Diana Containerships to buy APL panamax pair

11 January 2012 (Last Updated January 11th, 2012 18:30)

Diana Shipping subsidiary Diana Containerships has signed a sale-and-leaseback agreement with APL (Bermuda) to buy two panamax container vessels: the APL Sardonyx and the APL Spinel.

Diana Shipping subsidiary Diana Containerships has signed a sale-and-leaseback agreement with APL (Bermuda) to buy two panamax container vessels: the APL Sardonyx and the APL Spinel.

The ships cost $30m each and will be delivered within the first quarter of 2012. They were built in 1995 and 1996, and each has a capacity of approximately 4,750teu.

On delivery, the vessels will be chartered back to APL (Bermuda) or one of its subsidiaries for a minimum of two years at a rate of $24,750 per day, with options to extend at a higher rate. The charterer has the option to employ each ship for a further 12 months, plus or minus 45 days, at a daily rate of $24,750 starting two years after delivery of the vessel to the charterer.

The charterer then has the option to employ each ship for a further one year, plus or minus 45 days, at a daily rate of $28,000 starting 36 months after delivery of the vessel to the charterer.

The employment of the two vessels will generate $33.5m of gross revenues for the minimum agreed period of the charters. The addition of the two ships brings the company’s fleet of second-hand containerships to ten.

At the time of its public offering in June 2011, Diana Containerships chairman and CEO Symeon Palios said that the company would use part of the proceeds of that offering together with bank financing to fund the acquisition of additional vessels.

"Within six months, we have succeeded in putting that money to work with the acquisition of good ships from reputable liner operators with very lucrative time charters attached from their respective sellers," said Palios.

In December 2011, the company signed an agreement with Reederei Santa Containerschiffe to buy two panamax container ships for $33m each. The vessels – Cap San Marco and Cap San Raphael – were built in 2001 and 2002, and are capable of carrying 3,750 teu.

The ships will be delivered from their previous owners by 29 February 2012. Following delivery, each vessel will be chartered back to their sellers for a period of 36 months, plus or minus 45 days, and the daily charter rate for each vessel will be $22,750 during the first 12 months, $22,850 during the second 12 months and $23,250 during the third 12 months of the charter.

The employment of the two vessels will generate $47.5m in revenue for the minimum agreed period of the charters.

Diana Containerships has also entered an agreement for a revolving credit facility of up to $100m with the Royal Bank of Scotland; this may be increased to $150m. The company plans to use part of the loan to fund the two new panamax vessels.