SFL swoops for seven

Ship Finance International (SFL) has moved quickly to boost its fleet just days after cancelling a pair of newbuildings.
Ole Hjertaker

Ole Hjertaker, CEO of SFL.

The John Fredriksen-controlled shipowning venture has dipped into the German KG market for seven 2002-built boxships.

The 4,100-teu ships come with long-term charters to a leading container line which holds purchase options on all seven exercisable after an average of 5.4 years, it said today.

Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO, said: "This transaction originates from the German KG market, and while the exact terms of the deal is confidential, the acquisition price is seen as very attractive.

“We have monitored the German market closely after the financial crisis that started in 2008/2009, but there have been relatively few transactions so far where we have seen a combination of quality assets, attractive prices and long-term chartering opportunities."

Santa Rs

SFL does not name the ships involved which it says should each add around $10m per year in ebitda for the duration of the charters.

However market sources suggest the vessels are the seven Santa-R-class boxships owned by Reederei Claus-Peter Offen on which insolvency proceedings began towards the end of last year.

As TradeWinds has reported the vessels, which are financed by MPC Capital, were thought to have been marketed for around $10m each.

The ships in question are the Santa Rafaela, Santa Rebecca, Santa Ricarda, Santa Roberta, Santa Romana, Santa Rosanna and Santa Rufina.

Recent charter rates are thought to be around $8,000 per day.

Patience wearing thin

Last week SFL canned a pair of 4,800-teu boxships at Shanghai Shipyard after their charterer cancelled the deals due to delays.

The company still has two units under construction at the yard though they are also delayed and have the threat of cancellation hanging over them.

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