Global Ship Lease, Inc, a rapidly growing containership owner and the twentieth largest in the industry, announced it has agreed to acquire two 4,250 teu newbuildings from German interests for approximately $77 million per vessel. The purchase is subject to the completion of customary additional documentation and closing conditions. The two vessels, which are being built at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, a high quality ship yard and part of a publicly owned group, are scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010. Both vessels will be chartered to Zim Integrated Shipping Services Limited, a top 20 global liner operator, for a term of seven to eight years at a net rate of $28,000 per vessel per day. Including these vessels and the five vessels already contracted for delivery by the third quarter of 2009, Global Ship Lease’s fleet capacity will grow 106% to 74,797 teu with a total of 19 vessels deployed on long-term charters by the fourth quarter of 2010. The fleet’s weighted average age at the end of 2010 will be approximately 5.9 years.
Ian Webber, CEO of Global Ship Lease, said, “We are delighted to have begun the execution of our growth strategy during a momentous period for Global Ship Lease, which has included finalizing our merger and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. With this attractive acquisition, which meets our exacting return and growth criteria and matches the flow of funds from the exercise of our outstanding public warrants, we have diversified our high-quality customer base, expanded our modern fleet and increased our time charter coverage. By growing our secured revenue and cash flow streams, we have enhanced our ability to provide shareholders with dividends while actively pursuing additional growth opportunities. We remain committed to capitalizing upon our strong financial position, including our $800 million credit facility and cash proceeds from the exercise of our outstanding public warrants, to double our asset base over the next 12 to 18 months in order to take advantage of the positive long-term fundamentals in the containership industry.”
The acquisition is expected to be accretive to revenues, EBITDA, distributable cash flow and dividends upon delivery of the two vessels. Global Ship Lease expects that these two new vessels will increase total annual revenues by approximately $20.2 million and EBITDA by approximately $15.0 million, beginning in 2011. With these two acquisitions, the Company’s total contracted revenue is now $1.8 billion. Global Ship Lease expect to finance the acquisition through borrowings under the $800 million credit facility or from the proceeds of approximately 40 million public warrants, which have an exercise price of $6.00 and expire in August 2010.
The Company filed its warrant registration statement on September 11, 2008 and anticipates that it will declare the starting dividend of $0.23 per Class A common share in the near future.