Aker Puts Money into Solstad

Oslo-listed vessel owner Solstad has together with Norwegian industrial investment company Aker, and with support from its lending banks and bondholders, developed a financing plan which should strengthen its balance sheet.

Namely, Aker will inject NOK 250 million in new equity and provide NOK 250 million in the form of a subordinated convertible bond, with maturity in 2021, which can be converted into new shares in Solstad or in a subsidiary of Solstad.

The other shareholders in Solstad will be invited to participate in a subsequent offering of new equity of up to NOK 75 million, in which the Solstad family (comprising Solstad Invest AS, Soff Holding AS and Ivan II AS) has committed to participate with its pro rata share. Aker will have an economic interest of approximately 47 per cent in Solstad, subsequent to the repair issue.

“We are pleased to add Solstad Offshore to our portfolio, in line with our strategy to expand our oil and gas-related investments,” said Aker president and CEO Øyvind Eriksen.

“Aker believes the offshore service vessel segment offers attractive opportunities and we have substantial experience in assisting companies through deep market downturns. This refinancing plan will shore up Solstad’s financial robustness to withstand the challenging market, and position the company to participate in the consolidation of the fragmented offshore service vessel market.”

The Aker equity issue, the issue of the Aker convertible bond and the subsequent offering will be subject to the approval of an extraordinary general assembly in Solstad, expected to be held in July 2016.

“The combination of Solstad’s operational experience, high quality fleet and global network together with Aker’s industrial expertise, business development focus and financial strength will provide a powerful platform for further development of the company,” said Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad.

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