20 October 2009 10:24 [Source: ICIS news]
Singapore (ICIS news)--Indonesian shipping giant PT Berlian Laju Tanker (BLT) hopes to finalise its acquisition of Norwegian firm Camillo Eitzen & Co (CECO) by mid-December, said a senior BLT official on Tuesday.
The Norwegian kroner (NKr) 1bn ($180m) CECO acquisition, in which BLT offered NKr25 for each CECO share, was announced early this month. CECO shareholders will be paid in bonds that would eventually be converted into BLT shares.
“The timeline for this exercise was to launch the offer in early December, and close it sometime [in] mid-December,” the official told ICIS news.
The closing date could be extended further to end December, depending on how soon BLT can meet all the conditions attached to CECO’s purchase, including raising the $200m in new equity, the official said.
BLT will have the biggest chemical tanker fleet in the world with CECO tucked in its belt. The company would have a total of 157 chemical tankers, 14 oil tankers, 42 gas tankers, 50-60 bulk carriers and a floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).
BLT is currently doing a due diligence on CECO and its subsidiaries while trying to work out with lenders a longer restructuring period of five years for the debts owed by CECO and its unit Eitzen Chemical (ECHEM).
The Indonesian shipping company took the opportunity to expand its fleet at low cost since the industry is in a trough, scooping up CECO at substantial discounts to its net asset value (NAV), the official said.
CECO has a relatively young fleet, with most of its vessels less than 10 years old, said a shipping industry source.
The acquisition was timely since "the shipping cycle had reached a bottom and is poised for [a rebound]," said the BLT official. "Also, there will be significant synergies and economies of scale,” he added.
BLT intends to seek a secondary listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange after completing CECO’s acquisition.
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