Monday, June 22, 2009

Two good blog posts on Hawaii Superferry and Austal

I added my comments to their timely, good blog posts:

Springbored's Springboard: First Shipbuilding Contract Of The Mabus/Work Era?
By Springbored
The U.S. Navy awarded Austal a $99.5 million contract add-on Friday to order long lead-time materials for its third and fourth Joint High Speed Vessels, military transport ships that are part of a potential $1.6 billion, ... Springbored's Springboard -

Disappeared News: US Maritime Administration reported moving to seize two Hawaii Superferries
By Larry Geller
[Austal] chief executive Bob Browning said yesterday talks with the US Maritime Administration, which ranks above Austal as a secured creditor of Superferry, had “come unstuck” in the past 24 hours. It is understood the USMA, ... Disappeared News -

My Comment to Larry's blog:
If Austal bought them for the outstanding load value, it would be at a discount. They could resell them and recoup their losses, but it would tie up $135 million for as much as a year.

If Lehman were allowed to buy them and lease them to the military, he could get both of them at a discount of $135 million and begin to recoup some of the losses he had with HSF.

If the DoD bought them at $135 million, starts using the Huakai in the short-term and the Alakai by the end of the year after retrofit, they would be getting them at a steal, for $75 to 80 million each, considering they are prepared to shell out $185 million for just one JHSV from Austal.

I think the most likely buyer is the DoD, or MARAD just pays off the bonds and leases them to the military.

If these vessels are attempted to be deployed commercially, it would need to be on routes of 30 to 75 miles to have a chance at viability. It is much more likely that they would be useful militarily rather than commercially... as was always the case.
posted by MauiBrad : 4:43 PM HST

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