SEA CONTAINERS TO ACQUIRE BOXES FROM GERMAN LESSOR

SEA CONTAINERS TO ACQUIRE BOXES FROM GERMAN LESSOR

Sea Containers Ltd., the London container-leasing and shipping group, has agreed to buy the container fleet operated by a German container-leasing company.

The deal, worth $77 million, will virtually double the size of Sea Container's fleet of dry-cargo containers.Sea Containers will acquire 56,000 20-foot equivalent container units from CLOU Container Leasing GmbH of Hamburg. CLOU's lease and purchase contracts also will be sold to Sea Containers.

Sea Containers virtually withdrew from dry-cargo container leasing in 1990 after selling its fleet to Tiphook PLC, another U.K. leasing company, during a takeover battle. The company retained control of its fleet of refrigerated and specialized containers. Both of the companies trying to buy Sea Containers subsequently ran into financial difficulties.

The acquisition of CLOU'S container fleet will increase Sea Container's total fleet of dry containers to 116,000 TEUs, bringing the number to almost two-thirds the strength at the time of the 1990 sale.