Costamare Files $260 Million IPO

Costamare Files $260 Million IPO

Costamare, the Greek charter container ship owner, plans to raise up to $260 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The family-owned company expects its offering of 15.3 million common shares to be priced between $15 and $17 per share, it said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Oct. 20.

Costamare said it plans to use the expected net proceeds of $193 million from the offering to repay debt and buy ships.

"We plan to use the proceeds of the offering to further expand and renew our fleets," the company said. "We believe that this is a favorable time to acquire newbuilds as well as high quality second hand vessels."

Costamare currently owns 41 containerships with a combined capacity of 211,882 20-foot equivalent units.

The company, which had locked in charter revenue of at least $1.7 billion at the end of June, said its three largest customers by revenue are Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., and Cosco. Those lines are No. 1, No. 2, and No. 7 on the JOC list of the world’s Top 15 Container Fleet Operators.

Costamare confirmed it recently ordered three 9,000 TEU container ships in China, each costing $95.1 million, for delivery in 2013-14. The vessels will be chartered to MSC for ten years at a daily rate of $43,000.

It has an option, which must be exercised by December 24, 2010, for three more 9,000 TEU ships costing $96.1 million each.

Costamare revealed in September it had acquired four second hand 3,511 TEU ships built in 1990/92 for $11.25 million each.

Costamare will join several other NYSE-listed charter container ship companies including Vancouver-based Seaspan, Greek owner Danaos and London-headquartered Global Ship Lease.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.