Farstad Shipping ASA, Aker Capital AS, Hemen Holding Limited, as well as Farstad Shipping’s senior lenders, substantial parts of its bondholders, and F-Shiplease AS (a subsidiary of Ocean Yield ASA), have entered into an agreement for a fully-funded financial restructuring of Farstad Shipping.

Furthermore, the parties to the Restructuring Agreement, together with Soff Invest AS and Ivan II AS and Tyrholm & Farstad AS, have agreed to work for a combination of Solstad Offshore ASA, Farstad Shipping and Deep Sea Supply Plc following completion of the Farstad Restructuring, creating a world class OSV company.

As repeatedly expressed by a range of industry experts, the fragmented Norwegian OSV industry requires consolidation. By agreeing to complete the Farstad Restructuring and to work for the proposed Combination, senior lenders, bondholders and long-standing family owners supported by industrial investors are making a collective effort to secure a successful refinancing of Farstad Shipping and to create a new and robust OSV company operating out of Norway in the high-end segments of the global OSV industry.

“With this solution, we provide Farstad, Solstad and Deep Sea Supply with an industrial platform to sustain the current downturn in the OSV market and be well positioned to exploit a market recovery. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our banks, bondholders and other stakeholders”, says CEO Karl Johan Bakken of Farstad Shipping.

A successful completion of the combination will create the largest company in the high-end global offshore supply vessel industry with a fleet of 154 vessels. When including all vessel classes and lower spec vessels, the company ranks fourth globally. The company will operate a fleet of 33 CSV, 66 PSV and 55 AHTS vessels deployed globally in all deep water hubs.

“For over a year we have advocated strongly for consolidation in the OSV industry. One step was taken through the merger of REM Offshore ASA into Solstad Offshore in 2016. With a successful completion of the Combination we would take further steps to build the world’s leading OSV company,” Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore comments.

Following a successful completion of the proposed combination, it is proposed that Solstad Offshore will be the parent company in the consolidated group, and will have support of two of the strongest participants in the shipping and offshore sector through Hemen and Aker.

“The proposed combination is a necessary structural measure in today’s OSV market, which will enable the combined company to achieve significant synergies through more efficient operations and a lower cost base,” Jon Are Gummedal, CEO of Deep Sea Supply comments.

“We are excited by this opportunity to work closely with the Fredriksen group and other stakeholders to realize our ambition to establish an efficient global leader in the OSV segment. The proposed combination of Solstad’s, Farstad’s and Deep Sea Supply’s operational experience, high quality fleet and global network together with the Fredriksen group’s and Aker’s industrial expertise, M&A capabilities and financial strength will provide a powerful platform through Solstad Offshore,” says Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker.

The new consolidated group, “Solstad Farstad”, will build on the complementary strengths of the three companies, combining the existing Solstad Offshore’s CSV capabilities with Farstad Shipping’s AHTS experience, international presence and good, long-standing position in Brazil and Australia, together with Deep Sea Supply’s cost efficient PSV operating model. The Combination will enable realization of substantial cost and revenue synergies in the range of NOK 400-650 million annually that will further contribute to strengthen the combined company.

Lars Peder Solstad will be proposed as the Chief Executive Officer of the combined company, which will be headquartered out of Skudeneshavn, Norway. The focus of the initial discussions between the parties has been to create a company with a strong industrial position. The process to define the operating model and organizational structure of the combined company will be based on the competitive strengths of Farstad Shipping, Deep Sea Supply and Solstad Offshore. The companies will until further continue to operate as-is in their current organizational structure.

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