Flex LNG wraps up refinancing process

Flex LNG, the owner of 13 liquefied natural gas carriers, has completed its refinancing process, boosting the company’s cash position by $387 million.

The shipping firm controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen said on Friday that it has finalized the balance sheet optimization program with the signing of the $290 million loan agreement for the refinancing of LNG carriers Flex Freedom and Flex Vigilant.

According to Flex LNG, the firm has completed the refinancing of Flex Aurora, Flex Artemis, and Flex Amber during February, while it has closed the lease for Flex Rainbow and the refinancing of Flex Freedom and Flex Vigilant in March.

These financings will provide Flex LNG with $204 million in net cash proceeds in the first quarter.

At year-end 2022, Flex LNG had a cash balance of $332 million thus these re-financings further add to an already “substantial” cash balance, it said.

$2 billion refinancing process

“We are pleased to have completed our approximately $2 billion refinancing process according to plan and on schedule despite the recent turmoil in the financial markets,” Knut Traaholt, CFO of Flex LNG, said in the statement.

Traaholt said that Flex LNG has during the last 16 months refinanced all ships in its fleet, “not only significantly boosting our cash position in total by $387 million, but also reduced interest margin significantly and stretched the repayment and maturity profiles with the first loan not due before 2028.”

Flex LNG has 12 LNG carriers on fixed hire time charters, including to US LNG exporter Cheniere, and one ship, Flex Artemis, on a variable time charter.

The company expects its revenues to grow from $348 million in 2022 to around $370 million for 2023, driven by higher TCE earnings which the company expects to be around $80,000 per day in 2023, an improvement from the $72,800 per day delivered in 2022.

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