Ocean Yield ASA ("Ocean Yield" or the "Company"), which currently owns 93.05% of the unsecured bonds (ISIN NO 001 035651.2 - the "Bonds") issued by American Shipping Company ASA ("AMSC"), announces that it has entered into an agreement with AMSC to vote in favour of amending certain terms and conditions of the bond agreement. The amendments to the bond agreement is subject to a recapitalisation of AMSC being completed.
Ocean Yield's share of the Bonds had a nominal value of approximately USD 185 million at the end of Q3 2013, and a book value of USD 155.7 million.
The main amendments to the bond agreement are as follows:
·Conversion of currency: Conversion of the currency of the Bonds owned by Ocean Yield from NOK to USD at the NOK/USD exchange rate at the end of Q3 2013. The interest rate will be changed from NIBOR +4.75 % p.a. to LIBOR + 6.00 % p.a.
·Cash interest payment: To date AMSC has solely paid interest on the bonds as payment-in-kind ("PIK"), through the issuance of additional bonds, which have been added to the principal amount outstanding. AMSC will now start paying 50 % of the interest in cash while the remaining 50 % will still be paid as "PIK". As from the refinancing of AMSC's senior secured bank facility, which matures on 30 June 2016, the portion of interest payable in cash will increase to 70 %, further increasing to 90 % as from 12 months post the refinancing and 100% as from 24 months after the refinancing of the bank debt. If AMSC is not fulfilling certain covenants, they may pay all interest as PIK, but can then not pay dividends before all such PIK bonds have been redeemed through cash payments.
·Prepayment option: AMSC will be granted an option to prepay the bonds at 101% of par value until 30th June 2016.
·Amendments to the current dividend restrictions: The current dividend restrictions, including the covenant that AMSC need to have a book equity to total assets above 25% in order to pay dividends, is replaced by two new covenants. These covenants are a minimum unrestricted cash of USD 10 million and a net-interest-bearing-debt-to-vessel- value ratio of not more than 85%. Further, dividend payments are limited to maximum USD 18 million in 2014, USD 25 million in 2015 and USD 13 million the first half of 2016. Any dividend payments made after the refinancing of the bank debt is also subject to a minimum Equity to Total Assets ratio of 20 % increasing to 25 % if the bond loan is extended beyond 28th February 2018.
·Extension option subject to margin increase: Until the refinancing of the senior secured bank facility, AMSC will have an option to extend the maturity date of the bond from 28th February 2018 to 28th February 2021. If this extension option is exercised the margin of the bond loan will increase by 2.5 % p.a. In addition the margin will increase by 0.5 % p.a. for every 12 month period the bond is outstanding after the extension option is exercised
·AMSC shall make its best endeavors to prepay the bond loan in connection with a refinancing of the senior bank loan, which is expected to take place in 2015 or first half of 2016.
Ocean Yield's Chief Executive Officer Lars Solbakken said in a comment: "We are pleased to see an equity issue in American Shipping Company, as the transaction significantly strengthens AMSC's balance sheet and thereby reduces the counterparty risk. Further, the cash interest payments from AMSC will increase Ocean Yield's dividend capacity."
For further information, please contact:
Lars Solbakken, CEO of Ocean Yield ASA Phone: +47 24 13 01 90 E-mail: email@example.com
Eirik Eide, CFO of Ocean Yield ASA Phone: +47 24 13 01 91 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ocean Yield: Ocean Yield is a ship owning company with investments within oil-service and industrial shipping. The company focuses on modern assets with long-term charters to solid counterparties and has a significant contract backlog, which offers visibility with respect to future earnings and dividend capacity. Ocean Yield has an ambition to pay attractive and growing dividends to its shareholders.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.