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Dockwise to sell yacht transport arm

November 8 - Following last week's announcement of the granting of a grants waiver request by its lending syndicate, Dockwise Ltd has announced it has signed a letter of intent to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) to Coby En

HLPFI understands that closing of the transaction is conditional upon market customary conditions. The proceeds of this cash deal will be disclosed upon completion of the transaction which is expected to take place during the next quarter.

Following the disposal of DYTDockwise says it will be focused solely on its core heavy marine transport, transport and installation; as well as logistical management activities.

Dockwise stated last week that its lending syndicate has agreed the waiver request filed on 10th October for contingency purposes, granting the company a temporary relaxation of the leverage ratio (net debt over EBITDA), which will provide additional headroom in the event of extraordinary market circumstances. The period of relaxation is March 2012 until September 2013.

Interest expenses for Dockwise are based on LIBOR (95-100 percent hedged until July 2012, thereafter 50 percent hedged until July 2014) plus, on average, a 2.4 percent margin. This results in the current interest rate of 7.3 percent.

Following the waiver the estimated interest rate - depending on the covenant position - will be between 8 and 9.5 percent for the first half of 2012, between 6.75 and 8.5 percent for the second half of 2012 and between 7 and 8 percent for 2013. In addition lenders will receive a waiver fee of near USD3.5 million in Q4 2011.

DYT is an acknowledged leader in the transport of yachts and leisure craft between premier sailing regions around the globe. Its main market among others is the annual transatlantic migration, in the second and fourth quarters of the year, of luxury yachts from Florida and the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and back. The company owns three dedicated vessels; Super Servant 3Super Servant 4 and Yacht Express and offers both premium flo-flo and lo-lo yacht transportation services.

An official statement adds that DYT has long been operated independently from Dockwise and there was no significant overlap in customers or synergy with the remaining Dockwise fleet. DYT revenue and EBITDA further amounted to a small fraction of that of Dockwise overall.

Given the three-vessel structure of DYT, and plans both for the deployment and maintenance of the ships in the immediate future, a phased closure process is planned for the first quarter of 2012.

Andre Goedee, Chief Executive, Dockwise Ltd, said: "DYT played a significant role in the origins of Dockwise, being the product of the merger between Dock Express and Wijsmuller, but with the evolution of our business it is no longer a strategic asset. Dockwise is now focused on the oil and gas Industry as a dedicated provider of transportation and installation services. The announcement will allow management within the business to focus exclusively on this task and to reallocate capital to supporting the development of our world-leading business."

COBY Enterprises Inc. is a marine solutions, transportation and logistics company providing services in domestic and international markets. The company is headquartered in New York. The Company intends to provide maritime services to the highly evolved and modernised yacht transport business.

Steven Byle CEO of COBY stated, "We are excited to get involved in this dynamic and interesting niche in marine transportation. DYT clients can look forward to uninterrupted service in the short term, and improved and expanded services as we go forward. The DYT team and vessels crews will stay in place, and there will be no change in routes or schedules. Moving toward the future, however, our plans include an immediate programme for renewal and upgrade of the yacht carrier fleet. And we further intend to add new routes and services for our clients in the years to come."

Clemens Van der Werf, president, Dockwise Yacht Transport LLC, said: "With Coby Enterprises we have found a solid partner who shares our long term vision on the yacht transport industry, and is willing to invest in the growth of our company in order to keep serving yacht owners with premium transport options for their travel needs all around the world."

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