BG Group agrees sale and charter of LNG vessels
BG Group (LSE: BG.L), a world leader in exploration and LNG, has entered into an agreement with GasLog Ltd for them to acquire two modern tri-fuel diesel electric (“TFDE”) LNG carriers for proceeds of $460 million. BG Group will charter back the two vessels, the Methane Becki Anne and Methane Julia Louise, for nine and eleven years with further options to extend the term for each vessel by either three or five years. The transactions provide BG Group with flexibility in managing its future fleet requirements and, as the ships are currently managed by GasLog, leave day to day operations broadly unchanged.
The LNG carriers are currently associated with a Pension Funding Partnership which is one element of the Group’s funding arrangements for the BG Pension Scheme. Consequently the majority of the proceeds from this sale will be utilised to support the funding of that scheme.
The remaining net proceeds from the transaction of around $100m will be used to reduce the Group’s net debt.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the completion of definitive documentation. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, with the charter agreement expected to commence at the same time.