Seaspan Corp. said it has signed contracts for the construction of four 10,000-TEU class vessels that will be chartered to MOL.
The ships, to be built at the Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co. and Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding Co. in China, are scheduled for delivery in 2014 and will be constructed using Seaspan's fuel-efficient SAVER design.
As part of the deal, Seaspan has also agreed to purchase from MOL four 2003-built 4,600-TEU class vessels for delivery in the second half of 2013 and first quarter of 2014, and has signed short-term fixed-rate time charters for these vessels with MOL.
Michael Webber, an analyst with Wells Fargo, said the purchase price was not released, but may be in the $79 million-$83 million range based on Clarksons' pricing indications.
Webber said he viewed the acquisition of the large, fuel-efficient ships as a positive, but "the addition of the four older, smaller assets is a bit perplexing (given that segment's lower utilization and softer prospects), with exposure to that market acting as a headwind for most." He also noted the lack of several details around prices, rates, and whether this would involve participation by a joint venture of Seaspan, called Greater China Intermodal Investments which includes participation by The Carlyle Group. - Chris Dupin