SFL Corporation Ltd. (NYSE: SFL) (“SFL” or the “Company”) announced today that it has agreed to acquire two 14,000 TEU container vessels in combination with charters to a leading container line.
The vessels are modern eco-design built in 2013 and 2014 with approximately 14,000 TEU carrying capacity, similar to four vessels in our fleet today. The Company expects to take delivery of the new vessels in the third quarter and the purchase price is confidential. SFL has already received financing indications at attractive terms, and the balance will be funded by cash at hand.
The new vessels are employed on time charters until 2023 and 2024, respectively, and will be available for new charter opportunities thereafter. We expect to initiate discussions for new charters well in advance of expiry of the existing charters. The EBITDA contribution from the two vessels is approximately $29 million per year, until expiry of existing charters.
At the beginning of 2018, SFL agreed to lease finance a fleet of 18 vintage feeder container vessels between 1,100-4,400 TEU to a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (“MSC”). The vessels are now 25 years old on average, and MSC will exercise repurchase options for these vessels in the third quarter.
Net cash proceeds after repayment of associated debt is estimated to approximately $40 million, and will be reinvested in new assets, including the two 14,000 TEU container vessels.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said in a comment: “We are excited to add these 14,000 TEU container vessels to our fleet. Cash flow is immediate, and we believe the timing for when the vessels will be open for new charters in 2023/2024 could prove to be very attractive.
The acquisition of these modern eco-design containerships coincides with the disposal of older less efficient vessels and demonstrates our commitment to further improve our carbon footprint pursuant to our ESG strategy.”
August 4, 2021
The Board of Directors
SFL Corporation Ltd.
Investor and Analyst Contacts:
Aksel Olesen, Chief Financial Officer, SFL Management AS
+47 23 11 40 36
André Reppen, Senior Vice President & Chief Treasurer, 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 and has paid dividends every quarter since its initial listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004. The Company’s fleet of vessels is split between container vessels, bulkers, tankers and offshore drilling rigs. 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 in the seaborne transportation industry, which is cyclical and volatile, including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the markets in which the Company operates, including shifts in consumer demand from oil towards other energy sources or changes to trade patterns for refined oil products, 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, technological innovation in the sectors in which we operate and quality and efficiency requirements from customers, increased inspection procedures and more restrictive import and export controls, changes in the Company’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, performance of the Company’s charterers and other counterparties with whom the Company deals, the impact of any restructuring of the counterparties with whom the Company deals, including the bankruptcy proceedings relating to Seadrill and certain of its subsidiaries and timely delivery of vessels under construction within the contracted price, governmental laws and regulations, including environmental regulations, that add to our costs or the costs of our customers, potential liability from pending or future litigation, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents, political instability, terrorist attacks, piracy or international hostilities, the length and severity of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and governmental responses thereto and the impact on the demand for commercial seaborne transportation and the condition of the financial markets, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. SFL disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.