Polarcus secures USD 410 million bank facility
21 Jul 2011
Polarcus Limited (OAX: PLCS) (“Polarcus” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a term sheet for a bank facility of USD 410 million with DnB NOR Bank ASA and DVB Bank SE, Nordic Branch, together with Garanti-instituttet for Eksportkreditt (GIEK) and Eksportfinans ASA (the “Fleet Bank Facility”). The Fleet Bank Facility is offered at attractive terms and significantly improves the Company’s financial position and flexibility going forward.
The Fleet Bank Facility will be drawn down in 5 tranches and used to refinance existing debt related to POLARCUS ALIMA, POLARCUS ASIMA and POLARCUS SAMUR, and to finance the newbuildings POLARCUS AMANI and POLARCUS ADIRA. The two newbuildings are currently under construction at Ulstein Verft and are expected to be delivered in Q1 and Q2 2012 respectively.
As part of the Fleet Bank Facility, the Company will take advantage of the USD 260 million proposals from Eksportfinans ASA for long term financing of POLARCUS AMANI and POLARCUS ADIRA, as announced on 18 November 2010, at a fixed interest rate of 2.85% in addition to 2.75% guarantee commission to GIEK and the commercial banks. After the Fleet Bank Facility is drawn down the total average interest rate for the entire Polarcus debt will be less than 7.5%.
The Fleet Bank Facility will be subject to customary covenants, including minimum liquidity reserve (USD 25 million), minimum equity ratio (25% equity to total assets), minimum working capital (USD 22 million) and a lock up clause for sales of shares currently belonging to the Zickerman family. The Fleet Bank Facility is subject to final documentation, expected to be completed before the end of August 2011.
The senior debt on POLARCUS ALIMA and POLARCUS ASIMA will be refinanced through the Fleet Bank Facility, hence the Fleet Bank Facility will be subject to approval by bondholders in the Polarcus Alima AS 10/15 12.5% USD 80 million second lien bond issue (ISIN: NO0010590300). A summons for bondholders’ meeting is expected to be issued early August 2011.
Furthermore, the funding of POLARCUS SAMUR will also be refinanced through the Fleet Bank Facility and the Company therefore expects to call the Polarcus Ltd 08/13 13.0% USD 55 million first lien bond issue (ISIN: NO0010445935) within Q2/Q3 2012.
The Company considers the Fleet Bank Facility to represent an attractive proposition to all stakeholders as the refinancing risk is reduced with an improved maturity profile in addition to a lowered overall interest expense rate for the Company. Further details related to the facility will be made available following final documentation and signing of the loan agreement.
Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus +971 4 436 0800 / +971 50 459 6982
Tom Henrik Sundby, CFO Polarcus +971 4 436 0800 / +971 50 708 6480
Polarcus (OAX: PLCS) is a pure play marine geophysical company with a pioneering environmental agenda, specializing in high-end towed streamer data acquisition from Pole to Pole. Polarcus operates a fleet of high performance 3D seismic vessels incorporating an innovative design and advanced maritime technologies for improved safety and efficiency. Polarcus offers contract seismic surveys and multi-client projects worldwide and employs over 400 professionals. The Company’s principal office is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit www.polarcus.com
The information included herein may contain forward- looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts, including but not limited to statements expressing or implying the Company’s intent, belief or current expectations with respect to, among other things, forecasts, estimates, and predictions. Such forward- looking statements necessarily involve risks and uncertainties and are dependent on assumptions, information, data or methods that may be incorrect or imprecise. Actual results could differ materially from expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements if one or more of the underlying assumptions or expectations proves to be inaccurate or is unrealized. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, developments in the oil and gas industry, the demand for seismic services, the demand for data from the Company’s multi-client library, currency risks, political risks, regulatory risks, and unexpected operational setbacks. For a further description of other relevant risk factors we refer to our 2010 Annual Report. The reservation is also made that inaccuracies or mistakes may occur in the information given above concerning the current status of the Company or its business. Any reliance on the information given above is at the risk of the reader, and Polarcus disclaims any and all liability in this respect.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl(Norwegian Securities Trading Act)