Havila refinances loan

2024-04-29T16:58:51+00:00 April 29th, 2024|Finance|

Norwegian coastal ferry operator Havila Voyages (Havila Kystruten) recently completed a refinancing project that secures stronger liquidity and balance sheet.

In Havila Voyages’ fourth quarter 2023 report, a planned refinancing of Series B of the secured bond loan, originally with a par value of €50 mill, was announced, along with related redemption costs and accrued interest.

Since then, the company has refinanced this loan through a €56 milli loan from Havila Holding in accordance with a financing guarantee entered into when the bond loan was issued.

The loan is unsecured and matures in full on 26th July, 2028. This transaction addresses the refinancing need, due in October, 2024 and replaces secured debt with unsecured debt at a lower cost.

In addition, Havila Voyages has received a so-called revolving credit facility of NOK200 mill from Havila Holding, which provides the company with increased financial flexibility to handle seasonal liquidity fluctuations.

“As a company, we have considered various alternatives within the constraints we had in the loan agreement for the remaining secured bond, and overall we believe this is the best solution for us,” CEO Bent Martini explained.

Series A of the secured bond loan has a par value of €255 mill and was issued in July, 2023 in connection with the delivery of ‘Havila Polaris’ and ‘Havila Pollux’.

“With this solution, we ensure stronger liquidity and balance for Havila Voyages. Now we can focus on optimising the operation of our four new coastal route ships and delivering on the operational goals we have set ourselves.

“Over time, this will also enable more long-term and sustainable financing that better reflects the solid underlying ship values and the good earning opportunities we have from operating ships along the Norwegian coast.

“There is no doubt that the bond loan is expensive for us, but with the challenges we faced with the original lender and the sanctions they were under, this was the only solution in the late summer of last year. The goal has always been to find solutions with lower costs, and this is a step further,” Martini added.

Havila Voyages also reported that the positive development in bookings continues. Occupancy for the first quarter of 2024 ended at 68%, up from 60% in 4Q23. In total, 63% of capacity is now booked for the year, and an average occupancy rate of just under 80% is expected for 2024 as a whole.

“For a new company on a well-established route, we are very satisfied with our booking figures. We are getting positive feedback from previous guests. We see more people coming back to us and the awareness of us in the markets is growing. We are optimistic about the time ahead,” Martini concluded.