Infrastructure fund manager DIF Capital Partners has teamed up with shipowner Geogas Maritime and capital market company Access Capital Partners to invest in the LNG carrier quintet.
DIF, through its DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I, has signed final documentation with the latter two parties for the acquisition of a 50% stake in a France-based company that will own and operate a fleet of five to-be-built LNG carriers.
The remaining 50% stake will be held by Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK).
As informed, the 174,000 cbm vessel quintet will be built by South Korean shipyards and equipped with LNG fueled propulsion technology, resulting in advanced environmental performance.
All five ships will fly the French flag and will be chartered to a French and a European utility under long-term contracts. They will be project financed under a customary French lease structure.
The first ship is expected to become operational in April 2020.
“This is an excellent opportunity for DIF CIF I to invest in high quality assets and grow DIF’s footprint into the expanding LNG sector alongside strong and experienced counterparties,” Thomas Vieillescazes, Head of France, said.
“We’re also very proud to participate in a strategic project for the further development of the French LNG sector”.