STX Group hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Standard Chartered Plc to manage the sale of a controlling stake in offshore-vessel maker STX OSV Holdings Ltd., two people familiar with the matter said.
The South Korean group has sent letters to companies that may be interested in buying the 51 percent shareholding, the people said, declining to be identified because the process is private. The stake is worth about $650 million at market prices, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.
STX OSV, the world’s biggest maker of oil-rig support vessels, rose the most in two months in Singapore on speculation investment from a new owner may help it benefit from rising energy exploration. STX Group, also parent of South Korea’s biggest commodities-shipping company, said in October it plans to raise more than 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion) early this year by selling overseas assets and bonds to repay maturing debt.
“STX OSV stands out among STX Group’s subsidiaries,” said Kim Hong Gyun, an analyst at Dongbu Securities Co. in Seoul. “The sale will get a lot of interest because of the potential growth in the offshore market.”
STX Group may raise as much as 1 trillion won in the stake sale, Kim said.
Spokesmen for STX Group and Alesund, Norway-based STX OSV declined to comment on the sale process.
STX OSV climbed 6.9 percent to close at S$1.39. The company has a market value of $1.28 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The offshore-vessel builder was acquired by STX Group through the takeover of Aker Yards ASA, which was completed in February 2009. It sold off a stake in an initial public offering in November 2010. Och-Ziff Capital Management Group owns 20 percent of the vessel maker, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
STX OSV’s products include vessels that are used to move or supply oil rigs. The company has yards in Europe, Asia and Brazil. It’s building a second facility in the South American nation as Petroleo Brasileiro SA drills new wells off the country’s coastline.
Global investment in deepwater offshore drilling may total $232 billion through 2016, according to Douglas-Westwood, an industry-research company based in Canterbury, southeast England.
STX Group’s four listed units -- STX Offshore & Marine Engineering Co., STX Corp., STX Engine Co. and STX Pan Ocean Co. -- have 1.07 trillion won worth of bonds maturing this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
STX Offshore, the world’s fourth-biggest shipbuilder, sold 100 billion won of bonds with warrants last month to repay some debt.