Swiber Holdings Limited announced the completion of sale and leaseback of its 248-man capacity pipelay barge, Swiber Concorde, which was delivered on February 28, 2009, to Tioman Offshore A.S., a special purpose vehicle established by one of the leading ship leasing arrangers, R.S. Platou Finans A.S. to own the Swiber Concorde. The barge is currently preparing for its first pipelay job for an oil major in Southeast Asia.
The completion of sale and leaseback of Swiber Concorde is part of a US$95 million sale and leaseback agreement which was announced previously in October 2007, which comprised four AHTS and one pipelay barge. Among the four AHTS, two vessels, the Swiber Valiant and Swiber Gallant have already been delivered. Notably, the funds from Swiber Concorde's sale and leaseback transaction will reduce the Group's net debt to equity ratio. Of the 15 vessels under sale and leaseback arrangements, seven are still under construction, and Swiber expects its gearing to fall with the completion and delivery of each vessel.
"Swiber Concorde is one of our key construction vessels in our offshore operations, and she is one of the 15 offshore and construction vessels from various sale and leaseback arrangements inked since early 2007," Raymond Goh, Swiber Executive Chairman and Chief Executive, said. "Her addition to our fleet is timely as it will help Swiber reduce our 3rd party charter and sub-contracting costs, and also significantly ease the vessel shortage situation we were facing to support our brimming pipeline of projects."
"Congratulations to Swiber on the successful delivery of Swiber Concorde. It has been a pleasure working with Swiber on the many sale and leaseback transactions," said Anders Schau, Managing Director of R.S. Platou Finans Singapore Pte. Ltd. "Given that some of these transactions were sealed in the midst of the economic and banking crisis, it is a true testament of Swiber's fundamentals."
"On behalf of Tioman Offshore, we are pleased to be associated with an offshore company of such high standards that Swiber represents," he continued. "The Swiber Concorde is a great construction vessel that has the capacity and power to handle many offshore pipelaying projects in the region. We believe that with the strong outlook for subsea construction work, the Swiber Concorde will present substantial benefits, both operationally and commercially, to Swiber. We look forward to further cooperation in the future."
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