It is out of the question that Solstad's new and old should be combined – E24

It is out of the question that Solstad's new and old should be combined – E24

A $1 billion claim linked to the giant ship Normandy Maximus stands in the way of Solstad's stock market comeback through a merger with listed company Solstad Offshore, according to Aker CEO Øyvind Eriksen.

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Acker was in the driver's seat in the refinancing of shipping company Solstad, which is now on the verge of completion despite a highly publicized dispute with billionaire Kristin Sveis.

The agreement provides for, among other things, the transfer of significant parts of the fleet to a new company called Solstad Maritime, while the old Solstad Offshore will continue to be listed in Oslo Børs.

The plan is to take Solstad Maritime public again within a year.

– Not valid for merging

– What alternatives are there, is it possible to combine it with the old Solstad?

– The Maximus clause made it impossible to implement the refinancing in the parent company Solstad Offshore. As far as I know, there is still no solution to Maximus' claim. In this case, a merger with Solstad's parent company is out of the question, Aker CEO Øyvind Eriksen tells E24.

Solstad Offshore (formerly Solstad) has secured a NOK 1.8 billion claim relating to the megaship Normand Maximus.

The claim arose a few years ago when the existing contract and financing were terminated.

There is currently a legal dispute over ownership of the claim between Solstad's banks and an investment fund, but the size and basis of the claim are not in dispute, Solstad's board said earlier this year.

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According to the board, this requirement created challenges as Solstad worked to refinance last fall.

In a negotiated solution, the entitlement to the claim is deferred. In addition, Solstad Offshore will be able to buy the claim from the banks for $200 million, but this can only happen if the banks win the lawsuit over ownership of the claim.

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– As long as Maximus's claim remains unresolved, is it out of the question that the two Solstad companies might merge again?

– Yes, that's how Aker sees it, says Eriksen.

– If Maximus's claim is to be resolved, how will that be done?

– There is no indication that Maximus' claim will be resolved in the next 12 months, says Eriksen.

Banks was acquitted in district court. The appeal case is scheduled to come before the Court of Appeal in the spring.

Calm after the Solstad dispute

Aker was central to Solstad's refinancing. Following completion of the project, Aker will own just over 40 percent of Solstad Maritime (New Solstad) and just under 33 percent of Solstad Offshore.

However, the process did not go smoothly.

In December, investor Kristin Sveyas and his investment company Kistefos launched a full-scale attack on Kjell Inge Røkkes Aker regarding values ​​in the shipping company.

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A period of public bickering followed, with Rocky and Svis using the media to attack each other.

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Kistevos initially believed that Solstad shareholders should vote on whether the company should stand behind a lawsuit against its board and those responsible for the refinancing.

The dialogue between the two parties did not take place, and Roque contacted the CEO of Kistefos, Bengt Ream, and said, according to the latter, that “no comma, amount, or percentage will be changed, and the agreements have been implemented.”

Finally Kystivus withdrew the demand for a general meeting, and from then on the camp of Saphias was quiet.

-We have a good professional relationship

According to Eriksen, there was no contact between Aker and Kestevos after the dialogue between the two parties broke down.

-We have a good professional relationship with Kistevos. If Kistefos chooses to invest in Solstad Maritime, we expect that the cooperation as co-shareholders will be constructive and bring the best interest to the company.

Read on E24+

The 'double effect' could make Solstad an outside winner

Completing the refinancing, enhancing equity and settling the matter with lenders was an important milestone, Eriksen says.

– The market is still developing positively. Solstad has shown time and again that they are good at negotiating new contracts. Everything is in place to combine strength and growth in a way that benefits the Solstad shareholder community.

The first milestone now is the completion of the final equity tranche by the second quarter, where participating shareholders of Solstad Offshore will have the opportunity to invest in Solstad Maritime on the same terms as Aker.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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