Athens-based tanker owner and operator TOP Ships has received credit committee approval from a major Chinese leasing company for up to USD 92.5 million via sale and leaseback agreements for two Suezmax newbuildings.
The units, with hull numbers 874 and 875, are currently under construction at South Korea’s Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. The company is currently negotiating the final terms of the deals.
Under the proposed terms, the vessels will be sold following their delivery from the shipyard in April and May of 2019, respectively. The proposed financing deals include pre and post-delivery financing and have a term of seven years. The company has continuous options to buy back the vessels after the three year anniversary of each vessel’s delivery up until the expiry of the agreements.
Once delivered, the vessels are scheduled to enter into three-year time charters with an oil major at a daily charter rate of USD 25,000 per vessel.
“Successful completion of this transaction would mark two very important milestones; significant reduction of our unfunded capital requirements, as this funding would cover about 84% of the remaining yard installments required in order to take delivery of the Suezmax vessels which are the assets with the most capital requirements in our orderbook, and entry into the Chinese financing market,” Evangelos Pistiolis, the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company, said.
Additionally, TOP Ships said that it is in discussions with new financiers as well as its existing senior secured lenders for drawing down additional funds from the company’s outstanding loan facilities that currently have low loan to value ratios, which are secured by existing vessels. The company is also in discussions with its CEO and controlling shareholder, Mr. Evangelos Pistiolis, for an increase in the Family Trading credit line.