Norway’s Hoegh Autoliners continues to add car carriers to its owned fleet at bargain prices.
It has declared an option in its bareboat charter to buy the 8,500-ceu Hoegh Trapper (built 2016) for $53.2m from Norwegian sale-and-leaseback company Ocean Yield.
The average market value of the vessel estimated by three different brokers was $96m at the end of September.
VesselsValue estimates the Hoegh Trapper is now worth $106.8m in record markets.
Finance for the acquisition is being worked on, the Oslo-listed owner said.
The vessel is one of the largest and most environmentally friendly car carriers in the world, according to Hoegh Autoliners.
The transaction will enable the realisation of additional value gains from lease options, as well as reduce the cash cost and allow for better capacity cost control in an overheated charter market, it added.
Chief financial officer Per Oivind Rosmo said: “By taking direct ownership of the vessel, we demonstrate our commitment to serve and build a long-term relationship with our customers based on a fleet we own and control.
“Bringing home Hoegh Trapper means that we will have ownership of all six Horizon-class vessels built at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry in 2015 and 2016.”
This is the fourth bareboat-chartered vessel on which the company has declared options to buy this year.
In October, it said it was paying only $29.3m to take over the 7,850-ceu Hoegh St Petersburg (built 2009) from Pioneer Leasing, a company controlled by French bank Credit Agricole.
The average market value of the vessel estimated by three different brokers was $70m at the end of September, putting Hoegh more than $40m in the money.
The company paid $22m to Ocean Yield for the 4,900-ceu Hoegh Beijing (built 2010), against a value of $30m, while the 8,500-ceu Hoegh Tracer (built 2016) was acquired from the same owner for $53.2m. The ship was valued at $82m.