photo Courtesy K Line

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU), Japan’s largest bank, as facility agent for a syndicate of international lenders comprising itself, Development Bank of Japan Inc. and Societe Generale on the $180m refinancing of two K-Line LNG vessels, Arctic Voyager and Arctic Discoverer which are time chartered to Statoil ASA, the world’s largest offshore operator. The WFW Hong Kong Asset Finance team advising on the transaction was led by Partner and Office Head Madeline Leong…

Grindrod Sells Off Bunker Division

(Photo: Grindrod)

South African ship owner Grindrod has sold its bunker division, Unicorn Bunker Services (Pty) Ltd., for an undisclosed sum to new co-owners WOESA (Women in Oil and Energy South Africa) and Linsen Nambi.Financed through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the deal creates the nations first 100 percent black ship owners and facilitates the participation of black women and black youth in the maritime sector.Unicorn Bunker Services was established in 2006 a division of Grindrod Freight Services and operates three bunker tankers in the ports of Durban and Cape Town under contract to BP…

Star Bulk Carriers Acquires 16 Vessels

Photo:  Star Bulk Management Inc.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp announced that it has agreed to acquire 16 vessels from entities affiliated with Augustea Atlantica SpA and York Capital Management in an all-share transaction. As consideration for the Vessel Acquisition, Star Bulk has agreed to issue approximately 10.5 million common shares to the sellers of the 16 vessels, equal to approximately 14.1% of Star Bulk’s common shares after the closing of the Vessel Acquisition. Under the terms of the agreement with the sellers…

DFDS to Buy U.N. Ro-Ro in $1.2 Bln Deal

(File photo: U.N. Ro-Ro)

Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS has agreed to buy Turkish freight shipping operator U.N. Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity firms Actera Group and Esas Holdings for 950 million euros ($1.17 billion) on a debt-free basis. It marks a change of course for the Turkish company, which had planned an initial public offering for up to 57.7 percent of the company, a draft prospectus showed last month. U.N. Ro-Ro operates five freight shipping routes between Turkey, Italy and France. DFDS said U.N.

Vroon Reaches Restructuring Terms with Lenders

VOS Famous. Photo: Vroon

Vroon shipping group has reached an in principle agreement with all its lenders regarding the terms of its financial restructuring. The agreement, which is only subject to final documentation and credit committee confirmation, is an important step forward towards the finalisation of Vroon’s financial restructuring. The agreement marks the important step towards the final stage of a process initiated in late 2016 following continued challenges in shipping markets. Vroon is confident that the envisaged restructuring will provide generous runway to implement its strategic plans.

Wartsila Misses Earnings Expectations; Eyes Rolls-Royce

File Image (CREDIT: Wartsila)

Finnish ship technology and power plant maker Wartsila missed first-quarter earnings expectations on Tuesday and said geopolitical uncertainty was slowing demand in the marine market. In a phone interview following the quarterly report, Chief Executive Jaakko Eskola said Wartsila aimed to grow through acquisitions and that it continued to look at Rolls-Royce's marine business, which the British company is reviewing for a possible sale. Wartsila said the marine sector, which has been hit by overcapacity and lack of financing, was recovering, but not at the pace the company had anticipated.

Scorpio Bulkers Gets Loan for Kamsarmax

Image: Scorpio Bulkers

Monaco-based international shipping company Scorpio Bulkers said it has received a commitment for a loan facility of up to $12.75 million from a leading European financial institution to finance the Company’s Kamsarmax bulk carrier. The bulker will be delivered from Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China in the third quarter of 2018. The loan facility has a final maturity date of five years from delivery and bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.40% per annum. The terms and conditions are similar to those set forth in the Company's existing credit facilities.

South Korea Eximbank Pledges Huge Loans to Shipping

Image: Export-Import Bank of Korea

As part of the government's large-scale rescue plan for shipping sector, the Export-Import Bank of Korea  (Korea Eximbank) sets a figure for loans and guarantees to the country's shipping sector. According to Yonhap, Korea Eximbank will funnel more than 800 billion won ($749.3 million) in shipping finance as a part of the state-sponsored program to revive the shipping industry following the collapse of Korea’s flag sea carrier Hanjin Shipping. The five-year plan for rehabilitating the maritime sector involves the building of more than 200 ships…

Global Trade Set To Benefit From ICC Report

Released yesterday, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Trade Register Report 2014 provides empirical evidence that, in all forms, trade and export finance is a low risk bank financing technique – further supporting ICC’s advocacy of trade finance as a strong contribution to economic recovery and growth. This evidence has the potential to alter attitudes towards trade finance, and therefore contribute to the growth of both global trade and the global economy. Based on data contributed by the major global commercial banks and reflecting more than 4.5 million transactions totalling an exposure in excess of US$2.4 trillion, the ICC Trade Register Report 2014 (“the Trade Register”) empirically demonstrates that trade finance is lower risk than many other types of financing and assets.

Financing Structure for Canal Expansion Program

Panamanian President Martín Torrijos announced the final financing structure for the historic Panama Canal Expansion Program. Five major multilateral agencies from Europe, Asia and offered to finance the Canal expansion project. The Panama Canal Authority, after months of extensive negotiations, has accepted the banks’ offers. The $2.3 billion financing package will cover a portion of the $5.25 billion total cost of the project. Financing agencies are the European Investment Bank (EIB)…

Mercury Marine Launches Repower Financing

Randy Caruana

Mercury Marine launched a new repower finance program that aims to make it easier for consumers to get the engine performance they want with flexible financing for a broad range of buyers. The Mercury Repower Finance program is funded by Medallion Bank, a marine industry leader that specializes in accepting buyers with a wide range of credit histories. Program administration is handled by Brunswick Financial Services, a fully owned subsidiary of Brunswick Corporation, the worldwide marine manufacturing leader.

Golar Acquires Financing for GoFLNG

Golar LNG

Golar LNG Limited announced today that it has received an underwritten financing commitment for its first GoFLNG project from CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Co. Ltd ("CSSCL") in relation to a conversion financing and sale and leaseback transaction for the GoFLNG Hilli. The financing structure will fund up to 80% of the project cost and will be split into two phases. The first phase enables Golar to drawdown up to $700m from the facility to fund the ongoing conversion cost, once Golar…

Golar Receives Financing Commitment for GoFLNG Hilli

Golar LNG Limited has received an underwritten financing commitment for its first GoFLNG project from CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Co. Ltd (CSSCL) in relation to a conversion financing and sale and leaseback transaction for the GoFLNG Hilli, the company announced today. The financing structure will fund up to 80 percent of the project cost and will be split into two phases. The first phase enables Golar to drawdown up to $700 million from the facility to fund the ongoing conversion cost, once Golar has spent $400 million of the estimated $1.2 billion conversion cost and the tolling contract with Perenco and SNH have been ratified by the Cameroon government, expected during the third quarter of 2015.

DMCC, Maersk Team up on Shipping Solution

Photo: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the world’s leading Free Zone for trade and enterprise in Dubai, has teamed up with Maersk Trade Finance to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution that handles both the flow of goods and financing. The requirement was raised by DMCC’s Food Trade Group, set up in October 2016, an industry group aimed at growing the global food trade industry by connecting financiers and traders alike. As a result, DMCC and Maersk came together to provide the trade with a solution that meets both their shipping and financing needs including pre- and post-shipment finance.

Signet Closes $209m Financing Facility

Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, through its Energy and Marine and Capital Markets Groups, acting in the capacity of lead arranger, closed a $209 million financing facility today for Signet Maritime Corporation, a global marine transportation company based in Houston. The new facility refinances Signet’s existing bank debt and provides acquisition financing for the purchase of Harvey Gulf International Marine’s ocean towing vessel (OTV) fleet, which includes eight OTVs. Signet will also use proceeds of the financing facility to complete the construction and purchase of three newbuild escort ASD reverse tractor tugs, and the purchase of three existing bareboat chartered vessels.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2018 - Offshore Energy Annual

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