SFL adds ships, pursues charters
Bermuda-based SFL Corporation Ltd has agreed to acquire two 14,000 TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent) container vessels in combination with charters to a leading container line.
SFL said: “The vessels are modern eco-design built in 2013 and 2014 with approximately 14,000 TEU carrying capacity, similar to four vessels in our fleet today.”
The company expects to take delivery of the new vessels in the third quarter. The purchase price was not disclosed.
SFL has already received financing indications at attractive terms and the balance will be funded by cash at hand.
The new vessels are employed on time charters until 2023 and 2024, respectively, and will be available for new charter opportunities thereafter.
The company expects to initiate discussions for new charters well in advance of expiry of the existing charters.
It said the EBITDA contribution from the two vessels was approximately $29 million per year, until expiry of existing charters.
At the beginning of 2018, SFL agreed to lease finance a fleet of 18 vintage feeder container vessels between 1,100 and 4,400 TEU to a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.
The vessels are now 25 years old on average and MSC will exercise repurchase options for these vessels in the third quarter.
Net cash proceeds after repayment of associated debt is estimated to be approximately $40 million and will be reinvested in new assets, including the two 14,000 TEU container vessels.
Ole B Hjertaker, chief executive officer of SFL Management AS, said: "We are excited to add these 14,000 TEU container vessels to our fleet.
“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.
“The acquisition of these modern eco-design container ships coincides with the disposal of older less efficient vessels and demonstrates our commitment to further improve our carbon footprint pursuant to our ESG strategy.”
SFL is one of the world’s largest ship-owning companies. Their fleet of more than 80 vessels is split between container vessels, bulkers, tankers and offshore drilling rigs. The company has paid dividends every quarter since its initial listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004.