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Singapore shipping trust Rickmers Maritime has confirmed it has sold a 7-year-old panamax containership for scrap in order to pay down bank debt, marking the youngest containership ever sold for demolition.
The company said Monday it has reached a deal with Commerzbank in Singapore to sell the 4,250 teu India Rickmers and use the proceeds to partially repay senior loan facilities extended by Commerzbank to Rickmers. Under the agreement Commerzbank has agreed to waive repayment of a material portion of the remaining debt owed under the facility.
Last month Rickmers denied media reports that it had sold the 2009-built India Rickers for recycling, saying negotiations to repay debts were ongoing.
A spokesman for Rickmers confirmed to gCaptain that the vessel has in fact been sold for demolition.
India Rickmers was delivered in April 2009 by Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China. The ship was previously known as Hanjin Newport.
The website VesselsValue.com last month valued the India Rickmers at just over scrap value at $5.87 million. In 2016 the vessel fell 62% in value, primarily due to the widening of the Panama Canal, according to the website.
The India Rickmers beats the Viktoria Wulff (ex MSC Firenze), a 4,546 teu panamax built in 2006, as the world’s youngest containership ever sold for scrap. The Viktoria Wulff was sold in September at the age of 10 after its German owner went bankrupt.
Rickmers Maritime now has a fleet of 15 panamax containerships with an average age of 8 years.
The trust said it would update its noteholders and unitholder if there are any more developments.
In November Rickmers said it faced the risk of going out of business after it missed paying a S$4.26 million interest payment on a S$100 million ($71 million) bond that it has been trying to restructure.
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