Norwegian company Oceanteam has reached an understanding with its bondholders on the main terms of the bond loan.
As part of a financial restructuring announced in October, the troubled company entered into talks with its banks and its bond holders.
Oceanteam’s CFO Wilhelm Bohn said in a statement: “We expect to need another few weeks to finalise our talks with the bondholders.
“This is good news for our employees, suppliers, clients, creditors and for our business partners.
“A final agreement will be the most critical milestone to create a strengthened financial foundation and to align Oceanteam with today’s market dynamics.
“We have reached an understanding to repay the bond in full, to extend the loan maturity and to reduce the cash interest costs enabling.”
The new terms will not include any equity offering by the company’s current shareholders.
However, significant cash compensation due to CEO Haico Halbesma, also one of the company’s main shareholders, will be deferred as part of the agreement.
There is also an understanding that proceeds from the sale of the company’s 25% stake in the pipelay vessel North Ocean 105 to McDermott by April will be used for repayment of vendors and of secured lenders of Oceanteam as well as an understanding of a mechanism for repurchase of bond on an on-going basis.
“The progress and developments made so far and the continued support provided by the Halbesma family as main shareholders, confirms the commitment and strong belief that we have in the future success of Oceanteam,” said the company’s CEO Halbesma.
“The understanding reached with the bondholders is a key step forward. It will allow the company to further develop its current market activities, to take advantage of new business opportunities, and thus to allow us to build long-term value for the benefit of all Oceanteam’s stakeholders and employees.”
There are two operating units, namely Oceanteam Shipping and Oceanteam Solutions.
Oceanteam Shipping owns, charters and manages deep-water offshore support vessels and fast support vessels.
Oceanteam Solutions’ focus is to provide its clients with complete offshore solutions.
Oceanteam per se has been active in the industry as an offshore solutions provider for over 12 years and once had a presence in Aberdeen.
Aside from the impacts of the current oil & gas downturn, the company had some noteworthy renewables-related problems around 2008-09.
In April 2009 The Press and Journal reported that more than 100 north-east employees faced an uncertain future after
it said it was reducing its activities.
Oceanteam had revealed that certain offshore power-cable installation projects were to be taken over by Global Marine Systems and a long-term co-operation agreement with ABB had been terminated.
The Bergen-based firm then employed about 150 people in Aberdeen and Dundee.
One Aberdeen employee said at the time: “I think that there could be very significant redundancies in the north-east.
“The company has lost money on windfarm power-cable installation projects. We all knew there were problems, but not the depth and significance of them.”
The worker said Oceanteam had refused to confirm that it could pay staff salaries, adding: “All contractors have been
paid off or been withdrawn by their agents due to non-payment.”
Oceanteam said at the time: “Due to the transfer of the projects and the termination of the long-term co-operation agreement, Oceanteam will reduce its activities.
“The operational risk of the company will be reduced, but Oceanteam will accordingly generate less revenue and incur large restructuring costs in 2009.
“The impact of the agreement on the company 2009 work schedule is significant.”
After that, the company effectively went silent in Aberdeen.
According to its website, Oceanteam currently has offices in Norway, The Netherlands and Mexico. Offices in Angola, Dubai, Germany and the UK appear to have closed.