Rickmers Holding, parent of the Rickmers Group of shipping companies, announced plans to issue a corporate bond of up to 200 million euros ($260 million) as it moves to tap new sources of finance.
Proceeds from the notes, which have a five-year maturity and an annual coupon of between 8.5 percent and 9.125 percent, will serve growth and refinancing in equal proportion, the Hamburg-based group said.
“A structural change is taking place in the way shipping companies will be able to finance their businesses,” Rickmers CEO Ron Widdows said.
The traditional sources of equity and debt financing that German shipowners used to build a large portion of the world container ship fleet are no longer available. “So positioning to attract new investors and access new sources of financing is critical,” Widdows said.
“In the past few years, we have aligned our internal structures to be fit for the capital market, and now with the bond, we are taking the next step in corporate financing,” Deputy CEO and CFO Ignace Van Meenen said.
In December, Rickmers teamed up with U.S.-based Oaktree Capital Management to order eight “eco” container ships in a ground-breaking partnership between the shipowner and private equity in response to the demise of traditional ship finance.
Rickmers, which is active in container, breakbulk, heavy-lift and project cargo shipping, grew net earnings to 22.5 million euros ($29.3 million) in 2012 from 13.8 million euros ($17.9 million) a year earlier.
Operating profit jumped to 114.7 million euros ($149 million) from 90.5 million euros ($117.7 million), and revenue increased to 618.3 million euros ($804 million) from 574.3 million euros ($746.6 million).