Dubai-based Telford Offshore emerges from default of Sea Trucks Group

Dubai-based Telford Offshore has been officially launched as a new name in the offshore industry and as part of bondholders’ efforts to recover value from the liquidation of shipowner Sea Trucks Group (STG).

Telford’s fleet is made up of four large multipurpose (MPP) offshore construction vessels, with high accommodation and dynamic positioning three (DP3). Two of the ships have pipe-laying capability.

The four vessels are the 119-metre Telford 25 (ex-Jascon 25, built 2009), 112-metre Telford 28 (ex-Jascon 28, built 2007), 111-metre Telford 31 (ex-Jascon 31, built 2010) and 119-metre Telford 34 (ex-Jascon 34, built 2014).

Three of these units were transferred from STG this month in a deal worked out with that owner’s bondholders. The fourth ship changed hands in November last year, with the sale’s consideration deferred.

The vessels were considered to represent the majority of the value in STG, although the owner has another 33 ships, mostly anchor handling tug supply units and crew boats in Africa.

STG defaulted on about $482m of Norwegian bonds. The restructuring involves the sale of the DP3 vessels to the newly incorporated company, Telford, which is to be owned by the bondholders. The value of the four-vessel transfer comes to $215m, according to the STG restructuring documents issued by the Nordic Trustee.

A fifth DP3 vessel, the 111-metre pipelayer Jascon 30 (built 2007), remains under arrest in Nigeria and is excluded from the transfer.

Telford chairman Tom M Ehret says “the time is right” to launch operations anew after the offshore industry cut costs in reaction to the severe downturn.

“The pain and the lessons learnt must not be forgotten as we start to recover," Ehret said in statement. "Indeed, the focus will remain on keeping costs low while increasing efficiency.”

Telford chief executive Fraser Moore said: “Our goal is to reward the support our investors have provided to Telford Offshore by increasing the value of our company over the coming years.”

In February 2017, both Ehret and Moore were among a number of fresh appointees to STG, brought in by the new independent directors installed on the board at the end of 2016 to help rescue the company.

STG signed a standstill agreement with its creditors in January 2017, after months of negotiations over the $482m in notes that had been due this year, prior to the restructuring.

STG founder Jacobus Roomans was replaced as a director in 2016 as part of those negotiations with bondholders.