Aker hatches buy-back

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard of the US is moving forward with a campaign aimed at repurchasing up to 10% of it’s owns shares.

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According to a filing with the Oslo bourse the company enlisted Pareto Securities to oversee a partial tender offer by which it intends to acquire up to 650,000 units in the open market.

Aker Philadelphia pointed out that the book-building process is already underway and noted this stage of the initiative is scheduled to end by no later than Friday evening.

Prior to today’s offering regulatory filings indicate that the company boasted 18,746 of its own shares, which amounts to a stake of less than 1.00%.

When the shipbuilder first announced plans to buy-back stock late last month management told investors that it intended to acquire up to 10% of its share capital over time. The deadline expires in June of next year.

“The decision reflects the company's focus on maximizing shareholder returns over time, its strong financial position, its confidence in its ability to deliver on its operational commitments, and a reflection of the opportunities it sees to further develop its shipping investments,” it said.

Today, if the shipbuilder picked up 660,000 shares and paid NOK 144.000 ($23.04) a piece, the price seen at the close of trading in Oslo, the exercise would top NOK 95m ($15.2m).

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, which is based in the state of Pennsylvania, is one of two US shipyards that are active in the construction of both bluewater product tankers and containerships.

Today, its newbuilding backlog includes contracts to construct a 115,000-dwt crude carrier for SeaRiver Maritime, four 50,000-dwt product tankers for its joint venture with Crowley Maritime and two 3,600-teu boxships on behalf of Matson.

The orderbook grew even larger just last month when Philly Tankers, a fledgling IPO hopeful backed by Aker Philadelphia, American Shipping Company, Apollo Management and unnamed US investors, firmed up a $250m order for a pair of Jones Act product tankers that are due for delivery between 2016 and 2017.

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