Harlingen – Harlingen-based JR Shipping Group has expanded its container feeder fleet by purchasing a vessel and entering into a new management contract. The two vessels were transferred to the shipping company. They will be registered under the flag of Madeira and sail under the names MV Expert and MV Energy. Confeeder Shipping & Chartering is responsible for the commercial management.
The new management contract concerns MV Expert. She is an 800 TEU short-sea feeder and was built by Damen Shipyard Group in 2011. This vessel is specifically equipped for 45-feet containers and, with her ice class 1A, she can operate in Baltic waters in winter. The purchased vessel, MV Energy, is a 750-TEU feeder which is suitable for all container shapes and sizes, including 45-feet ones. Because of her good manoeuvrability and limited draught, this vessel is particularly well-suited for deployment in relatively small ports. Including the 2 new vessels, JR Shipping currently operates 20 container feeders, varying in size from 750 up to approximately 1,500 TEU.
The management contract is compatible with the shipping company’s course, which focuses on all-round maritime service provision to outside parties, in parallel with the operation of container feeders and offshore service vessels. The MV Energy, the recently purchased vessel, was acquired in the market for existing vessels as a remarkable ‘opportunity purchase’.
Opportunity purchase financed through issue of bonds and participations
In July of this year, JR Shipping made a competitive bid for the 750-TEU container feeder. At that point in time, the vessel was in a state of bankruptcy. In a short space of time, a €1.7 million purchase price was agreed on for the vessel. In order to be able to act rapidly, the shipping company immediately issued a bond loan with the aim of attracting borrowed capital to fund half of the acquisition. The ‘Opportunity Bonds’ available (64 at €25,000 per piece) were placed in a short space of time. The bondholders take the place of the bank and, accordingly, have the right of first mortgage.
For the purpose of raising the remaining investment sum, the shipping company started issuing MV Energy participations last August. They also found their way to a diverse group of investors in a short space of time. Thus the total funding was complete in early September. JR Ship Investments, the shipping group’s issue specialist, were in charge of the issues of both the bonds and the participations.
The MV Expert and the MV Energy have now been formally transferred to JR Shipping and are ready to operate services in the container feeder market. The operational management is covered by Harlingen-based JR Ship Management. Rhoon-based Confeeder Shipping & Chartering oversees the commercial operation. You will find an overview of the vessels and their availability at www.confeeder.com.