Our principal operating subsidiary, Wilson Sons Limited announced to the Brazilian and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges the following announcement.
Wilson Sons Limited announces the signing of a US$ 670 million Financing Agreement.
The Financing Agreement is between a subsidiary of the Wilson, Sons Ultratug Offshore joint venture and BNDES as agent for the Fundo da Marinha Mercante (FMM). The priority approval from FMM was granted on 9 October 2008. The 18-year financing includes a three year repayment grace period and is intended for the construction of 13 Offshore Support Vessels (OSV's), to be constructed in the Wilson, Sons' Shipyards.
The 13 vessels are expected to be delivered between early 2011 and 2015 increasing the joint venture fleet to 24 vessels. Construction has already commenced on three of the vessels.
The joint venture strategy is to build an appropriate mix of vessels to attend the demand from national and international oil companies operating in Brazil. According to the Petrobras strategic plan, they alone require 250 new chartered OSV's by 2020 to fulfill their exploration and production of pre-salt and post-salt reserves.