Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE: SFL) (“SFL” or the “Company”) announces that it has agreed to acquire three 300,000 dwt crude oil carriers, or VLCCs, currently under construction at DSME in Korea. The net purchase price will be $180 million, or $60 million per vessel and they are expected to be delivered to SFL within the next two months.
The vessels were ordered in 2018 by affiliates of the Norwegian listed company Hunter Group ASA (“Hunter”), and have all the latest eco-design features, including exhaust gas cleaning systems. After delivery to SFL the vessels will immediately commence 5-year bareboat charters to Hunter with purchase options during the charter period.
The agreed purchase price is significantly below current broker estimates for VLCC resales, effectively providing SFL with a very attractive risk profile and the transaction will add more than $100 million to SFL’s fixed-rate charter backlog.
SFL will initially fund the acquisition from its cash position, but expect to finance a significant portion of the purchase price in the commercial bank market. The Company has already received a term sheet on bank financing at very attractive terms which will significantly enhance the return on invested equity.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said in a comment: “In an environment where traditional bank financing for maritime companies is becoming increasingly scarce, this transaction highlights SFL’s unique position as a specialty financing company.
With a versatile toolbox, including time charters, bareboat charters and senior financing structures, we are able to provide our customers with competitive tailor made solutions, whilst at the same time creating shareholder value on the back of our strong balance sheet and our unique access to attractively priced capital.”
September 6, 2019
The Board of Directors
Ship Finance International Limited
Investor and Analyst Contacts:
Aksel Olesen, Chief Financial Officer, SFL Management AS
+47 23 11 40 36
André Reppen, Senior Vice President, SFL Management AS
+47 23 11 40 55
Ole B. Hjertaker, Chief Executive Officer, SFL Management AS
+47 23 11 40 11
SFL has a unique track record in the maritime industry, being consistently profitable and paying dividends every quarter since 2004. The Company’s fleet of more than 90 vessels is split between tankers, bulkers, container vessels and offshore assets, and SFL’s long term distribution capacity is supported by a portfolio of long term charters and significant growth in the asset base over time. More information can be found on the Company’s website: www.sflcorp.com
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward looking statements. These statements are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including SFL management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in the Company’s records and other data available from third parties. Although SFL believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond its control, SFL cannot give assurance that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or intentions.
Important factors that, in the Company’s view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward looking statements include the strength of world economies, fluctuations in currencies and interest rates, general market conditions including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the markets in which we operate, changes in demand resulting from changes in OPEC’s petroleum production levels and world wide oil consumption and storage, developments regarding the technologies relating to oil exploration, changes in market demand in countries which import commodities and finished goods and changes in the amount and location of the production of those commodities and finished goods, increased inspection procedures and more restrictive import and export controls, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, performance of our charterers and other counterparties with whom we deal, timely delivery of vessels under construction within the contracted price, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.