• American Shipping Company ASA (AMSC) announced today the purchase of “Normand Maximus” from Maximus Limited
  • Solstad Offshore ASA ("SOFF") experience strong interest from clients to charter the “Normand Maximus” on shorter and longer contracts after current time charter expires during 4th quarter 2022
  • In order to secure long term operational control of the vessel, a subsidiary of SOFF has entered into a term sheet for an amended long term bareboat agreement for “Normand Maximus” with AMSC including a purchase option for the vessel
  • SOFF's residual exposure as guarantor under the current bareboat charter of "Normand Maximus" will be redefined from short to a long-term liability with maturity in March 2024.

AMSC announced Thursday (May12) that the registered owner of "Normand Maximus", Maximus Limited, has accepted an offer to sell “Normand Maximus” to AMSC with anticipated delivery in Q4 2022, after “Normand Maximus” has finished its current contract.

Solstad Offshore Announces Sale of “Normand Maximus”, Bareboat charter agreement signed
Caption: Offshore support vessel Normand Maximus - Image courtesy of Arne Berge Hansen

CEO of SOFF Lars Peder Solstad says: "We are very pleased that we have been able to secure the continued availability of Normand Maximus to our customers. Normand Maximus is one of the most sophisticated vessels within this segment, and a vital part of the Solstad offering to our clients."

A subsidiary of SOFF  has today entered into a term sheet for an amended bareboat charter agreement ensuring that "Normand Maximus" remain part of the Solstad fleet long term. The amended bareboat charter with the new owner of “Normand Maximus”, being a subsidiary of AMSC, has a duration of a 5 year from delivery of “Normand Maximus” to AMSC, with 5+5 years options. The bareboat charter also includes purchase options for the Solstad group after 5 and 10 years.

Since the time charterer terminated the time charter party for “Normand Maximus” in September 2020, Normand Maximus Limited has not been in position to pay the full charter hire. The vessel has been traded world-wide on short- to medium term contracts with multiple clients following the termination, and has during this period received waivers from Maximus Limited for parts of its lease obligations pending discussions on a longer term solution for the financing of “Normand Maximus”.   

An agreement (the "Agreement") has been reached with the current owner of "Normand Maximus" which ensures that the group's and SOFF's residual exposure as guarantor under the current bareboat charter of Normand Maximus mature 31 March 2024.

Under the Agreement, Maximus Limited and Normand Maximus Limited have stated that in lieu of Maximus Limited revoking the current waivers and exercising its rights under the bareboat agreement, a residual claim has been determined.

The residual claim is in the amount of approximately USD 158 million, and is part of the obligations guaranteed by SOFF. Interest accrue and will be compounded. The residual claim under the current bareboat agreement falls due on 31 March 2024, corresponding to the maturity date of SOFF's Senior Secured Facilities Agreements.

For further information on the general refinancing risk of the SOFF group's debt, see item 2 of the prospectus issued on 19 October 2020.

SOFF is assessing the accounting effects of the agreements entered into and these will be advised as appropriate.