Costamare, the NYSE-listed container ship owner, announced the signing of a contract for two new vessels with capacity of 9,000 20-foot equivalent units and the acquisition of three smaller secondhand ships.
The Athens-based company said the two 9,000-TEU vessels, to be built by South Korea's Sungdong Shipbuilding for delivery at the end of 2012, will be chartered to Mediterranean Shipping Co. for 10 years.
Costamare said the cost of the ships and the charter rate are similar to those for three 9,000-TEU ships contracted recently at the Shanghai Jiangnan yard and leased to Geneva-based MSC. Those ships, which will be delivered in 2013-14, cost $95.1 million each and will earn $43,000 a day.
MSC is No. 2 on the JOC list of Top 15 Container Fleet Operators
Costamare chief financial officer Gregory Zikos said the two Sungdong ships will generate revenue of more than $300 million.
The company, which raised $160 million in an initial public offering in November, will finance the two ships from its own funds and a new credit facility.
Costamare also bought three 2,000-TEU ships built in the early 1990s for $30 million, which will take over the MSC charters of three mid-1970s built 1,600-TEU vessels, which have been sold for $21 million.
"With an incremental cost of approximately only $3 million per vessel, we are substituting older assets with three vessels 14 to 15 years younger, which are larger and have better specifications, enhancing our earnings potential and rechartering upside," Zikos said.
In January, Costamare bought three 1990s-built ships of 1,162 TEUs to 2,020 TEUs capacity for $25.3 million.
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