Belgium’s tanker shipping company Euronav NV has entered into an agreement for the acquisition via resale of three very large crude carrier (VLCC) newbuilds.
The three ships are currently completing construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea.
As informed, the trio is being acquired for an aggregate purchase price of USD 280.5 million or USD 93.5 million per unit. The acquisition will be fully funded by existing borrowing facilities and debt capacity, according to the company.
With this move, Euronav plans to enhance its operational strength and reduce the average age of the company’s VLCC fleet.
To be fitted with exhaust gas scrubber technology and ballast water treatment systems, the vessels are due to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021.
“The large tanker fundamentals remain constructive despite substantial headwinds surrounding economic activity linked to the coronavirus that we believe and hope will be temporary,” Hugo De Stoop, CEO of Euronav, commented.
“Current disruptions to the freight market have provided an opening for Euronav to be opportunistic and deliver what we believe will be long term value for our stakeholders. This transaction demonstrates our flexibility and our capacity to seize opportunities thanks to a strong balance sheet and a robust liquidity position.”
In late December 2019, the tanker shipping company entered into a sale and leaseback agreement for three 2008-built VLCCs to secure cash and invest in younger tonnage.
Euronav’s owned and operated fleet consists of 2 V-Plus vessels, 42 VLCCs, 27 Suezmaxes (two of which are in a joint venture) and 2 FSO vessels (both owned in 50%-50% joint venture).