Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE:SFL) announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire five newbuilding container vessels from various interests and will put the vessels on long term charter to NYSE listed, Horizon Lines. Inc.
The five sister vessels are being built at Hyundai Mipo in Korea and will be delivered over the course of six months commencing at the end of 2006. The vessels are 2,800 TEUS and capable of 23 knots service speed.
The vessels will enter into a long term bareboat charter with Horizon Lines and will operate in their expanded TP1service from the U.S. West Coast to Asia. The vessels will fly United States flag.
“This transaction expands our footprint in the container sector where we already had two smaller feeder container vessels. The project is financed on an independent financial basis and gives a solid return on the equity and demonstrates the company’s ability and commitment to grow beyond its initial business mix and diversify its client and asset base.” said Tor Olav Trøim, Chairman of SFL.
The Board of Ship Finance believes in the long term fundamentals of the container sector and the stability of the US flag market.
“We are delighted to work with Horizon Lines, a true market leader, as they expand their presence in the Pacific market and dynamically position themselves for further growth,” concluded Trøim.