New CEO Taking Helm at Seaspan in 2018

Hong Kong-based containership charter owner Seaspan Corporation will be headed by new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bing Chen, who will also be appointed to the Board of Directors in January, 2018.

As informed, Gerry Wang will be retiring as CEO and Director of Seaspan effective November 3rd.

Upon Mr. Wang’s retirement, Peter Curtis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will serve as Seaspan’s interim CEO until Mr. Chen’s arrival, after which he will continue in his current role.

Chen served as CEO of BNP Paribas (China) and the General Manager for Trafigura’s Chinese business operation, among other positions.

 “Mr. Chen has diverse operating and financial business experience as well as strong relationships in our key markets in Asia and Europe. We feel the talents he brings to the table make him an ideal complement to the talents of Peter Curtis, EVP and COO, Mark Chu, General Counsel, and David Spivak, CFO,” David Sokol, Chairman of Seaspan’s Board of Directors, said.

Seaspan also announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 and the first nine months of the year.

The company reported total revenues of USD 211 million for the third quarter and USD 616.9 million for the nine months, down by 6.2% and 7.2% respectively, compared to the same periods in 2016.

The decreases were primarily ascribed to lower average charter rates for vessels that were on short-term charters, partially offset by the delivery of newbuilding vessels in 2016 and 2017.

Reported net earnings for the quarter amounted to USD 48.3 million against a loss of USD 184 million from Q3 2016, while for the nine-month period reported net earnings were USD 116.6 million, a major rebound from a corresponding period from last year when Seaspan’s loss came at USD 140.4 million.

Since the beginning of the year, Seaspan acquired one 4,250 TEU vessel, accepted delivery of one 14,000 TEU vessel and three 11,000 TEU vessels, and sold two 4,250 TEU vessels, bringing its operating fleet to a total of 90 vessels as at September 30, 2017.

Namely, in August and September 2017, Seaspan took delivery of the 11,000 TEU MSC Shuba B, the MSC Shreya B, and the MSC Nitya B. The ships were constructed at HHIC-PHIL and each commenced a 17-year fixed-rate bareboat charter with MSC. Upon completion of the bareboat charter period, MSC is obligated to purchase the vessels for a pre-determined amount.

In August 2017, Seaspan entered into fixed-rate time charter contracts with CMA CGM for two 10,000 TEU newbuilding boxships currently under construction at New Jiangsu Shipbuilding and Jiangsu Xinfu Shipbuilding.

The two vessels are currently scheduled to deliver in 2018 and, upon delivery, will commence three-year fixed-rate time charters with options to extend for up to an additional three years.

Seaspan said that it has entered into advanced discussions on financing these two 10,000 TEU newbuilding containerships with an unnamed financial institution.

In August 2017, Seaspan sold two 4,250 TEU vessels the Seaspan Alps and Seaspan Kenya, recording a gain on sale of USD 6.6 million, while the sale of Seaspan Grouse and Seaspan Mourne is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017.

In October 2017, Seaspan issued in a public offering an aggregate principal amount of USD 80.0 million of 7.125% senior unsecured notes at a price of USD 25.00 per note. The company used the net proceeds to repay a portion of a secured debt facility.

Image Courtesy: Seaspan