Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE: SFL) (“Ship Finance” or the “Company”) announces that it has entered into lease financing agreements (each, a “Lease Financing”) totaling $400 million with an Asian-based institution to finance four 14,000 TEU container vessels acquired in May 2018. The vessels are employed under long term time charters to Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. (“Evergreen”) until 2024, with options to extend the charters by 18 additional months.
Each Lease Financing has a term of nearly nine years, with an option to purchase the vessel back after six years, around expiry of the firm period of the charters to Evergreen. A portion of the proceeds from the Lease Financings will be used to refinance the $320 million unsecured loan facility arranged at the vessels’ delivery in May. Lease Financings for three of the vessels have already been finalized, and the last vessel is expected to close within the next two weeks.
The interest rate of the Lease Financings are very attractive, and the transactions free up $80 million of investment capacity, which is expected to be deployed in new investments.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, said in a comment: “These financing transactions demonstrate our continued ability to attract highly competitive capital. Ship Finance’s strong profile in the maritime financing market provides us access to a broad range of attractive financing solutions. This in turn allows us to create long term value for our shareholders and support our dividend distribution capacity.”