Expands Annualized EBITDA by $52 Million to over $550 Million by 2012; Announces Accelerated Delivery Schedule for 2008; Company to Host Conference Call and Webcast Presentation
HONG KONG, CHINA – Jan. 3, 2008 /CNW/ – Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) announced today that it has signed contracts to build five new 4,520 TEU container vessels with Samsung Heavy Industries. Concurrent with the signing of the newbuilding contracts, the Company has signed 12-year time charters with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K-Line"), Japan's third-largest liner operator and ranked 13th in the world by TEU capacity. The 12-year contracts are secured at strong rates. The Company also announced debt financing for these newbuildings will be provided from a portion of its more than $900 million of new debt financings that were completed today.
The five newbuildings, which include the latest in design innovation to enhance each vessel's cargo carrying capabilities, are scheduled to be delivered between September 2010 and October 2011. With these five newbuildings, Seaspan's contracted fleet will grow to 68 vessels, including 29 vessels currently in operation that have an average remaining charter coverage of approximately 8 years. The 39 newbuildings have time charters averaging approximately 11 years in duration from delivery.
Gerry Wang, Chief Executive Officer of Seaspan, stated "We are excited to once again grow our modern fleet and enhance our leadership in the container ship industry in a disciplined manner that best serves our shareholders. First, concurrent with this transaction, we are pleased to have secured more than $900 million in debt financing under favorable terms for our entire fleet of 68 vessels. Second, by expanding our relationship with K-Line, we have secured our newbuildings on attractive long-term time charters with another leading publicly traded liner company with one of the strongest credits in the industry. Third, this accretive transaction meets our strict return criteria and positions the Company to significantly increase both its EBITDA and distributable cash flow over time, a top priority for Seaspan. Finally, we continue to diversify our revenue base as we seek to further take advantage of our integral role in the global infrastructure for the delivery of consumer and industrial goods from areas of production to areas of consumption. Going forward, we will maintain our commitment to draw upon our strong balance sheet and capitalize on attractive growth opportunities as we have done in expanding our fleet by 243% on a TEU basis since our initial public offering in August 2005."
Under terms of the Company's new $900 million debt financings, the long-term fixed interest rate will be less than 6% with an interest margin of 55 basis points over LIBOR. Seaspan plans to fund the acquisition of its five new 4,520 TEU container vessels as well as the Company's previously announced acquisition of eight new 13,100 TEU container vessels through borrowings under its new expanded debt facilities. Upon completing these acquisitions, Seaspan's potential available debt capacity will total approximately $1 billion, of which $550 million is available immediately.
Mr. Wang added, "Consistent with our goal to maintain an optimal capital structure as we continue to grow on an accretive basis, we have considerably strengthened our financial position following the completion of more than $900 million in debt financing. These agreements, which serve as testimony to the Company's unique ability to raise funds under attractive terms during volatile market conditions, underscore our strong reputation as a high-quality credit customer among leading lending institutions and significantly increase our financial flexibility to a potential of $1 billion as we plan to pursue additional growth opportunities that further enhance shareholder value."
Sai Chu, Chief Financial Officer of Seaspan, commented, "We are pleased to continue the successful execution of our growth strategy with our latest acquisition, which exceeds our historical target rate of return, during a time when we secured more than $900 million in debt financing. Upon delivery, the five newly built 4,520 TEU container vessels are expected to add $52 million in incremental EBITDA to the Company and bring our total revenue contracts to a value exceeding $7.1 billion. Of note, two of these vessels are expected to be delivered in September and December of 2010, the earliest delivery dates available as a result of our strong relationship with Samsung."
Seaspan also announced it has accelerated its newbuilding delivery schedule for 2008. The Company expects to take delivery of six 2,500 TEU newbuildings this year, up from two as originally planned. The six vessels, which represent 15% of the Company's order book, are expected add a total of $7.4 million and $5.6 million in incremental annual revenue and EBITDA, respectively, for 2008.
Mr. Chu concluded, "With 39 vessels scheduled for delivery between 2008 and 2011, including six vessels to be delivered this year, Seaspan will grow its estimated annual revenue and EBITDA to more than $700 million and $550 million, respectively. We are pleased to have recently announced a 6.4% increase for our fourth quarter dividend, which is expected to be paid in February 2008. With our sizeable contracted revenue and EBITDA streams, we are well positioned to continue to expand our dividend over time."
For this purpose, EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, shall mean net earnings before interest, un-drawn credit facility fees, taxes, depreciation and amortization of deferred dry-docking charges and financing fees.
Seaspan will host a conference call for all shareholders and interested parties on January 4, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the transaction. The Company will place a slide presentation related to the transaction on its website prior to the start of the conference call.
Conference Call and Webcast Information:
Date of Conference Call: Friday, January 4, 2008
Scheduled Time: 8:30 a.m. ET / 7:30 a.m. CT / 6:30 a.m. MT / 5:30 a.m. PT
Participant Toll Free Dial In #: 1-877-545-1489
International Dial In #: 1-719-325-4853
To access the live webcast and presentation of the conference call, go to the "Investor Relations" portion of the Company's website atwww.seaspancorp.com. The webcast and presentation will be archived on the site for one year.
A replay of the conference call will also be available from 11:30 a.m. ET on January 4, 2008 through to 11:59 p.m. ET on January 18, 2008. The replay telephone numbers are 1-888-203-1112 or 1-719-457-0820 and the replay passcode is 2594910.
Seaspan owns containerships and charters them pursuant to long-term fixed-rate charters. Seaspan's contracted fleet of 68 containerships consists of 29 containerships in operations and 39 containerships to be delivered over approximately the next 4 years. Seaspan's operating fleet of 29 vessels has an average age of approximately 4 years and an average remaining charter period of approximately 8 years. All of the 39 vessels that Seaspan has contracted to purchase are already committed to long-term time charters averaging approximately 11 years in duration from delivery. Seaspan's customer base consists of seven of the world's largest, publicly traded liner companies, including China Shipping Container Lines, A.P. Moller-Maersk, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, COSCO Container Lines, K-Line and CSAV.
Seaspan's common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SSW".
STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This release contains certain forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events and our operations, performance and financial condition, including, in particular, the likelihood of our success in developing and expanding our business. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "estimates", "projects", "forecasts", "will", "may", "potential", "should", and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect management's current views only as of the date of this presentation and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this release. Although these statements are based upon assumptions we believe to be reasonable based upon available information, including operating margins, earnings, cash flow, working capital and capital expenditures, they are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: future operating or financial results; our expectations relating to dividend payments and forecasts of our ability to make such payments; pending acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending; operating expenses, availability of crew, number of off-hire days, drydocking requirements and insurance costs; general market conditions and shipping market trends, including charter rates and factors affecting supply and demand; our financial condition and liquidity, including our ability to obtain additional financing in the future to fund capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate activities; estimated future capital expenditures needed to preserve our capital base; our expectations about the availability of ships to purchase, the time that it may take to construct new ships, or the useful lives of our ships; our continued ability to enter into long-term, fixed-rate time charters with our customers; our ability to leverage to our advantage Seaspan Management Services Limited's relationships and reputation in the containership industry; changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities; changes in worldwide container demand; changes in trading patterns; competitive factors in the markets in which we operate; potential inability to implement our growth strategy; potential for early termination of long-term contracts and our potential inability to renew or replace long-term contracts; ability of our customers to make charter payments; potential liability from future litigation; conditions in the public equity markets; and other factors detailed from time to time in our periodic reports. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether because of future events, new information, a change in our views or expectations, or otherwise. We make no prediction or statement about the performance of our common and subordinated shares.