Maritime Logistics Equity Partners (MLEP) is looking to acquire between 15 and 20 chemical tankers with a war chest of $150m-$250m it plans to raise following its recent shopping spree.
Launched by the Massachusetts-based Easterly Asset Management, MLEP has, so far, in its first tranche, acquired four ships built in 2007 and 2008. All four ships, namely the Easterly Beech Galaxy, Easterly Lime Galaxy, Easterly AS Omaria and Easterly AS Olivia, are 20,000 dwt Japanese-built stainless steel chemical tankers.
In its second tranche, MLEP said it plans to acquire all sizes of chemical tankers, including stainless and coated vessels of larger sizes such as MRs and handysize tankers, in response to industry trends, as well as a decline in the building of chemical tankers intended for the transport of bulk liquids such as palm oil, molasses, feedstock, and other commodities.
“There continues to be compelling opportunity to invest in pre-owned chemical tankers, given the limited supply and growing demand for the vessels, a low future orderbook for shipping construction and the expansion of chemical trade lanes,” said Darrell Crate, managing principal of Easterly and MLEP’s CEO. “We now know that the dislocation and subsequent investment opportunity is greater than we first thought, and not just in the stainless steel sub-sector, but also more broadly in other sized chemical tankers as well.”
The company is acquiring tankers built during a construction boom that peaked in 2008 and putting them out for hire through Womar’s tanker pools. “We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with MLEP and to build a long-lasting commercial asset management relationship,” added Hans Van der Zijde, CEO of Womar.