Global Ship Lease (GSL) has announced a purchase agreement for four Panamax container vessels with a capacity of 5,470TEU and an average age of approximately 11 years for a price of US$148 million.
GSL has agreed with a global liner operator, whose name has not been disclosed, for the ships chartering for a firm period of three years each, with a charterer’s option for a period of an additional three years.
The ultra-high reefer container ships are scheduled for delivery during the third quarter of 2021, while GSL expects to fund the purchase price with cash on hand and senior secured debt.
With these additions, the company's fleet will comprise 66 vessels with a total capacity of 344,650TEU.
George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, highlighted the company's focus on ultra-high refrigerated container capacity. "Each ship has an existing capacity for 1,200 refrigerated containers – double the average for ships in the 5,000-7,000TEU size segment – and electrical power available for more than 2,000 refrigerated containers; so, these are top-tier ships offering clear upside potential following the initial charters," he explained.
Yourkoukos went on to note, "adding these four ships to our existing high-reefer ECO 6,900TEU ships means that Global Ship Lease will control over a quarter of the global high-reefer fleet up to 7,000TEU capable of carrying 1,200 or more refrigerated containers."
During the three-year firm period, the vessels are expected to generate aggregate adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately US$124.4 million,