Ship Finance Entering the Car Carrier Business at “Attractive” Price

Ship Finance owns a fleet of 62 vessels comprised of suezmaxs, VLCCs, containerships, bulkers, chemical tankers, and offshore vessels and rigs. Photo: Ship Finance

Ship Finance Limited  (NYSE: SFL) today said it has added car carriers to its fleet with the purchase of two vessels at a “very attractive” purchase price.

The two vessels are Japanese-built with a capacity of approximately 6,500 car equivalent units (CEU) and were built in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Ship Finance says that the acquisition of the vessels is in combination with five-year charters with a logistics company publicly listed in Asia, which will add approximately $85 million to Ship Finance’s charter backlog.

“We are very pleased to expand our long-standing relationship with one of the premier logistics companies in Asia,” said Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS of the acquisition. “The purchase price is very attractive compared to replacement cost for similar high specification assets, and there will be an immediate positive cashflow effect for the Company already in the fourth quarter.”

 The vessels will be paid for by a combination of equity and loans and Ship Finance says it has already received indications for 70% financing of the purchase price at favorable terms. The aggregate net cash flow after estimated operating expenses, interests and loan amortization is projected to be approximately $4.8 million in aggregate per year, or approximately 20% annual return on invested equity during the charter period.
The vessels are expected to be delivered in October and November 2012.
Ship Finance International has an operating fleet of 62 vessels and rigs, not including the two car carriers listed here, and has contracted to acquire seven additional newbuildings.