Global Ship Lease (GSL) has agreed to acquire 12 container ships from Borealis Finance LLC with an average size of approximately 3,000TEU and a weighted average age of 11 years for a total price of US$233.9 million.
The ships, which are scheduled for delivery during the third quarter of 2021, are all on charter with global liner operators, with remaining charter duration of three to 25 months.
With these additions, GSL's fleet will comprise 62 container vessels with a total capacity of 322,770TEU, making the company the eighth largest non-operating owner of container ships in terms of TEU capacity.
"These additions to the GSL fleet will increase our exposure to the workhorse feeder and handy size segments, which are currently commanding record-high charter rates stemming from strong demand and effectively full employment, and discussions are already underway to secure additional forward cover on terms reflecting these superior market conditions," commented George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease.
The London-headquartered ship owner expects to fund the purchase price with cash on hand, the proceeds of new bank debt, and the issuance of US$35 million of its existing 8% Senior Unsecured Notes to the sellers.
"The vessels have an appealing combination of existing medium-term charter cover and upside potential in the relative near term from charter renewals in one of the strongest ever container ship charter markets, in which both charter rates and durations are significantly above the levels of recent years," added Youroukos.
Clarksons Platou Securities AS acted as sole advisor to GSL, which was represented by Seward & Kissel LLP as legal counsel.