EuropeFinance and InsuranceTankers

Euronav seals sale and leaseback agreement for four VLCCs

Euronav has entered into a five-year sale and leaseback agreement for four VLCC vessels with investment vehicles advised by Wafra Capital Partners, a Kuwaiti backed private equity partnership.

The four VLCCs are the Nautilus (2006), Navarin (2007), Neptun (2007) and Nucleus (2007). The transaction assumes a net en-bloc purchase price of $186m.

The transaction produced a capital gain of about $37m for the Belgian tanker operator. After repayment of the existing debt, the transaction generated in excess of $100m free cash. The vessels were delivered to their new owners, the investment vehicles advised by Wafra Capital Partners on December 22.

Euronav has leased back the four vessels, which were built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC), under a five year bareboat contract at an average rate of $22,000 per day per vessel and at the expiry of each contract the vessels will be redelivered to their new owners.

Pareto Securities advised Euronav on this transaction.

Hugo De Stoop CFO, said: “Euronav is very pleased to have executed this transaction in what have been challenging conditions for asset values in shipping markets. This transaction has the advantage of increasing our liquidity position for 2017 whilst maintaining our exposure to a market that, we believe, will be interesting over the next five years.”

Wafra Capital Partners is a US registered investment adviser that is indirectly beneficially majority owned by an autonomous agency of the government of Kuwait. It principally focuses on structuring and advising investment vehicles on a Shari’ah-compliant basis in the asset-based and structured finance arenas.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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