John Fredriksen’s SFL Corporation is acquiring two 14,000 teu containerships from undisclosed owners and selling 18 vintage feeder boxships between 1,100 and 4,400 teu to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
The New York-listed firm said the two additions are modern eco-design built in 2013 and 2014, similar to four vessels in its fleet and employed on time charters until 2023 and 2024, respectively. Delivery of the new vessels is expected in the third quarter of this year. No price has been revealed.
SFL remarked it expects to initiate discussions for new charters well in advance of the expiry of the existing charters. The EBITDA contribution from the two vessels is around $29m per year, until the expiry of existing charters.
The vessels to be sold are part of the deal from 2018, when SFL agreed to lease finance 18 vintage feeder boxships to a subsidiary of MSC. The Swiss-headquartered containerline will exercise repurchase options for these vessels in the third quarter. The vessels are 25 years old on average, SFL said.
SFL estimates it will gain $40m of net cash proceeds after repayment of the associated debt, which will be reinvested in new assets, including the two 14,000 teu containerships.
Ole Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management, commented: “The acquisition of these modern eco-design containerships coincides with the disposal of older less efficient vessels and demonstrates our commitment to further improve our carbon footprint pursuant to our ESG strategy.
“Cash flow is immediate, and we believe the timing for when the vessels will be open for new charters in 2023/2024 could prove to be very attractive.”