Second sale-and-leaseback agreement provides immediately accretive earnings growth; acquisition expected to generate annual EBITDA of approximately $9.4 million
Global Ship Lease, Inc. (GSL) has agreed to acquire an 8,063 TEU containership from a leading container liner company for a purchase price of $53.6 million, the company announced today.
The 2004-built vessel is expected to deliver in March 2015, subject to the completion of customary additional documentation and closing conditions. Upon delivery, the vessel will be immediately time chartered back to the container liner company for a period of 36 to 39 months, at charterer's option, at a gross rate of $34,500 per day, for total contracted revenue of between $37.7 and $40.9 million. The charter is expected to generate annual EBITDA of approximately $9.4 million. The purchase price will be settled using existing liquidity, which includes cash on hand and the $40 million revolving credit facility put in place in March 2014. With the delivery of this vessel, the Company's fleet will comprise 19 vessels with a total capacity of 82,475 TEU.
Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, stated, "Following our successful sale and leaseback of the OOCL Tianjin in late 2014, we are pleased to have agreed to a similar transaction for a similar vessel. With this second acquisition, we have further enhanced Global Ship Lease's earnings power on an immediately accretive basis and substantially increased our contracted revenue stream. The new charter adds more than $9 million to annual EBITDA. In combination with the acquisition of the OOCL Tianjin, we have increased our EBITDA generation capacity by more than 20% since the third quarter of 2014."
Webber continued, "After a transformative 2014 during which we successfully refinanced a restrictive debt facility, strengthened our balance sheet, extended multiple charters, diversified our charter portfolio and embarked on the path to fleet growth with a highly accretive vessel acquisition, we have started 2015 with a similarly attractive vessel acquisition and considerable momentum going forward.
“We believe that additional acquisition opportunities exist in the current low asset value environment, and Global Ship Lease's financial strength and long-term, fixed rate charters put us in a position to continue seizing those opportunities with high-quality counterparties.
“Our strategic focus remains on accretive growth and the initiation of a dividend. We are highly focused on being able to securely pass the relevant financial test during 2015 to be able to initiate a meaningful and sustainable dividend for our common shareholders."