Hapag-Lloyd sells seven 9.326 TEU vessels each worth $ 74 million

Hapag-Lloyd has confirmed that it has sold seven 9,326TEU container ships to Bank of Communications Financial Leasing (Bocomm Leasing) for an undisclosed price.

Container News understands that the “en bloc” sale for the vessels, Cauquenes, Cautin, Cisnes, Cochrane, Coyhaique, Corcovado and Copiapo, was agreed early in May 2020 and July, the vessels were re-registered to special purpose vehicles owned by Bocomm Leasing. At the time of the sale, each vessel had a market valuation of around US$74 million, according to brokers.

All seven ships were built in South Korea during 2014-2015

The ships, operated by Hapag-Lloyd’s Chilean subsidiary Compania Sudamericana de Vapores (CSAV) on Asia-South America services, were built by Samsung Heavy Industries between 2014 and 2015.

A spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd told Container News that the German liner operator is leasing back all the vessels. “As part of our ‘Performance Safeguarding Program’, we were able to get these ships into extremely attractive financing and generated a good amount of liquidity. The ships are leased back by us on a long-term charter and can be taken over again by us at the end of the lease term.”

The leasing period for these ships is agreed for 12 years.

Hapag-Lloyd’s Performance Safeguarding Program, launched this year in response to the pandemic, consists of cost-saving measures to tackle the impact on cargo volumes. Additionally, the company wants to secure liquidity and re-evaluate investment plans.

German carriers Hapag-Lloyd is cautiously optimistic of recording EBITDA of EUR1.7 billion (US$1.89 billion) to EUR2.2 billion (US$2.44 billion) for 2020 but acknowledges that achieving the upper end of the forecast range will be difficult. Despite the challenging situation facing liner operators, Bocomm Leasing has been acquiring container ships since the start of 2020.

In June, the Chinese finance lessor acquired five 12,690TEU ships from Greek tonnage provider Costamare; In March, Bocomm Leasing purchased four 11,923TEU ships from Canadian owner Seaspan Corporation. During the same month, Bocomm Leasing acquired two 9,954TEU ships and two 8,204TEU ships from Navios Maritime, which were chartered to Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM unit ANL.