Awilco LNG wraps up sale and leaseback deal

Norway-based shipping firm Awilco LNG has completed its previously announced sale and leaseback deal with China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing) for its two 2013-built 156,000-cbm TFDE LNG carriers, WilForce and WilPride.

Awilco LNG announced the closing and completion of the up to 12-year sale/leaseback facility in a statement issued on Thursday.

The vessels are financed with a gross consideration of $100 million each, and are chartered back on a bareboat basis to subsidiaries of the company for a period of up to 12 years.

Awilco LNG said the facility bears a longer amortization profile and a longer tenor than the current facility and the floating interest rate structure has a lower margin.

This reduces the company’s running cost and cash break-even level with about $10,000 per day per vessel, it said.

The LNG shipping company has rolling purchase options from the second anniversary and a purchase obligation from the tenth anniversary until maturity, it added.

Awilco LNG’s net profit dropped to $7.2 million in the first quarter of this year following a record profit in the fourth quarter last year.

The Norwegian owner reported a net income of $14.9 million in the fourth quarter last year due to a $5 million one-off insurance settlement, while its net income reached $9 million in the first quarter of the last year.

WilForce comes open in the third quarter this year and the company is “actively exploring possibilities” for next employment, it said in the financial report.

For WilPride the current charter party lasts until late 2025, while the charterer has an option to extend the contract for two more years at the existing rate.

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