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SFL offloads seven handysizes in fleet renewal push

Bermuda-based ship owner and charterer SFL Corporation has revealed that it will sell its seven handysize dry bulk vessels to an unnamed Asian buyer for approximately $100 million.

The vessels have cargo capacity between 32,000 dwt and 34,000 dwt and have been employed in the spot market the last 5 years, after redelivery from their initial charters, according to SFL.

Delivery of the vessels is expected to take place before year-end, and net cash proceeds are estimated to be more than $50 million after repayment of associated debt.

The company expects to record aggregate book gains of more than $40 million from the sale of the vessels.

“The seven small bulkers were redelivered from the initial charters when the market was soft, and instead of divesting the vessels at the time we have waited for improved market conditions. Asset values in the segment are up 75% this year, and we believe this is a good time for a strategic sale of these vessels,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said.

The company also emphasized that the sale will not have an impact on the charter backlog, and the net proceeds are expected to be reinvested in new assets.

As part of its fleet renewal program, SFL ordered two additional dual-fuel car carriers last month.

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The firm also acquired two 14,000 TEU containerships and sold 18 vintage feeder ships to a subsidiary of the Swiss shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

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