MPC Capital AG, an international asset and investment manager, has initiated an investment company with a focus on small-size container ships between 1,000 and 3,000 TEU.
The newly formed 'MPC Container Ships AS' raised USD 100 million in equity in a private placement towards international institutional investors and family offices in the Norwegian capital market. Following its corporate investment strategy, MPC Capital is a co-investor.
Based on the current pipeline exceeding 100 vessels, capital proceeds are expected to be fully deployed within 2017. An initial fleet of attractive assets has already been secured. Among other partners, MPC Capital's subsidiaries, Ahrenkiel Steamship and Contchart, are offering technical and commercial management services
to the fleet.
First signs of a recovery are currently seen in the container shipping market, with freight rates above 2016 levels and charter rates trending up in the first quarter of 2017. Market analysts, Maritime Strategies International
(MSI), projects a market-wide recovery, while highlighting that supply and demand dynamics for the small-size segment are particularly favourable as they provide insulation against downside risks.
Overcapacity in the container market has led to a historic downturn in charter rates and asset values. Analysts therefore see attractive investment opportunities in the market - a view shared by MPC Capital.
Ulf Holländer, CEO of MPC Capital AG, comments: "The transaction marks a further milestone in the history of the MPC Group. It shows our vital competence to structure innovative deals in the shipping business. And it underpins our ability to identify attractive investment opportunities in niche sectors that are ahead of markets and to connect investors to this strategy."
The shares of MPC Container Ships AS initially will be registered on the Norwegian OTC list. It is intended to list the shares on a reputable stock exchange within 2017. Fearnley Securities AS acted
as Sole Bookrunner and Manager on the transaction, while Fearnley Project Finance AS acted as Selling Agent.