Ardmore Refinances Four Ships

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…As Ocean Yield Buys Chemical Tanker Pair***

Tanker owner and operator Ardmore Shipping Corporation has signed agreements for the refinancing of four vessels.

As World Maritime News reported, Ardmore’s subsidiaries have signed sale and leaseback deals for the Ardmore Dauntless and Ardmore Defender with Ocean Yield. The lease agreements are for a period of 12 years and include  options to repurchase each vessel at various stages prior to maturity.

Additionally, agreements have been secured for the sale and leaseback of the Ardmore Explorer and Ardmore Encounter, two 2014-built 50,000 Dwt Eco-design MR tankers, with an undisclosed Asian financier. The lease agreements are for a period of seven years and they include purchase options as well.

Both transactions are expected to fund in October 2018, enabling the company to cash in a total of USD 19.7 million, net of fees and the repayment of senior debt secured by the vessels.

“These transactions highlight Ardmore’s strong financial relationships and our ability to identify opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet and position the company for further opportunistic growth,” Anthony Gurnee, Ardmore’s Chief Executive Officer, said.

The refinancing comes on the back of a similar deal Ardmore reported back in May for two of its 2013-built Eco-design MR product tankers. The duo secured a sale and leaseback arrangement “with a top-tier Asian financier”, the company said.

Ardmore Shipping Corporation reported a net loss of USD 13.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018, sinking further into the red from last year’s USD 4 million, mostly driven by challenging charter market conditions.

In the meantime, Oslo-listed shipowner Ocean Yield is acquiring two 2015-built 37,000 dwt IMO II chemical tankers for USD 51 million.

The ships have 12-year bareboat charters to companies owned and guaranteed by Ardmore Shipping. Cork-based Ardmore Shipping will have certain options to acquire the vessels during the charter period.

The vessels were built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea and are expected to be delivered to the company during Q4 2018.

“The transaction further diversifies our client base and increases our charter backlog. We continue to evaluate new investment opportunities and expect to continue the growth of our portfolio of vessels,” Ocean Yield ASA’s Chief Executive Officer Lars Solbakken said in a comment.

The investment is being reported as Ocean Yield takes delivery of the newbuilding Suezmax crude tanker Nordic Tellus from Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard in South Korea.

The vessel commenced a 10 years’ bareboat charter to New York-listed Suezmax owner Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) upon delivery.

This is the third 2018 Suezmax newbuilding to joint NAT’s fleet this year, all three owned by Ocean Yield.

The first one was delivered to NAT in July and the second ship was delivered in August 2018. The delivery brings the company’s fleet to 25 Suezmaxes.

“The Nordic Tellus will be employed in worldwide trading. This third newbuilding has also been financed via a company in the Aker Group (Ocean Yield) with close to 80% in debt of the delivered price of about USD 54 million,” NAT said.

“There are improved conditions in the tanker sector.  Rates for the fourth quarter are three to four times as high as for the first 9 months of 2018. Rate indexes for suezmax tankers are now in excess of USD 20,000 per day on a TC basis, which is a good indication of the level of the market. NAT is well positioned for the upswing in the market that we now see.”

World Maritime News