US tanker owner International Seaways has sealed refinancing for six modern scrubber-fitted VLCCs through a sale and leaseback deal with Norwegian owner Ocean Yield. The deal comes with 10-year bareboat charters with purchase obligations at expiry.
Delivery of the vessels to Ocean Yield should take place during Q4 2021. International Seaways will bank around $375m, which will be used to replace the current $228m Sinosure facility, with the balance intended for general corporate purposes. Upon completion, the New York-listed company expects the refinancing to generate incremental liquidity of some $150m.
The Oslo-listed Ocean Yield announced the move earlier this month without disclosing any further details of the transaction. The VLCCs in question are Seaways Tybee, Seaways Triton, Seaways Cape Henry, Seaways Hendricks, Seaways Liberty, and Seaways Diamond Head. Five were built in 2016 and one in 2015.
International Seaways completed its merger with Diamond S Shipping in July, creating the second-largest US-listed tanker company by vessel count, with approximately 100 ships.
“Reflecting our enhanced capabilities following our recent transformational merger, we are pleased to enter into this opportunistic and favorable refinancing ahead of the anticipated tanker market recovery, which is beginning to emerge,” said Lois K. Zabrocky, International Seaways president and CEO.