Aker boss of the Solstad crisis Offshore: – We invest very early – Aker – Energi



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"Aker's balance is solid," Aker's director, Øyvind Eriksen, said in presenting third-quarter results on Thursday.

Controlled industrial group Kjell Inge Røkke received NOK 545 million in dividends during the three-month period through September and expects to receive between 2.1 and 2.2 billion kroner dividends from the companies it owns in 2018. This is an increase of 1 , 6 billion last year.

Yields combined with rising prices at many of the companies, and especially the oil company Aker BP, helped Aker record net asset records several times.

While Aker has focused on the bottom and reached its oil effort, the development in supply is completely different. There, Aker is located through its shareholding in Solstad Offshore, a shipping company where the balance is not sound.

Offshore companies have about 29 billion in debt and on Oct. 22 the offshore company announced that it was in dialogue with lenders to find a robust long-term financial solution for the company.

In the report, Øyvind Eriksen writes that Solstad Offshore is a large company, but that "viewed retrospectively, we invested in the company at the beginning of the cycle."

Read also: Solstad Offshore guarantees Equinor contract in the UK platform

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What is today, Solstad Offshore, came through a major consolidation in the industry, which came to include thanks to Kjell Inge Røkke and his Aker, and John Fredriksen.

Aker bought first at Solstad Offshore, and eventually Rem Offshore companies were incorporated. Then Farstad and Deep Sea Supply, controlled by John Fredriksen, joined the group.

– Was the supercapitalization during the merger of the shipping companies in the Solstad system too small after the retrospective?

"There is a lot of thinking that you can do afterwards." Aker made the investment in Solstad based on an assessment that the oil and gas markets would improve in the future. Overall, there was an adequate assessment, but in the industrial segments where Solstad operates , took longer than for the industry as a whole, "says Eriksen.

In the ongoing negotiations, the board and board of Solstad Offshore should try to find a solution with which banks, creditors and shareholders can coexist.

As both Aker and John Fredriksen are on the shareholder list, several questions are whether they may be willing to contribute new capital to a rescue package for Solstad. In the E24 questions, Aker's boss will not say specifically whether Aker is willing to contribute to a new financing package:

"Aker looks forward to the outcome of the deal between Solstad and the company's creditors, and then we will relate to it when it is available," says Eriksen.

– Do you have clear conditions for what you want to contribute to the financing agreement?

"We are confident that the management and administration of Solstad will take care of the situation for the benefit of the shareholder community of which we are a part," says Eriksen.

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