Easterly Asset Management Announces Second Chemical Tanker Tranche
[By: Maritime Logistics Equity Partners]
Easterly Asset Management’s Maritime Logistics Equity Partners (MLEP), a company formed last year to take advantage of the meaningful dislocations and opportunities in international shipping markets, announced today that it is launching its second chemical tanker tranche.
"Due to the success of our first tranche, in which we have acquired four stainless steel tankers to date, we are excited to launch our second tranche for investors. There continues to be compelling opportunity to invest in pre-owned chemical tankers, given the limited supply and growing demand for the vessels, a low future orderbook for shipping construction and the expansion of chemical trade lanes," said Darrell Crate, Managing Principal of Easterly Asset Management and MLEP’s Chief Executive Officer. "We now know that the dislocation and subsequent investment opportunity is greater than we first thought, and not just in the stainless steel sub-sector, but also more broadly in other sized chemical tankers as well."
So far in Tranche I, MLEP has acquired four ships built in 2007 and 2008:
Easterly Beech Galaxy
Easterly Lime Galaxy
Easterly AS Omaria
Easterly AS Olivia
All four of these ships are similarly sized Japanese built J19 Stainless Steel Chemical Tankers. In its second tranche, MLEP plans to acquire all sizes of chemical tankers, including stainless and coated vessels of larger sizes such as MRs and Handysize tankers. Easterly plans to raise between $150-250 million of equity and will target acquiring 15-20 more ships.
MLEP is responding to industry trends, including a decline in the building of chemical tankers intended for the transport of bulk liquids such as palm oil, molasses, feedstock and other commodities. Following a construction boom that peaked in 2008, shipbuilders are now focused on building other tanker types and sizes. With increasing chemical production, tight ship supply and a lack of liquidity in the capital markets for new tankers, there is growing demand for such vessels. MLEP is acquiring tankers built during the boom but with years of productive life remaining and putting them out for hire through WOMAR. "A tight shipping supply, combined with increased global chemical production, is a powerful tailwind for existing vessels," added Crate.
MLEP will again place all of its MLEP II acquired vessels into WOMAR’s Tanker Pools. WOMAR Chief Executive Officer Hans Van der Zijde said, "We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with MLEP and to build a long-lasting commercial asset management relationship.
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