Qatar: Halul Offshore Secures Cash for Fleet Expansion
Halul Offshore Services Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Milaha (previously known as Qatar Navigation), has secured an eight year US$ 60 million (equivalent to QAR 220 million) ship financing facility with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
Proceeds from the facility will be utilized by Halul to fund its ambitious expansion plans. The financing was arranged by Milaha Capital, another wholly-owned Milaha subsidiary which provides corporate finance advisory services to the group as part of its mandate. SMBC is acting as Mandated Lead Arranger, Facility Agent, Security Agent and as Hedging Bank as well.
The financing agreement was signed by Sheikh Ali bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani, Chairman & Managing Director of Milaha and Phillippe Devos, Chief Officer of SMBC Doha QFC Office. Also in attendance were senior executives from Milaha and its subsidiaries, Halul Offshore and Milaha Capital, as well as SMBC.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani, said “We at Milaha recognize this facility with a leading bank like SMBC as a token of trust in the company’s solid foundation, performance, and strong future prospects. The company will continue to expand its fleet capacity and with this facility will be in a stronger position to compete with other industry majors.”
“This successful financing highlights the commitment of SMBC group to support the Qatari shipping and offshore industries.” said Stanislas Roger, Global Head of Shipping at SMBCE. “With the support of SMBC Doha QFC Office, we look forward to continue working closely with Milaha on the financing of key investment projects.”
Ismail Al Emadi, Executive Vice President, Offshore at Milaha said “Over the coming years, we intend to expand our offshore services segment in the region and beyond, and this facility significantly enhances the ability to execute our strategy”.
Halul Offshore’s expansion strategy aims at improving the technical capabilities of its fleet and also expanding the fleet size to selectively expand its geographical presence. In-line with its expansion strategy, Halul has strong capital expenditure plans for the coming years. The growth plans include acquiring several new vessels including Diving Support Vessels, Anchor Handling Tugs, Construction vessels and Well-Head maintenance/wireline support vessels. Halul acquired two vessels in 2010 and three in 2011 and early 2012. It is looking to add two more vessels to its fleet in 2012.
Press Release, March 14, 2012