Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen has snapped up a bargain car carrier by using a purchase option.

The company did not reveal details but said the value of the 6,284-ceu Porgy (built 2009) is above the strike price included in the long-term lease charter.

VesselsValue assesses the ship as worth $79m.

The vehicle carrier has been chartered in from Hakuyo Kaiun of Japan, which signed a five-year deal in December 2019, when the Porgy was worth just $32m.

Since then, huge demand for car transport and a lack of shipping capacity has sent rates to record levels, boosting asset values hugely.

“In line with previous transactions, no financial gains will be booked…and the effect on the profit and loss accounts is expected to be immaterial,” Wallenius Wilhelmsen said.

“The purchase was financed with cash on hand,” the owner added.

The shipowner has already taken delivery of the ship.

Clarksons Securities said this week that the sector is nearing a big change characterised by higher levels of newbuilding deliveries.

The investment bank said: “The car carrier industry is at a critical tipping point.”

‘Fairly priced’

Last year, net fleet growth was modest at about 1% but is expected to increase to 9% or 10% in 2025 and 2026, with an average growth rate of around 5% this year, analysts led by Frode Morkedal said.

Oslo-listed Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s stock price has fallen about 20% in the last month and now “appears to be fairly priced,” Clarksons Securities said.

“Despite the possibility that fundamentals could deteriorate over the next two years due to accelerated fleet growth and a slowdown in trade growth, there may be near-term price upside if Red Sea disruptions are resolved,” the investment bank added.

Clarksons Securities has a “neutral” rating on Wallenius Wilhelmsen.