When it comes to snatching up distressed assets, Singapore exchange-listed OSV owner Kim Heng Offshore & Marine Holdings has been right on the money
“Kim Heng purchased a number of good quality vessels and found immediate work for them; that is really the key,” said VesselsValue head of Singapore Charlie Hockless. In May 2018, Kim Heng Offshore & Marine Holdings Limited purchased 6,000-bhp, 60-m anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel Pacific 8 for S$670,000 (US$492,000) and renamed it Bridgewater 80.
Kim Heng also acquired three 10,800-bhp AHTS vessels from troubled Swiber Holdings, Swiber Else, Swiber Anne Christine and Swiber Mary Ann, for US$3.3M apiece. Renamed Bridgewater 130, Bridgewater 131 and Bridgewater 132, the vessels were chartered for work in Malaysia and Indonesia.
In July 2018, Kim Heng Offshore acquired 65-tonne bollard pull AHTS vessel Lewek Lynx and 30-tonne bollard pull chase boat Swissco Summit. While Swissco Summit was sold to another buyer, Kim Heng renamed the vessel Mazu 60 and reactivated the vessel after signing a letter of intent for a two-month charter for towage services and other offshore related activities for a leading oil major in Q3 2018.
Mr Hockless also noted the deft purchases of Eastern Navigation Pte which pounced on some “very high-quality vessels” at attractive prices. He expects the four vessels acquired en bloc from bankrupt Toisa Ltd – Toisa Elan, Toisa Envoy, Toisa Explorer and Toisa Wave – to generate cash for Eastern Navigation during their lifetimes.
During the prolonged downturn, Singaporean owners sought refuge in the Middle East, but the window of opportunity may be gone, noted Mr Hockless. “Maybe a few years ago, the mobilisation fee was something a company could absorb. That is no longer the case.” Reactivating a vessel that has been laid up for years and repositioning it to a new region to compete for contracts is too costly. “That’s US$3M off the bat,” said Mr Hockless. “I think the time has passed for some companies.”