Bourbon Sells 12 Offshore Vessels to China’s ICBC to Lower Debt

Bourbon SA (GBB), operator of supply and crew ships for the oil industry, sold a dozen vessels for $378 million to China’s ICBC Financial Leasing as part of a plan to lower debt.

The transaction brings the total number of vessels sold to ICBC last year to 21, valued at about $522 million, according to a statement from the Paris-based company.

Bourbon’s free cash flow will be positive for the full year 2013 while debt will be reduced, the company said.

Bourbon agreed last year to sell and lease back as many as 51 vessels to ICBC Financial Leasing under a deal aimed at lowering borrowings. The company expects the remaining 30 ships to be transferred this year.

The company also signed at the end of November an agreement with Standard Chartered Plc for the sale and charter of six new-build vessels for almost $150 million with half of these vessels worth $65 million transferred at the end of 2013.

The company also sold older vessels last year for $183 million, according to the statement. Total vessel sales reached $770 million in 2013.

Bourbon announced a plan in March that could see the company selling as much as 30 percent of the supply vessel fleet for as much as $2.5 billion. Under a $2 billion expansion plan, Bourbon planned to operate 600 owned and chartered ships by 2015, up from 479 at the end of September.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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