Tidewater to Sell Six KMAR 404 Vessels
Tidewater Inc. (NYSE: TDW) reports the pending sale of six of its KMAR 404 class of Anchor Handling Towing Supply vessels to Deep Sea Supply ASA for a total cash price of $188 million. All conditions precedent to close, including the receipt by Tidewater of a non-refundable 10% deposit and the deposit by the purchaser of the balance of the purchase price into an escrow account, have been completed and the transaction is expected to close shortly. The culmination of this transaction will result in an approximate $65.9 million pre-tax financial gain, or approximately $42.8 million after tax, or $.74 per common share. The transaction will result in an approximate $112 million taxable gain, but no cash taxes will be due because of the availability of net operating loss carryforwards. The sales agreement also provides the Company an opportunity, for an extended period of time, to operate the six vessels on behalf of the new owners for a fixed fee per vessel per day. The Company expects to use a portion of the proceeds of the sale to repay $95 million of borrowings currently outstanding under the Company's revolving credit agreement.
The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a program for the Company to spend up to $120 million to repurchase shares of its common stock in open-market or privately-negotiated transactions. The Company intends to use its available cash and, when considered advantageous, borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to fund the share repurchase. The repurchase program will end on the earlier of the date that all authorized funds have been expended or June 30, 2006.
Dean E. Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of
the Company, commented, "Tidewater's Board and management believes
that the establishment of a program to repurchase common stock when
its shares represent a significant market opportunity is a prudent and
proactive use of the Company's financial resources. Meanwhile, our
strong balance sheet and borrowing capacity allow us the flexibility
to pursue other attractive investment opportunities should they
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