Norway’s Höegh Autoliners has exercised an option to buy back the 2009-built car carrier Hoegh St Petersburg from Pioneer Leasing, a company controlled by Credit Agricole.
The Oslo-based firm is paying $29.3m for the 7,850 ceu vessel, estimated by three different brokers as worth $70m by the end of Q3. The vessel was one of a series of ships Höegh built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering (DSME) between 2004 and 2010. Höegh sold it to Pioneer Leasing in 2014 and chartered it back to Höegh Autoliners under a bareboat lease agreement.
The ownership of the vessel will be transferred to the company in Q4. This is the third bareboat chartered vessel the Höegh has declared options to purchase so far in 2022 after Höegh Beijing and Höegh Tracer.
The company said the move would reduce “the long-term cash capacity cost for the vessel as well as realise additional value gains from purchase options for leased vessels”.
“All our deep-sea operated vessels are owned (29 vessels) or on charters with purchase options (5 vessels),” said Per Øivind Rosmo, finance chief of Höegh Autoliners, adding that this gives the company limited exposure to the “currently tight and expensive timecharter market.”