02-05-2017

Container ships: ..nights when the wolves aren’t silent

Containership

It has been another very active week for the containership market with several of the recent news related to Greek tonnage providers. Navios Maritime Partners LP, with exposure both to the dry bulk and containership sectors, plans to acquire the remaining containership fleet of Rickmers Maritime. As the Singapore-based owner failed to secure a restructuring agreement with its creditors, fourteen of its containerships fall within the 3,400 to 4,250 Teu range. On average, the vessels are close to 10 years old and the understood combined price of the deal exceeds USD 112 Mn.

Navios Partners will finance the acquisition through a USD 20 Mn equity investment and an additional secured loan. Several closing conditions have to be met before the deal is finalised. Five 4,250 Teu ships currently chartered by MOL will be transferred mid of next month, with the remaining nine ships to follow some weeks later. At the moment, four of Rickmers’ units are still laid up. All fourteen vessels are under certain senior secured loan facilities extended to Rickmers Maritime, with the total outstanding amount estimated above USD 250 Mn. The sale of the ships will not cover all the secured debt obligations, which means that unsecured creditors and equity investors might have to recover the amount owed.

The Rickmers Group controls 34.2 per cent of Rickmers Maritime, but is expected to write off all of its current investment in the trust. Last week, Rickmers Group announced that it reached an understanding with its creditors to restructure its debt. Bertram Rickmers will reduce its stake from 100 to 24.9 per cent, with several creditors to take over all the group’s bond liabilities by acquiring the remaining stake.

Focusing on recent SnP transactions, Cypriot interests (Cyprus Maritime) is understood to have bought the Post-Panamax “BREMEN BELLE” of 5.9 k Teu and built in 2007. No price has yet been disclosed.

Undisclosed are also the buyers of three Panamaxes, the “HANJIN SCARLET”, the “I WHITE” and the “I INDIGO”, all of which are 4.66 k Teu and built in 2013/4. The price for each is believed to be at the low USD 20 Mn range.

Greek buyers acquired the “MAREN S”, a feeder of 1.1 k Teu built in 2005. The vessel is geared with two 45t cranes and the price agreed is at the high end of the USD 3-4 Mn range. Her sister ship, the “CONRAD S” of similar size but built a year later was sold for USD 5.5 Mn to German interests. The unit is geared with two 45t cranes as well.

The 2000-built “CREMON” of 1.7 k Teu was sold to undisclosed interests at a price of USD 3.8 Mn. The SS is due in Nov-20. The 1997-built “EVIDENCE” of 1.1 k Teu was acquired by Hong Kong based interests for USD 1.2 Mn with SS due in May-17.

In the demolition market, the 2003-built “AL ENDURANCE” of 4.6 k Teu was sold for scrap at a price of USD 390 per Ldt or USD 8.75 Mn, to Indian breakers as-is Davao. Bangladeshi breakers acquired the 1993-built “ARMADA PERSADA” of 1 k Teu for USD 365 per Ldt or USD 4.6 Mn.

Source: Fotios Katsoulas, Shipping Data Manager/ Fleet & Newbuilding Analyst. Affinity (Shipping) LLP

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