MPC Capital has increased its long-term exposure to container shipping.

The Hamburg-based asset and investment manager said it has raised its shareholding in Oslo-listed spin-off MPC Container Ships from around 7% to around 14%, calling the company a leading platform for boxships.

The deal was done by boosting MPC Capital’s stake in MPC CSI, the joint investment vehicle set up for the 2017 IPO of MPC.

MPC CSI is controlled by MPC Capital and MPC Munchmeyer Petersen & Co, the founder and largest shareholder of MPC Capital.

The selling shareholders of MPC CSI will receive €34m ($37m), based on an MPC share price of NOK 13.64 ($1.31).

MPC director Axel Schroeder disposed of 2.3m shares, and a further 171,400 through his Elbrock company.

Ulf Hollander, MPC chairman and MPC Capital chief executive, sold 165,637 shares.

The stock was trading at NOK 13.11 in Oslo on Friday.

MPC CSI owns around 17% of MPC’s shares, with MPC Capital now accounting for 14% of that 17%, making it the largest investor.

With a fleet of 62 vessels, MPC is one of the world’s largest owners of container ships for intra-regional trades.

Its earnings fell in the fourth quarter as it took an impairment charge on the value of its ships.

The shipowner posted a net profit of $35.7m versus $103.6m in the same period in 2022.

For 2023 as a whole, operating revenue was $711m and earnings per share $0.73. The dividend yield was 43%.

MPC Capital said regular returns from the investment are expected for 2024 and in subsequent years.

Against this background, MPC Capital is increasing its earnings forecast.

It now expects 2024 profit before tax to be slightly above the already high €19.3m logged in 2023.

Previously, the company was forecasting similar profit to last year.

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