Germany’s Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB) has been revealed as one of the financiers behind MPC Container Ships’ (MPCC) move to snap up five vessels from Lomar Shipping.

UK-headquartered Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised the lender on the deal.

HCOB provided a $50m loan facility to Oslo-listed MPCC to allow it to pounce on the modern feeder boxships in a $136.4m transaction.

The ships were the 2,200-teu Queen Esther (built 2016) and the four 1,750-teu units London Trader, Trieste Trader, Madrid Trader and B Trader (all built 2019).

MPCC said in June it had signed a term sheet at “attractive” terms with a European bank for $50m.

The owner also secured “competitive” lease financing with Bank of Communications (Hong Kong) totalling $75m, which is secured by 12 previously unencumbered vessels.

The financing of the acquisition was “carefully structured to maintain a conservative leverage ratio”, which will increase from 15.2% to about 25%, the owner added.

As a result of the deal, MPCC raised its financial guidance for the year.

Operating revenues were lifted to $650m to $670m from $610m to $630m. Ebitda guidance was raised to $450m to $475m from $420m to $450m.

The WFW Hamburg assets and structured finance team advising HCOB was led by partner Clemens Hillmer, supported by senior associate Paula Wildemann and associate Anna Kirchhoff.

Complex transactions

WFW London partner Patrick Smith advised on matters concerning English law.

Clemens said: “We are pleased to have been able to advise our long-standing client HCOB on this financing.

“This transaction demonstrates again WFW Germany’s unrivalled ability to advise on complex, multi-national and high-value transactions in the maritime space.”