Volstad Seeks Financial Lifeline

Norwegian vessel owner Volstad Maritime has been looking into commercial and financial options to secure a sustainable financial position going forward as its subsidiary Volstad Subsea does not have sufficient funds to redeem the NOK 600 million ($72 million) bond at its upcoming maturity.

Namely, in July 2013, Volstad Subsea AS took a bond loan of NOK 650 million, with 3-year maturity, as part of refinancing the debt in the group. Annual repayment is NOK 20 million, and the interest cost is NIBOR 3m + 650 points. The bond loan in Volstad Subsea expires on July 5, 2016 with NOK 600 million.

Volstad Maritime said that, in order for operations to continue at Volstad Subsea, the company needs to achieve an agreement with banks and/or bondholders for an extension of refinancing of the bond. In that regard, the company has also engaged ABG Sundal Collier, SpareBank 1 Markets and Wikborg, Rein & Co to act as its financial advisors.

“Bank financing is the preferred choice of capital, but access to bank funding is challenging in the current market environment,” the company said in a statement.

Bibby Topaz, Tau and Geco Bluefin are financed through the NOK 650 million bond (VOLSUB01 PRO), and group timecharter agreements related to Bibby Topaz and Geco Bluefin, and any insurance payments are also pledged as security for the company’s debts.

The diving support vessel Bibby Topaz represents 95% of the total value of vessels in the VOLSUB01 PRO and Volstad is said to be in ongoing discussions with subsea services player Bibby Offshore.

Volstad Maritime also conducted a road show to holders of the bonds issued by its subsidiary Volstad Subsea and is said to be in a constructive dialogue with certain of Volstad Subsea`s largest bondholders.

Current contract on Bibby Topaz expires July 1, 2017, and its option must be declared by June 30, 2016.

Subsea World News Staff

 

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