Rowan Closes Financing on Gorilla VIII
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the U.S. Department of Transportation has provided a Title XI guarantee associated with the financing of up to $187.3 million of the design and construction costs of the jack-up rig Rowan Gorilla VIII. The bank loan will initially bear a floating rate of interest based on commercial paper rates, currently about 4.25%, and will be repaid in 36 semi-annual installments through July 15, 2021. Rowan may fix the interest rate at any time and must fix the rate on or before January 15, 2008. Construction of Gorilla VIII is underway at the Company's Vicksburg, Mississippi shipyard and should be completed during the third quarter of 2003.
Gorilla VIII will be the fourth LeTourneau "Enhanced Gorilla Class" rig built by Rowan since it reactivated its Vicksburg shipyard in 1996, the first to be specifically tailored for the Gulf of Mexico market and designated as Super Gorilla XL. Both Rowan Gorilla V and Rowan Gorilla VI, completed in November 1998 and June 2000, respectively, and Rowan Gorilla VII, scheduled for delivery by year-end 2001, have been substantially financed with 12-year, Title XI government-guaranteed debt.