Oceanteam boss and co-founder to step down

Oceanteam chief executive, Haico Halbesma, has decided to step down from his position, as the company battles internal issues, which ensued following the termination of its financial auditor. 

Oceanteam, a Dutch/Norwegian Offshore service provider, said on Thursday that Halbesma’s resignation is effective from March 30, 2018.

While respecting Halbesma’s decision, the board also requested that he will remain available as an advisor to the company and the board.

Haico Halbesma, co-founder and major shareholder of Oceanteam, has been leading the company since 2005.

According to Oceanteam, Halbesma’s decision follows a series of successful financial restructurings over the past years and at the same time ongoing negative publicity regarding the company’s governance.

Haico Halbesma

“Now the company is ready to accelerate its performances, Oceanteam needs to enter into quieter waters. It will be much easier for a new leadership to make this happen and secure the future of the company in the interest of all our stakeholders,” commented Halbesma.

The board has started searching for potential candidates to succeed Haico Halbesma.

Oceanteam board member, Diederik Legger, said: “We respect Haico’s decision and view to create room for change. We are well aware of the challenges and opportunities that the company faces in today’s dynamic and challenging environment.”

Legger further stated: “The company is now brought into position to turn the corner and build, in the coming period, a sustainable financial structure to weather the pro-longed downturn in the oil and gas market. We truly thank Haico for his hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and energy to challenge tough market conditions and we are grateful that he has agreed to remain on as an advisor.”

To remind, Oceanteam’s troubles started in November 2017 when it suspended its auditor in Norway, following the discovery of audit costs that were charged for work not performed. KPMG, then withdrew its services as the company’s auditor in Norway.

On February 9 an investigation was launched into the company following a request by its shareholders.

The lack of auditor triggered problems with the Oslo Stock Exchange due to the company’s breach of the duty to disclose inside information to the market and other continuing obligations for stock exchange listed companies.

To resolve its listing problems, Oceanteam in February announced its intention to perform a cross border merger with its Dutch subsidiary which would solve the auditor situation and the associated risk of a value destructive forced liquidation.

The company’s board will propose this plan at the extraordinary general meeting to be held on April 10. If the plan gets approved, the company will be deleted in the Norwegian Register of Enterprises when the merger enters into force and its shares delisted from the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Also in February, Oceanteam terminated agreements for purchase and bareboat chartering of the vessel Tampamachoco 1, writing off $11 million in its 2017 accounts as part of its investment in the newbuild vessel.

When it comes to its financial performance, Oceanteam recently posted a profit of $11.7 million for 2017 compared to a loss of $23.3 million in 2016. The company’s revenues dropped to $35.5 million in 2017 from $41.9 million in 2016.

Offshore Energy Today Staff