SFL Acquires Three VLCC Newbuildings
The international ship owning and chartering company Ship Finance International (SFL) announced that it has agreed to acquire three 300,000 dwt crude oil carriers, or VLCCs, currently under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea.
The Bermuda-headquartered company said that the net purchase price will be $180 million, or $60 million per vessel and they are expected to be delivered to SFL within the next two months.
The vessels were ordered in 2018 by affiliates of the Norwegian listed company Hunter Group, and have all the latest eco-design features, including exhaust gas cleaning systems. After delivery to SFL the vessels will immediately commence 5-year bareboat charters to Hunter with purchase options during the charter period.
The agreed purchase price is significantly below current broker estimates for VLCC resales, effectively providing SFL with a very attractive risk profile and the transaction will add more than $100 million to SFL’s fixed-rate charter backlog.
SFL will initially fund the acquisition from its cash position, but expect to finance a significant portion of the purchase price in the commercial bank market. The company has already received a term sheet on bank financing at very attractive terms which will significantly enhance the return on invested equity.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said: “In an environment where traditional bank financing for maritime companies is becoming increasingly scarce, this transaction highlights SFL’s unique position as a specialty financing company."
Hjertaker added: "With a versatile toolbox, including time charters, bareboat charters and senior financing structures, we are able to provide our customers with competitive tailor made solutions, whilst at the same time creating shareholder value on the back of our strong balance sheet and our unique access to attractively priced capital.”
SFL's fleet of more than 90 vessels is split between tankers, bulkers, container vessels and offshore assets.