Massive Ship Order in China

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

While banks keep lending tight, a massive $5 billion order in China should mark the official turnaround of shipbuilding's fortunes, as private equity in the form of The Carlyle Group and Tiger Group Investments Partner have teamed with Seaspan Corporation, the Washington Family, Gerry Wang and Graham Porter to order more than $5 billion in new ships. Coupled with the recent announcement by Maersk and Daewoo to build a series of 10 of the world's largest containerships, it is fair to assume that the shipbuilding slump is coming to an end.

The new joint venture of global shipping and finance experts has formed a company that will work to acquire more than $5 billion in container, dry bulk, tanker vessels and other shipping assets to capitalize on increasing demand in the shipping sector. The company will commence business immediately and expects to deploy up to $900 million in equity capital during the next five years. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.
The company will primarily focus on bringing together Chinese shipbuilders, lenders and state-owned companies to support China’s desire to increase the amount of cargo it controls. The company will be led by Gerry Wang and Graham Porter, who together have more than 50 years experience in the shipping industry and finance, primarily in Asia.
Seaspan Corporation, along with Tiger’s long-term partners, the Washington Family, will solely invest in container vessels purchased by the newly-formed company.
Mr. Wang said, “There is increasing desire among Chinese state-owned entities to control the ships that transport their goods around the world. We are confident that our long-standing relationships amongst the world’s shipbuilders, charterers and financiers, particularly in the PRC, will allow us to continue to successfully execute our growth model. We are excited to partner with The Carlyle Group, whose remarkable global platform and relationship network adds an important means of value creation as we source and execute transactions.”
Greg Ledford, Managing Director and head of Carlyle’s Industrial and Transportation team, said, “This is a creative solution that combines Carlyle’s extensive transportation experience and established Asia business with the shipping expertise and leadership of Gerry and Graham.”
Yi Luo, Managing Director of Carlyle’s Asia Buyout group, said, “We believe there is a compelling opportunity to serve Asia’s continuing growth in demand for shipping capacity and are pleased to partner with Gerry and Graham, who have a track record of success in the region.”
Carlyle’s equity contribution will come from Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Asia Partners III.
Deutsche Bank served as exclusive financial advisor to Carlyle and Tiger in establishing the joint venture. Latham & Watkins LLP served as counsel to Carlyle, and Shearman & Sterling LLP served as counsel to Tiger, in connection with the transaction.

 
 

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