Global asset and investment services provider MPC Capital's new company for the container ships sector has raised $100m in equity funding from private investors in Norway.

MPC Capital’s new MPC Container Ships subsidiary was established along with other investors, and will focus on small-size container ships ranging between 1,000 and 3,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity.

MPC Container Ships' capital proceeds are expected to be fully deployed within this year, based on the existing pipeline exceeding 100 vessels.

The company has already secured an initial fleet of vessels, which will receive technical and commercial management services from MPC Capital's subsidiaries such Ahrenkiel Steamship and Contchart, among others.

MPC Container Ships' initial shares will be registered on the Norwegian OTC list, with the aim of listing its shares on a major stock exchange before the end of the year.

"The transaction shows our vital competence to structure innovative deals in the shipping business, and underpins our ability to identify attractive investment opportunities in niche sectors."

MPC Capital CEO Ulf Holländer said: “The transaction marks a further milestone in the history of the MPC Group.

“It shows our vital competence to structure innovative deals in the shipping business, and underpins our ability to identify attractive investment opportunities in niche sectors that are ahead of markets and to connect investors to this strategy.”

It is noted that the recent container shipping market is witnessing a recovering trend, with freight rates above 2016 levels and charter rates trending up in the first quarter of this year.

Market analysts such as Maritime Strategies International (MSI) have also projected a market-wide recovery for the sector, and have noted that supply and demand dynamics for the small-size segment are particularly favourable as they provide insulation against downside risks.