Global Ship Lease, Inc., a containership charter owner, announced that it has agreed to acquire three 2004-built, 7,849 TEU containerships for an aggregate purchase price of $48.5 million. Upon delivery during the second quarter, the first vessel will commence a five-year charter with Maersk Line. The two other vessels are expected to be delivered during the third quarter and will commence three-year charters with Maersk Line, with two consecutive one-year extensions at the charterer’s option. The three vessels are expected to generate Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $32 million in aggregate for the median firm period, and a total of $47 million if all options are exercised. With these additions, the Company’s fleet will comprise 41 vessels with a total capacity of 224,162 TEU.
The Company has secured new senior secured bank debt to finance a portion of the purchase price. The new debt is on market terms with a maturity of late 2024.
George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, commented, “These acquisitions represent attractive additions to the GSL fleet, extending our collaboration with the world’s largest container liner company and meaningfully expanding our long-term charter coverage. We are building on recently announced multi-year charters for our high-specification vessels with best-in-class slot costs. With anticipated net fleet contraction over the near-term in the majority of the sub-segments represented by our fleet, combined with consistent demand growth for these workhorse vessels, GSL is in an excellent position to continue creating significant shareholder value moving forward.”
Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, commented, “Already during 2019, we have added almost $130 million of contracted EBITDA to our extensive backlog, ensuring that the Company will experience multiple years of benefit from the strong market for mid-sized and smaller vessels. Our integrated management platform and access to capital positioned us to seize this uniquely attractive opportunity, and we intend to continue pursuing additional opportunities to expand our fleet, increase our contracted revenue stream, optimize our balance sheet, and opportunistically lower our cost of capital.”