AquaShip seeks to capitalise on hot wellboat market with €100 million private placement

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Shipping company is on the hunt for money.

Prior to the share issue, the company’s so-called enterprise value (equity + net interest-bearing debt – editor’s note) is valued at close to NOK 5 billion (€500 million). According to Finansavisen (paywalled), AquaShip has brought in two former John Fredriksen (the shipping billionaire and biggest shareholder of Mowi) executives onto the board.

These two, Robert Hvide Macleod and Harald Thorstein, will bring in some capital into the company.

“It is true that the company is looking for capital to grow further. Sverre (Taknes, CEO – ed. note) and his team have managed to build a platform, which it is possible to scale up. The growth potential is enormous, and the only limitation is capital,” Thorstein told Finansavisen.

Read also: Creative cross-ownership ensures Aquaship has full control of its Chilean wellboat companies

AquaShip has a fleet of a total of 34 service vessels, wellboats, feed boats and processing boats. The fleet operates in Chile, Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, the Mediterranean and Norway, and has contracts with, among others, Mowi, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood.

“Unlike many others, we have first built up abroad,” explained CEO Sverre Taknes.

According to the most recent annual accounts, for 2020, AquaShip had a total balance sheet of just under NOK 1,452 million (€145 million), of which NOK 433 million (€43 million) is debt, at the turn of the year 2020/2021.

The American private equity fund AMERRA Capital owns 51 per cent of the shares in the Kristiansund shipping company.

However, Aquaship will not go public.

“It is still a bit early and we have more to gain from going round the private market first,” said Taknes.