Ship Finance International
Limited announced the agreement to acquire the 2003 built vessel Montemar Europa. This acquisition includes an existing time-charter to a subsidiary of Compania Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) of Chile, the largest liner shipping
company in South America.
The net purchase price will be approximately $32.5m and delivery to Ship Finance is estimated to take place in late August or early September. The charter to CSAV expires in October/November 2008, and the net time-charter rate is approximately $13,500 per day.
Recently, the charter market for modern 1700 TEU container vessels
has strengthened significantly, and Montemar Europa will be marketed for medium to long-term contracts following the expiry of the existing charter in 2008.
The financing of the acquisition will be through cash and existing credit lines, and the transaction is expected to be immediate accretive to earnings and dividend capacity. The investment verifies the Company's strategy to grow and diversify the asset base, and we anticipate further growth opportunities in the container segment.