Just as the Posidonia party of its sponsor Capital Maritime & Trading (CMT) was underway late on Tuesday, US-listed Capital Product Partners (CPLP) announced it exercised options to buy four CMT newbuildings worth a total $597.5m.

The latest-generation vessels consist of one 174,000-cbm LNG ship and three 13,287-teu vessels under construction at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The LNG ship, which will trade as Asterix I, is due for delivery in January 2023 and comes attached with a minimum five-year time charter to Hartree Partners Power & Gas.

The boxship trio will be delivered in between October 2022 and May 2023. The three ships come attached with even longer time charters with a duration of at least ten years.

CPLP said it will finance the acquisition with debt, except a smaller part of $122m, which it will spend in cash, and a further $7.5m to be financed through CPLP common units.

Bigger payout coming?

As CPLP braces to take delivery of its newbuildings, it takes advantage of soaring vessel values to offload some of its oldest ships at bumper prices.

The company announced the sale of the 8,266-teu Archimidis (built 2006) and the one-year-younger sistership Agamemnon to an undisclosed buyer for a total $130m.

The vessels will be delivered to their new owner in the third quarter of this year.

Measured against the ships’ carrying value, the sales will generate a capital gain of $49.5m for the company.

The string of transactions is important for the company, chief executive officer Jerry Kalogiratos said.

“The divestment of our two oldest container vessels allows the Partnership to benefit from the historically high container market and is in line with our strategy of divesting older vessels”.

The deals may also lead to a higher payout for the company’s shareholders.

“We expect the acquisitions to be accretive across all financial metrics, increasing our distributable cash flow,” he added.