Akastor, Mitsui enter joint venture

Oil services investment firm Akastor has signed a heads of agreement with Japanese Mitsui to create a joint venture with 50/50 ownership between AKOFS Offshore AS (“AKOFS”) and Mitsui.

The joint venture will acquire both the Skandi Santos vessel hull from DOF Subsea Rederi AS and the Skandi Santos topside from AKOFS.

Subsequently, the joint venture will enter into a lease agreement with AKOFS corresponding to the remaining contract duration between AKOFS and Petrobras.

DOF Subsea will continue to provide the ROV and marine services onboard the vessel as part of the Subsea Equipment Support Vessel Contract with Petrobras.

Kristian Røkke, CEO of Akastor says: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Mitsui and are excited about additional joint business opportunities currently being explored. This transaction will increase Akastor’s financial flexibility, while laying the groundwork for longer term value creation together with Mitsui.”

Geir Sjøberg, CEO of AKOFS Offshore adds: “Entering into a strategic partnership is of great value to AKOFS. We now have a strong and dedicated partner that will strengthen our commitment and relationship towards Petrobras even further. Our ambition of operations excellency towards Petrobras remains firm and is shared by our operating partner DOF Subsea.”

Upon closing of the transaction, AKOFS will realize a cash gain of $66 million, net of investments in the joint venture.

The annual bareboat charter and related costs will increase by $8.5 million per year over the remaining contract period. The contract with Petrobras for the operations in Brazil will remain in a 100% owned subsidiary of AKOFS and will continue to generate positive results over the contract period, also when considering the increased bareboat charter rate, Akastor said.

The transaction will result in an accounting gain of approximately $19 million for Akastor, corresponding to half of the total sales-gain of $38 million. The accounting gain is expected to be booked at closing in Q4 2016. The agreement is subject to Petrobras consent, bank approvals and certain other conditions, which are expected to occur during Q4 2016.