AMSC offloads a fleet of Jones Act tankers for $746.7 million

American Shipping Company (AMSC) has decided to sell its fleet of Jones Act-compliant tankers to US-based shipowner Maritime Partners.

Illustration; Credit: AMSC

As explained, a newly-formed company owned and controlled by a fund managed by Maritime Partners signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of American Tanker Holding Company ATHC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMSC.

ATHC, through its subsidiaries, owns nine handysize products tankers and one handysize shuttle tanker, all of which are on long-term bareboat charter to Overseas Shipholding Group or Keystone Shipping Co. and operated in the U.S. Jones Act market.

AMSC will receive gross cash proceeds from the Transaction, subject to certain adjustments, of an aggregate amount of $ 249.3 million, divided between consideration for the shares in ATHC and repayment of a shareholder loan, reflecting an enterprise value of ATHC of $ 46.7 million.

The parties expect the transaction to close on or before the end of October this year.

“We are thrilled to acquire AMSC’s Jones Act business which is a natural fit for our platform and consistent with our investment strategy,” said Bick Brooks, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Maritime Partners, LLC. 

“The acquired vessels are critical long-lived assets engaged in the transportation of non-discretionary cargo throughout the United States. The vessels are employed on long-term bareboat charters with two strong counterparties. This acquisition will nicely complement our existing lease portfolio by diversifying lessee exposure, asset exposure and end market exposure within the protected Jones Act markets.”

Pål Lothe Magnussen, CEO of AMSC commented that the management team at AMSC is pleased that a Maritime Partners managed fund is acquiring the Jones Act business.

“We believe this is the ideal new owner of this business for the next phase in the lifecycle of these assets. AMSC’s ownership tenure has surpassed 18 years since the ships were ordered, during which significant financial profits have been created and provided to AMSC and its shareholders,” Magnussen stated.

“We believe that the long remaining commercial life of the fleet in combination with strong bareboat charter contract cover in a strong market represents a good opportunity and point in time for us to reconsider capital allocation for AMSC and strategy going forward, and this transaction is a natural step in this process.”

In 2021, Maritime Partners acquired from J. Russell Flowers and its affiliates (JRF) a diversified portfolio of over 1,000 marine vessels operating on bareboat charter.

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