Swiber unit inks conditional agreement to sell vessel for US$8.5 million

QUETZAL Offshore, a wholly-owned unit of Swiber Holdings, on Aug 31 signed a conditional agreement to sell a motor vessel, the Swiber Quetzal, for a proposed sum of US$8.5 million in cash.

The buyer is Central de Desarrollos Marinos, a Mexico-incorporated company related to the Protexa group, which specialises in chartering and the operation of offshore vessels, Swiber disclosed in a Wednesday (Sept 7) bourse filing.

Built in 2009, the Swiber Quetzal is a pipe-lay and accommodation work barge registered under the Mexico flag. It has been mortgaged as security for Quetzal Offshore's obligations under banking facilities extended to it. Swiber is a guarantor to these obligations.

The book value and net tangible asset value of the vessel are both about US$61.7 million, translating to a loss upon disposal of US$53.2 million.

Based on an independent valuation, the vessel has an open-market value of between US$21 million and US$25 million. Its orderly liquidation value is between US$9 million and US$13 million; its forced liquidation value is between US$3 million and US$7 million.

Quetzal and the buyer arrived at the sale price based on market conditions in the oil and gas sector, the vessel's age and existing state, and its orderly liquidation value, given that Swiber is under judicial management. Swiber will use the net proceeds from the sale to partly repay what it owes under the loan facilities.

The proposed sale is conditional upon the expiration of the term of an existing financial lease agreement, as well as the approval of Swiber's shareholders, unless otherwise waived. The vessel is currently leased to Swiber Marine Mexico, an associate of Swiber, under an agreement expiring on Jun 16, 2023.

Trading in shares of Swiber is suspended.

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