Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NYSE: NAO) announced today that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with Scorpio Offshore Investments Inc., a closely held company owned and controlled by the Lolli-Ghetti family, including Emanuele Lauro (Scorpio), pursuant to which Scorpio has invested USD 5,000,000 in a private placement of the Company’s common shares at a price of US$ 0.42 per share (the “Private Placement”). Clarksons Platou Securities AS acted as financial advisor to NAO in connection with the Private Placement.
Effective upon closing of the Private Placement, Mr. Emanuele Lauro was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. In addition, Mr. Robert Bugbee has been appointed to the Company’s board and to the office of President, Mr. Cameron Mackey has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and Mr. Filippo Lauro has been appointed Vice President. Concurrent with the Private Placement Mr. Herbjørn Hansson resigned from the board of directors and Ms. Marianne Lie has also resigned from the office of Executive Vice-Chair and will remain a director.
Scorpio’s equity investment in the Company and the changes in senior management and board appointments described above were unanimously supported by the Company’s full board, by the Company’s former Executive Chairman and certain of the Company’s largest shareholders, including affiliates of Mr. Hansson’s and Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT).
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Emanuele Lauro stated: “I am honored to lead this Company through the next stage of its development. Though near-term challenges of the offshore market exist, I believe NAO has all the necessary attributes to succeed in the longer-term: high caliber people, high caliber assets, and strong relationships with key stakeholders, first among them its lenders and its shareholders. My focus in the coming weeks will be to ensure that this great enterprise can appropriately position itself for the improving fundamentals to come.
Mr. Herbjorn Hansson deserves credit for his vision and his passion for the Company. I would like to thank Mr. Hansson for his close engagement and support during the last few days; it is a testament to his loyalty to the business. He has built a commendable platform with a promising future, one I will be working hard with my colleagues to realize.”