GSL to acquire seven Post-Panamax containerships on multi-year charters
6,000 TEU containerships to be employed on three to five year charters with leading liner operators
Global Ship Lease, Inc. has agreed to purchase and charter back seven 6,000 TEU Post-Panamax containerships with an average age of approximately 20 years for an aggregate purchase price of $116 million.
The charters are to leading liner operators for a minimum firm period of 36 months each, followed by two one-year extensions at charterer’s option. The vessels are expected to generate aggregate Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $95 million over the average firm period of 3.1 years, implying a strongly accretive average Purchase Price / Annual Adjusted EBITDA multiple of approximately 4.0x. If all options are exercised, the vessels are expected to generate approximately $126 million of Adjusted EBITDA. With these additions, the Company’s fleet will comprise 50 vessels with a total capacity of 287,280 TEU.
The vessels are scheduled for phased delivery during the second and third quarters of 2021, at which time they will be renamed GSL Arcadia, GSL Dorothea, GSL Maria, GSL Melita, GSL MYNY, GSL Tegea and GSL Violetta. The Company expects to pay for the ships with approximately $40 million of cash on hand, with the balance provided by bank debt.
During the firm period of the contracted charters, the seven ships are expected to add approximately $29 million to annual Adjusted EBITDA, representing an increase of approximately 18% compared to Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months to September 30, 2020, add approximately $19 million to annual net income, based on today’s LIBOR, representing an increase of approximately 40% compared to normalized net income for the 12 months to September 30, 2020, and add approximately $0.53 to annual earnings per share, an increase of approximately 40% compared to Adjusted earnings per share for the 12 months to September 30, 2020.
George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, commented:
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of these seven Post-Panamax vessels, consistent with the accretive growth strategy we presented during our recent equity offering. Years of under-ordering in this critically important and in-demand segment have resulted in structural undersupply, with the negligible orderbook ensuring minimal or even negative net supply growth. We believe this transaction will deliver attractive financial returns with predictable contracted cashflows and low residual value risk.
Furthermore, it illustrates our return to accretive growth, leveraging our competitive advantages of strong industry relationships, track record of delivering safe and reliable service to our customers, and proven ability to manage older ships efficiently. Importantly, these charters also provide multi-year contracted cashflows to ensure strong, long-term coverage of our recently initiated quarterly dividend for common shareholders. Having completed the refinancing of our 2022 Notes and our recent equity offering, we are squarely focused on executing our accretive growth strategy and expect to make further progress in that regard.”