Seaspan in deal with Carlyle
The containership leasing company Seaspan said Monday it has entered into an agreement with the Carlyle Group to invest in containerships.
The new venture is called Greater China Intermodal Investments LLC, and other investors include companies formed by Dennis R. Washington, a founder of Seaspan and major shareholder in the company, and Seaspan director Graham Porter.
The new venture will invest up to $900 million equity capital in containership assets, “primarily newbuilding vessels strategic to the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, or Greater China.” Seaspan said it may invest $100 million in the venture.
Seaspan said the new venture would give the company additional flexibility and scale when investing in ships.
Meanwhile, Seapan reported a net loss of about $88 million in 2010 compared to net profit of $145 million in 2009. The company said its normalized net earnings or adjusted EBITDA was $95 million, 21 percent more than in 2009.
Revenue increased 42 percent to $407 million in 2010, compared to 2009.
Gerry Wang, chief executive officer of Seaspan, will continue in that role through Jan. 1, 2013, and will serve in a senior leadership role in the new venture, “subject to his fiduciary duties to Seapan.”
Under the deal with Carlyle, Seaspan will have a right of first refusal on containership investment opportunities available to the new venture and a right of first offer for any containership the new venture proposes to sell.
“We believe the increased buying power and scale achievable through this venture, combined with Seaspan’s right of first refusal, will provide a valuable means by which we can selectively and cost effectively grow our fleet and better serve our customers,” Wang said.
“We believe that the combined scale of our business and this venture will allow us to realize volume discounts for newbuilding orders, negotiate design improvements from shipyards and obtain more attractive vessel financing than we would otherwise be able to achieve on our own,” he said. ' Chris Dupin