Höegh Autoliners buys Höegh St. Petersburg at cut price
Höegh Autoliners, global provider of RoRo transportation services, has purchased the vessel Höegh St. Petersburg well bellow market value. The company pounced on an option under a bareboat charterparty to buy the vessel for $29.3 million from Pioneer Leasing, a company controlled by Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB).
The average market value of the vessel estimated by three different brokers was $70 million by the end of the third quarter. Höegh St. Petersburg was built by Höegh at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering in 2009 with a capacity of 7,850 CEU and is one of a series of vessels Höegh built at Daewoo between 2004 and 2010. The vessel was sold to Pioneer Leasing in 2014 and chartered back to Höegh Autoliners under a bareboat lease agreement.
The ownership of the vessel will be transferred to the company in the fourth quarter and will continue to serve in Höegh Autoliners deep sea network. This is the third bareboat chartered vessel the company has declared options to purchase so far in 2022, with Höegh Beijing and Höegh Tracer are the two others. The purchase of H. St. Petersburg will reduce the long-term cash capacity cost for the vessel as well as realise additional value gains from purchase options for leased vessels.
Commenting on the purchase, Per Øivind Rosmo, CFO of Höegh Autoliners, said, “By the purchase of Höegh St. Petersburg, Höegh Autoliners is again demonstrating its commitment to serve and build a long-term relationship with our customers based on a fleet we own and control. All our deep-sea operated vessels are owned (29 vessels) or on charters with purchase options (5 vessels). This gives us limited exposure to the currently tight and expensive Time-Charter market. Höegh St. Petersburg has done a very good job for us and our customers since we built her in 2009 and is very well suited for our established and balanced trade systems from Asia to Europe and US with a return to Asia via South Africa and Australia or the Middle East. Together with the Horizon class vessels with a capacity of 8,500 CEU and the Aurora class vessels under construction with a capacity of 9,100 CEU, the series of 7,850 CEU vessels built at Daewoo represents one of the largest and most environmentally friendly PCTC fleets. These large and fuel-efficient vessels are an important part of our ambition to continue to reduce our carbon intensity and the journey towards being carbon neutral by 2040.”
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