FOCUS ON FINANCIAL STABILITY
Successful refinancing at the beginning of the year combined with a new five-year credit facility were among the measures completed by Stena Finance during 2020. The aim was to ensure access to capital for Stena’s activities for many years to come.
Stena Finance’s is to manage the Stena AB Group’s financing and liquidity planning in both the short and long term. Stena Finance manages the operational business units’ financial risks regarding interest rates, currencies and oil markets, and also manages the Group’s financial investments. Another important role is to serve as a resource for the operational units on the identification, analysis and achievement of new business deals. Stena is a capital-intensive company with several business units that operate in markets subject to a risk of sudden fluctuation – which was further amplified in 2020 when the pandemic made its mark on both ferry traffic and oil companies.
“This was a turbulent year. It began with our highly successful refinancing at the beginning of the year, when we ran a roadshow to meet investors in New York, London, Stockholm and Oslo. There was very high demand for our bond issue, which totalled USD 700 million, compared to the expected USD 615 million. We were lucky to be so successful, as it did not take long before the pandemic caused financial markets to plummet and also inflicted a downturn on some of Stena’s activities,” says Peter Claesson, Director of Finance.
In April and May, Stena Finance worked intensively to further strengthen liquidity, in order to meet the challenges faced by the Group. “Among other things, we sought to map how much liquidity we needed – and which additional safety margins were required taking into account the impact of the pandemic. The aim was to achieve financial stability,” comments Peter Claesson.
FINANCING OF NEWBUILDINGS
During the year, Stena Finance also continued to work on the financing of nine vessels in total, ordered from yards in China by various Stena business units. “Each and every one of these vessels is an extensive investment. Despite tougher conditions in the loan market, we achieved good financing solutions,” Peter Claesson comments.
“Thanks to the measures taken during the year we’ve managed to ensure good working conditions for a long time to come. Our financial strategy to focus on high liquidity has proved its worth. As always, the focus going forward is on strong liquidity, positive cash flows and continuing to work to achieve the best possible returns on our financial assets,” he continues.