ONE becomes joint-owner of Seaspan Corp in $11bn takeover

   Release date: March 30, 2023      Hits: 7642    Comment: 0    
Note: Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) has become joint-owner of the world’s largest non-operating containership

Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) has become joint-owner of the world’s largest non-operating containership owner, Seaspan Corp, in a $10.9bn deal.

In an announcement of the completion of the acquisition of Seaspan parent Atlas Corp, by Poseidon Acquisition Corp, ONE and partners, ONE said it now owned 28.7% of the now private company.

Trading of the common shares on the New York Stock Exchange will be suspended with immediate effect. But Atlas preferred shares will remain outstanding and continue to trade.

According to Alphaliner, Seaspan has a fleet of 137 vessels, with a capacity of 1.25m teu, which it leases to liner operators on long-term charters. Were it not a non-operating owner (NOO), it would rank eighth in the carrier league table, behind new joint-owner ONE’s 1.5m teu.

Moreover, the consultant said, Seaspan had a “massive” 57 ships on order that would provide a further 690,000 teu.

Alphaliner noted: “Seaspan is typically not very active in the day-to-day charter market, but rather acts as a strategic tonnage provider that charters containerships to blue-chip carriers under long-term contracts.”

It added that most of the NOO’s vessels were ordered or acquired in conjunction with carriers, supported by signed charter party commitments.

ONE has 24 ships, with a capacity of 238,000 teu, on charter from Seaspan and, according to Alphaliner, “at least another 15 ships for 152,000 teu” fixed from the NOO’s newbuild pipeline.

But the largest portion of Seaspan’s orderbook is committed to Israeli carrier Zim, which has agreed charters for 15 7,800 teu ships and 10 15,000 teu vessels, all of which will be LNG-dual fuelled. Zim has taken these on 12-year time-charters, and they will be deployed on its Asia-US east coast service.

In addition to ONE and Zim, Seaspan’s ocean carrier portfolio includes MSC, Cosco, Yang Ming, CMA CGM, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd.

The average age of its current fleet is 5.2 years and the average remaining lease period is 7.7 years for a charter hire backlog of $18.2bn through to 2042 from its current fleet and newbuild fixtures.

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