Kim Heng snaps up three Swiber AHTS for USD9.6 million

Singapore’s Kim Heng Offshore and Marine Holdings Limited has purchased three anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels for USD9.6 million, securing them at a fraction of a previous valuation.

Swiber Anne-Christine, Swiber Else-Marie, and Swiber Mary-Ann are registered in the Marshall Islands and were launched between 2009 and 2010, according to data from IHS Maritime and Trade’s Sea-Web.

The vessels are owned by Vallianz Holdings, and Swiber Holdings is Vallianz's largest shareholder. Swiber has been in judicial management since August 2016, and has so far defaulted on payments for two bonds, with face values amounting to SGD260 million (USD188 million). Vallianz is currently undergoing a restructuring plan, which could see Saudi Arabia-based Rawabi Holding company replace Swiber as its largest shareholder.

Kim Heng expects the vessels to perform tow services for its clients’ jack-up rigs and salvage operations. It also aims to deploy the vessels for long-term charters when the opportunity arises, while maintenance and upkeep will be conducted at Kim Heng’s yard to manage costs.

Kim Heng is an integrated offshore and marine value chain services provider, and works on different stages of offshore oil and gas projects. According to its website, its two yards in Singapore, at Pandan Crescent and Penjuru Road, have a total land area of about 54,000 m2. These have a combined waterfront of 205 m, and can conduct afloat repairs, fabrication, newbuilding, painting, and blasting works.

In a Monday (12 June) announcement, Kim Heng said that the vessels were previously valued at approximately USD33 million each, but it was able to acquire them “at extremely low valuations” due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry.

The company said the purchase was made at “an opportune time when asset prices remain depressed” and it was pursuing strategic transactions complementary to its existing portfolio, to “prepare for the eventual expected industry upturn”.

The vessels will cost the company an equivalent of SGD13.5 million. Of this, SGD8.5 million comes from its IPO proceeds, and SGD5 million will be drawn from Kim Heng’s existing bank loans.

Commenting on the transaction, executive chairman and CEO, Thomas Tan said, “We have good knowledge of the industry and the financial strength to take advantage of the opportunities that present during challenging industry conditions. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, it presents an opportunity for us to capitalise and we are pleased that Kim Heng has been able to successfully purchase these vessels to strengthen our long-term position at a fraction of the cost.”

Contact Simin Ngai at and follow her on Twitter: @SiminNgai

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