Superfast owners Attica Holdings last month announced it concluded the sale and delivery of Superfast VII, Superfast VIII and Superfast IX to the AS Tallink Grupp in exchange for some 310 million euros in cash.
The Attica Group said it would book capital gains of approximately 11 million euros, which will appear in the group’s second quarter 2006 results. Out of the total sale proceeds, Attica’s cash balances will increase by approximately 102 million after repayment of the ships’ debt of 196.6 million euros and payment of various expenses related to the transaction of approximately 11 million euros. With the cash balance, Attica is expected to issue a capital return to its shareholders.
Following the sale, financial services company Citigroup, which closely follows Attica Holdings, suggested that the ferry owner would most likely sell additional vessels (plying routes in Scotland and the Adriatic) and purchase Blue Star Ferry shares not already owned and/or open new Mediterranean routes.
Citigroup added that this is not the ideal time for Attica to invest further in the Minoan Lines Group.
Superfast VII and Superfast VIII served the Baltic Sea market since May 2001 while Superfast IX was redeployed to the Germany-Finland route as of November 2005. The sold vessels will retain their names and continue sailing under the Superfast livery until the end of 2007 at the latest, following an agreement with AS Tallink Grupp.
Attica Group maintains its presence in the Baltic Sea with the operation of its two RoRo vessels, which trade between Rostock, Germany and Uusikaupunki, Finland.