The London-based Global Ship Lease (GSL) said that it is well-positioned as one of few publicly listed containership leasing companies to acquire attractive portfolios of ships, attract growth capital or find a complementary merger partner.
The containership charter owner has engaged Evercore to act as financial advisor to assist in reviewing strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value. GSL has successfully refinanced of all of the its indebtedness in October 2017 and with a strengthening market backdrop.
These alternatives include, among other things, a corporate acquisition, a business combination or a partnership, while continuing to develop vessel purchase opportunities.
, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, commented, "Following the completion of the $360 million bond issue due 2022, which significantly extended the maturity of our principal debt financing, as well as arranging the associated secured term loan, both of which were achieved on favorable terms, we believe now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. With the refinancing complete, our financial flexibility secured for the longer term, and our quality portfolio of multi-year charters continuing to provide consistent cash flows, GSL is all set for acquisition."
"In addition, with increased confidence in the container shipping industry's cyclical recovery, we will continue to focus on near-term opportunities to grow our fleet while we explore a broad range of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value," he added.
There can be no assurance that this strategic process will result in any transaction. The Company has not set a timetable for completion of the process, and it does not intend to comment further unless a specific transaction is approved by the Board of Directors, the review process is concluded or it is otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or required by law.
Global Ship Lease owns 18 vessels with a total capacity of 82,312 TEU and an average age, weighted by TEU capacity, at December 31, 2017 of 13.0 years. All 18 vessels are currently fixed on time charters, 16 of which are with CMA CGM
. The average remaining term of the charters at December 31, 2017 is 2.8 years or 3.1 years on a weighted basis, taking into account the charter extension recently agreed for GSL Tianjin.