Ship Finance International Limited. (NYSE: SFL) today announced that it has completed a private placement of USD 25.2 million in new equity, by issuing 1.6 million shares to an institutional investor at a purchase price of USD 15.75 per share. Fearnley Fonds ASA acted as placement agent for the issue.
The Company is currently considering several different investment options. One of these options is the acquisition of the two ex-Pertamina VLCC newbuildings which are in the process of being taken over by Hemen Holdings Ltd., which is an affiliate of the Company’s parent, Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO; OSE:FRO).
Through fleet growth, a strong financial position and a healthy tanker market, the Board is optimistic that the Company’s long-term minimum dividend can be increased from the existing USD 1.00 per share. The Board is expected to comment further on this issue in connection with the release of the Company’s second quarter results.
Chairman Tor Olav Trøim stated: “We are very pleased with the way the issue was executed and also by the way Ship Finance has been received in the market. The combination of the proceeds of this new equity, the Company’s high standing in the bank market, and its strong cash flow put us in an excellent position to grow the Company. We have secured strong long term cash flow, and are now also able to consider transactions which boost short term cash flow to gain long term financial strength. We will be selective in our investment strategy, and will focus on deals which will give our shareholders a combination of healthy growth and a high, stable long term dividend.”
Hamilton, Bermuda July 13, 2004
Tor Olav Trøim, +47 23 11 40 00 Tom E. Jebsen, +47 23 11 40 00
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events. These statements are intended as “forward-looking statements.” The Company may also from time to time make forward-looking statements in its periodic reports that it files with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, other information sent to its security holders, and other written materials. We caution that assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events may and often do vary from actual results and the differences can be material. In particular, there can be no guarantee that the Company will either maintain or increase its current dividend.
All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, such matters as:
- future operating or financial results;
- statements about future, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy, areas of possible expansion, and expected capital spending or operating expenses of Ship Finance;
- statements about tanker market trends, including charter rates and factors affecting supply and demand;
- expectations about the availability of vessels to purchase, the time which it may take to construct new vessels, or vessels’ useful lives; and
- the Company’s ability to obtain additional financing.
All of these are important factors which could affect the Company’s results.
In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur, and Ship Finance’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Please see in particular the discussions of the Company’s results and risks related to investments in the Company’s securities that are contained in the registration statements and reports that it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.