Last week, International Shipholding Corporation (“ISH”) announced that it had agreed to acquire U.S. United Ocean Services (“UOS”) from United Maritime Group LLC for a total purchase price of $111 million.
Last week, Golar LNG Partners LP issued NOK 1.3 billion of five-year floating rate Senior Unsecured Bonds, also at the wide end of the expected range of NOK 1 to 1.3 billion. Distribution of this issue was broader geographically, likely reflecting its size and sector, and included both institutional and retail accounts. Pricing of the bonds was also at the wide end of the range at NIBOR + 5.20% as opposed to 5.00%.
Back in May, Aker Solutions ASA, a leading global provider of engineering and construction services, technologies, product solutions and field-life solutions for the oil and gas industry, went to market with a NOK 1.5 billion Senior Unsecured Floating Rate Open Bond issue. The term of the issue was five years and the bond was priced at NIBOR + 4.25%. Last week, the company returned this time with a 7-year NOK 1 billion senior unsecured bond, which amount was at the wide end of the range with one of the longer tenors available.
On Monday, Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd successfully placed its NOK 750 million 5-year senior unsecured bond offering. Oversubscribed, the offering sold at the wide end of the expected range of NOK 500 million to NOK 750 million. As is typical, investors were mainly Scandinavian, with a good mix of institutional and retail purchasers. With shadow ratings for the company and the bond of mainly B+/B, the bonds were priced for sale at par with a floating rate of 3-month NIBOR + 6.00%. The company intends to swap the obligation from NOK to USD and from floating to fixed rate.
There is no rest for the weary as the line of companies looking to issue bonds snakes its way through the streets of Oslo. Most recently Rem Offshore ASA and Oceanteam Shipping ASA have announced that they too are exploring opportunities in the Norwegian bond market. For intermediaries, Rem has retained DNB Markets and RS Platou Markets, while Oceanteam engaged Pareto Securities and SpareBank 1 Markets.
This week we close the loop and add some color on the Drill Rigs Holdings’ five year $800 million bond offering which also priced on Thursday.
Leave it to Mr. Economou to find his way back to Wall Street. Following on the heels of Monday’s announced 3-year contract with Repsol for its first drillship newbuilding, Ocean Rig UDW Inc. announced the private offering, by its subsidiary, Drill Rig Holdings, Inc., of $750 million of senior secured notes due in 2017 under Rule 144A. Despite the Norwegian pedigree, size surely dictated New York.
Crowley Petroleum Services, Inc., its exclusive financial advisor, DNB Markets and Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (“AKPS”) are on to something. Together they have created a new model for sale and purchase, one in which the risks and rewards of ordering a newbuilding are shared between the buyer and the builder over the vessel’s lifetime.
Was our prediction last week a self-fulfilling prophecy? The fact that the Norwegian bond summer hiatus has ended is no surprise. Money is moving from stocks into high-yield given the better returns and less volatility than the former offers. Stolt-Nielsen Limited (“Stolt-Nielsen”). wasted no time raising NOK 500 million from its two existing tap issues and another NOK 500 million in a new 7-year bond issue for a total of NOK 1 billion.