Neptune Orient Lines Completes $1 Billion Sale of American Eagle Tankers

(Washington, D.C.) – Singapore shipping company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has finalized the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary, American Eagle Tankers (AET), to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC) for approximately US$1 billion. The deal – the largest-ever M&A transaction between companies in Singapore and Malaysia, and the largest acquisition in the transportation industry in 2003 – was completed on July 22, 2003. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advised NOL in the transaction.

The transaction comprised the sale of all AET shares, together with the transfer of the ship-management operations for AET’s vessels (currently performed by a subsidiary of NOL) under a separate ship-management business transfer agreement.

MISC was selected from seven bidders for the transaction. MISC paid $445 million (based on the equity value of AET) and assumed approximately $500 million in debt and a dividend payment to NOL of $75 million. In addition, the parties agreed that MISC will pay additional monies to NOL over the next two years if certain performance milestones are met.

American Eagle Tankers is a key provider of petroleum transportation services in the Atlantic basin, including lightering, voyage-chartering and time-chartering services. The company has subsidiaries in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia.

Together with NOL’s in-house counsel, Kelly H. Hughes, Akin Gump partners Anthony J. Renzi Jr. and Michael E. Dillard led the representation of NOL. JPMorgan acted as investment advisor to NOL. MISC was represented by Norton Rose.

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