Israeli shipping line ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM) confirmed today the purchase of seven secondhand containerships this month for a total price of approximately $320 million.
The ships were purchased in a number of separate transactions and include five 4,250 TEU and two 1,100 TEU vessels built between 2007 and 2009.
ZIM made its long-awaited initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange back in January and has since seen its share price soar from $15 to nearly $50 currently as container shipping lines rake in profits thanks to strong consumer demand that has contributed to port congestion and soaring freight rates.
The acquisition is somewhat unusual for ZIM considering the company prides itself on being “asset light,” operating a fleet of close to 100 ships that are nearly all chartered-in.
“Since going public our focus has been to allocate capital to strengthen our commercial prospects and create long-term shareholder value,” said Eli Glickman, ZIM President & CEO. “With the opportunistic acquisition of these much-needed vessels, we have drawn on our strong cash position and our agile approach to maintain and expand our operating fleet to meet growing customer demand, while remaining committed to delivering industry superior profitability. Going forward, we will continue to complement our primary strategy of chartering-in the vast majority of our vessels, by selectively acquiring second-hand tonnage when the appropriate opportunities arise.”
ZIM recently reported second quarter net profit of $888 million and significantly raised its full-year 2021 EBITDA guidance to between $4.8 billion and $5.2 billion. After paying a $2.00 per share dividend to shareholders in September, the company has reiterated its plan to distribute an annual dividend of 30-50% of its 2021 net income in 2022.
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