Rowan obtained the boats in 1999 and 2000 through charter agreements that gave the Company an option to purchase each boat at the conclusion of the lease term in March 2005. The boats were fully-crewed by the charterer, but managed by Rowan to provide towing and supply services for the Company's drilling operations and for third parties. Rowan continues to operate two additional boats under operating lease agreements without purchase options that expire in May, at which time the Company will exit the marine vessel business.
Danny McNease, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Rowan originally entered the marine vessel business to ensure our customers that a modern fleet was available to service both our drilling rigs and their operations. We believe that commitment has been satisfied, and we are exiting the business with a substantial one-time financial gain."
Simmons & Company International served as financial advisor to Rowan for this transaction.
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