Shipping Deals 2019

Shipping Deals 2019

About Jeremy LeeseJeremy Leese

Jeremy’s practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and restructurings, banking and international real estate finance, structured finance, as well as regulatory and legislative compliance.

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MJM recently received recognition in Marine Money for its market leading Ship Finance Practice. Here are the highlights of key deals in 2019:

Deal Name: Project Sprint

Companies: Frontfleet Ltd as buyer and Frontline Ltd as buyer guarantor (MJM clients) and Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte. Ltd., as seller, Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd., as seller guarantor.

Date: August 2019 

Amount:  US$650mn 

Legal Team: Jeremy Leese

Details: Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte. Ltd. (or its nominee) would be issued with up to US$ 30,000,000 newly-issued ordinary shares, par value $1.00 per share, of Frontline Ltd as partial consideration for Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte. Ltd. selling to Frontfleet Ltd 100% of the ordinary shares of WFV27, the owner of ten Suezmax vessels, plus up to US$ 10,000,000 additional shares to be issued by Frontline Ltd to Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte. Ltd pursuant to two validly exercised options to purchase 100% of the ordinary shares of WFV28, which has the option to acquire 4 Suezmax vessels. We worked long hours in conjunction with Norwegian and US counsel to ensure the conclusion of this transaction in just one week. 

Deal Name: Nordic American Tankers refinancing

Companies: Nordic American Tankers Ltd as borrower (MJM client) and Beal Bank/CLMG Corp. as lender/agent.

Date: February 2019 

Amount:  US$306mn 

Legal Team: Jeremy Leese

Details: A re-financing and replacement of Nordic American Tankers Ltd (a Bermuda incorporated listed company) primary credit facility financing, moving from DNB Bank to Beal Bank/CLMG Corp. MJM assisted with Bermuda law advice and the facility agreement, security documents and corporate authorisations, as well as the release of almost 80 security registrations in favour of DNB Bank. This was significant in that it witnessed a move away from one of the traditional Norwegian bank funders of the shipping industry to a lesser known US bank, as alternative sources of funds are now being sought. 

Deal Name: Hoegh sale and lease back

Companies: Compass Shipping 24 Corporation Limited, a subsidiary of China Commercial Bank (MJM client) and Hoegh LNG Ltd.

Date: June 2019 

Amount:  US$224mn 

Legal Team: Jeremy Leese

Details: We acted as Bermuda counsel to a Chinese leasing company with regard to a sale and leaseback transaction with Hoegh LNG Ltd. for a new build vessel. 

This transaction is part of the move towards alternative finance providers for the Norwegian shipping market, as the more traditional bankers to the sector showing a reluctance to provide new money in the volume required.

Deal Name: Refinancing of credit facilities of Borr Drilling Limited

Companies: Borr Drilling as borrower and DNB Bank ASA, Danske Bank, Citibank N.A., Jersey Branch and Goldman Sachs Bank USA, as lenders (senior secured credit facilities agreement) and Borr Drilling as borrower and DNB Bank ASA and Danske Bank, as lenders (incremental facility)

Date: June 2019 

Amount:  US$450mn and US$100mn, respectively

Legal Team: Brian Holdipp 

Details: Secured financing arrangements which were used to refinance Borr Drilling’s credit facilities.  The outstanding obligations under the new financing arrangements will mature in 2022.  We worked on the refinancing transactions while also advising Borr Drilling with regard to its impending IPO, further evidence of how well regarded we are in this industry, particularly in Norway, and that we are trusted to deliver under significant time pressure on major transactions for our shipping and offshore drilling clients. 

Deal Name: Borr Drilling Limited Initial Public Offering

Company: Borr Drilling 

Date:  August 2019

Amount: US$50mn

Legal Team: Brian Holdipp, Peter Martin

Details: Bermuda counsel to Borr Drilling Limited in connection with its US$50 million initial public offering of 5,750,000 shares (including additional shares the underwriters were given an option to purchase) on the New York Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, DNB Markets, Inc. BTIG, LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Danske Markets Inc., Evercore Group L.L.C. and Fearnley Securities, Inc acted as book-running managers for the offering.  Borr Drilling intends to use the net proceeds received from the offering for general corporate purposes.