NMM boosts box fleet

Navios Maritime Partners (Navios) made waves on Wall Street Tuesday after posting a second-quarter profit and announcing plans to acquire a pair of containerships for $117.7m.

In the New York-quoted company’s earnings report it said the vessels boast carrying capacities of 8,200-teu a piece and were built by a South Korean yard in 2006.

While the units weren’t identified by name Navios pointed out that both of the containerships are scheduled for delivery in the fourth-quarter of 2014.

The operator noted that the vessels have been chartered out for a minimum of four years. Each will command a rate of approximately $34,266 per day when the fixtures commence.

Brokers suggest the vessels are the 8,209-teu post-panamax YM Utmost and YM Unison (both built 2006).

As TradeWinds has reported, the vessels were sold by Yang Ming Transport at $58m as part of a leaseback deal which was worth $33,000 daily over a 45 month period. The buyer had not previously been identified.

The company claims it has “sufficient cash on its balance sheet to fund the total acquisition cost” but admitted it may elect to finance a portion of the purchase price with debt financing at terms similar to some of its existing facilities.

In a statement chief executive Angeliki Frangou applauded the sale-and-purchase deal, which she billed as a testament to her company’s disciplined approach to expansion and “ability to transact at favorable pricing”.

“The transaction will increase our distribution capability, while protecting against significant residual value exposure,” she continued, adding:

“Our initial investment would be almost fully repaid when the charters are completed, and we will have well over ten years of useful life remaining on the vessels.”

The commentary came as Navios turned in a profit of $30m for the three months to 30 June, versus a gain of $19.5m in the comparable stretch of 2013, as revenue rose to $55.2m from $49.2m year-on-year.