Back to basics

Some of the industry’s brightest stars took centre stage at the Marine Money Week conference in New York Wednesday where attendees were schooled about the evolution of ship finance.

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Peter Evensen, the chief executive of Teekay Corp, stressed the importance of examining the past before exploring the present and predicting the future.

“To understand where you are going you have to take a look at where you’ve been,” he said before shedding light on what he believes to be the recipe for success at any point in the cycle.

“It comes down to three basic things,” Evensen explained. “Buying and selling assets at the right time, operating vessels safely and efficiently and financing with competitively priced capital.”

The executive urged owners to forge alliances with counterparties that boast different skill sets than their own and noted his own companies are on the lookout for more “financial partners”.

“At Teekay [success] is not just about our own skill sets, it’s about how we marry them with the skill sets of others," he continued, adding: "It’s about partnerships, not just capital, that is how you grow.”

Jeffrey Pribor, the managing director of Jefferies’ maritime unit, spoke about the current state of the capital markets and argued that the “window” is still open for prospective issuers in New York.

“When people say the IPO window is closed, except for [issuers that operate gas-carriers], I tell them ‘no’ and remind them that the debt markets are wide open too,” he said.

“Its [not that the window is closed] it’s a question of value," the industry veteran continued. "People right now don’t want to go out [and issue shares] at below NAV (net asset value).”

Pribor said freight rates are starting to “catch up” with asset values in many core segments, which suggests that he believes there will be an uptick in the number of owners looking to tap the capital markets in the months ahead.

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Teekay Corp

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