Costamare forms JV with York to own container vessel fleet

30 May 2013 (Last Updated May 30th, 2013 18:30)

Greece-based containership owner Costamare (CMRE) has entered into a joint venture with US-based investment advisor firm York Capital Management Global Advisors (York) to jointly invest up to $500m for the purchase of container vessels.

Greece-based containership owner Costamare (CMRE) has entered into a joint venture with US-based investment advisor firm York Capital Management Global Advisors (York) to invest up to $500m for the purchase of container vessels.

Under the deal, Costamare will hold up to 49% in the joint venture and will have the option to increase its percentage participation from a minimum of 25% to a maximum of 49% within a pre-determined time period following each acquisition commitment.

During the two-year investment period, the joint venture will have a right of first refusal on any container vessel acquisitions proposed by either party.

The companies will jointly decide on the purchase of ships, while the duration of the joint venture will be six years unless ended by the parties in the case of any disagreements.

Following any termination of the joint venture, Costamare will have the right to require a split of the vessel fleet between the parties.

Costamare chief financial officer Gregory Zikos said the partnership with York will further improve investor returns, which has always been the company’s strategy.

"The structure of the agreement is designed to avoid any conflict between the public company and private investors; on the contrary, Costamare Inc. will be co-investing alongside York and will have the opportunity to earn incremental returns," Zikos said.

"With this agreement we complement our own purchasing power with that of our partner, allowing us to pursue opportunities of larger scale and cater to the increased needs of our clients," Zikos added.

Costamare currently owns a fleet of 56 containerships with a total carrying capacity of approximately 328,000teu and has eight newbuild containerships on order.

Out of the eight vessels on order, five 8,827teu containerships are being built by Sungdong Shipbuilding, while the remaining three 9,403teu ships are being built by Jiangnan Changxing.

All the vessels are scheduled to be delivered by February 2014, following which they will operate on long-term charters with Evergreen and MSC.