Viking Collecting USD 900 Mn to Prepay, Buyback Newbuildings

Viking Cruises Ltd has set sights on collecting USD 900 million from secured and unsecured notes aimed at prepaying loans for a newbuilding duo and buying back another newbuilding for its wholly-owned subsidiary Viking Ocean Cruises.

The company is raising USD 675 million through a private offering of 5.000 pct senior secured notes due 2028 by VOC Escrow Ltd and USD 275 million via its private tack-on offering of additional 5.875 pct senior unsecured notes due 2027.

Viking announced pricing of the notes on January 29.

The escrow issuer was formed solely for the issuing of the secured notes and, following the initial escrow release, will be merged into Viking Ocean Cruises, which will assume its obligations, Viking said.

The net proceeds will be used to prepay all outstanding amounts under the loan agreements used to finance two ocean newbuildings, the Viking Star and the Viking Sky, and buyback Viking Sea, and discharge the related sale-leaseback financial agreement.

Viking intends to use the net proceeds of the additional notes for general corporate purposes.

The first of the series, Viking Star, built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, took to sea in March 2015; the second, the third, and the fourth, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, built at the shipyard in Ancona, were delivered respectively in March 2016, January and September 2017.

In December 2017 Viking Ocean Cruises brought its ordering tally at Italian shipbuilder to ten, confirming options for the seventh and eighth Vikings that were ordered in April and exercising options for the two remaining ships.

The other six sister ships, including those related to the exercised option, are planned to be delivered in 2018, 2019, 2021, two in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Hence, by 2019 the company plans to operate six 930-passenger ocean cruise ships, which will sail itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, North America and the Caribbean.

Image Courtesy: Fincantieri

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