Danaos has capitalised “on depressed asset prices in the resale market” by buying three post-panamax containerships through a new Caymans-registered joint venture (JV), Gemini Shipholdings.
The Greek owner is Gemini’s majority shareholder with a stake of 49%, and has so far invested $7.35m in the JV company.
The acquisition comprises the Korean-built vessels NYK Lodestar (6,422 teu, built 2001) and Suez Canal (5,610 teu, built 2002); and the Japanese-built Genoa (5,544 teu, built 2002).
NYK Lodestar is on a two-year timecharter to NYK, the seller of the vessel, and was fixed at “an above-market rate”, Danaos said.
Suez Canal and Genoa were both sold by Japan’s K Line. Both vessels are on seven-year bareboat charters to Gemini, which include a purchase obligation at the end of the respective charters. Danaos said it anticipates charter agreements for both vessels will be entered into “in the near future”.
Danaos did not specify what it paid for the vessels, but said they were acquired at “attractive discounts” to their market values. VesselsValue.com estimates their market values to be $19.25m, $19.43m and $19.32m respectively.
“These acquisitions were made at a discount to the vessels’ present market value and demonstrate our ability to source accretive acquisitions through our strong relationships in the shipping and lending communities,” Dr John Coustas, chairman and CEO of Danaos, said in a statement today.
“We are pleased to announce this new venture, which will allow Danaos to resume its growth strategy as weakness in the containership market presents compelling value. It is important to stress that we are doing this without diluting our shareholders.”
As majority shareholder, Danaos has the right to purchase all of the beneficial interest in Gemini for fair market value at any time after December 31, 2018, or earlier if the transaction is permitted under its credit facilities.