MOL and Mistui & Co are acquiring a 50% stake in AKOFS Offshore for $142.5m. AKOFS Offshore is owned by Norway's Akastor ASA.
The move builds on the joint acquisition of the subsea support vessel Skandi Santos by the three companies in November 2016, which is chartered to Brazilian stat oil company Petrobras. AKOFS operates three subsea support vessels including the Skandi Santos. A second vessel Aker Wayfarer is also on charter to Petrobras, while the AKOFS Seafarer is planned to be chartered to Equinor, formally known as Statoil.
“MOL’s acquisition of shares in AKOFS means MOL will become more deeply involved in the operation and ship management of subsea support vessels, marking its full-scale move into this field,” MOL said.
The Japanese shipowner said it anticipates stable earnings from the subsea sector and has ambitions across the entire range of operations, from research of sea bed petroleum and gas fields to construction, maintenance, repair work, and removal.
“The subsea support vessel business requires advanced design and operation technologies, and is a field in which MOL can draw upon its 50-plus years of experience in management of cable laying ships,” it said.