With a mix of 19 fully-owned vessels already at sea and 8 newbuilds on the way, a total of 27, the new Danish-based Hafnia Tankers will probably be the second largest public shipping company aimed exclusively at product tankers. But from the beginning the company will operate a fleet of about 70 product tankers, including ships from pools under Hafnia Management, Strait Tankers and from J. Lauritzen, Shippingwatch has learned.
The major shareholders in Hafnia Tankers are UK-based Barclays and capital funds Blackstone and Tufton Oceanic. The founding of Hafnia Tankers looks like one of the most wide-reaching initiatives in recent times in the Danish shipping industry, although the company will be listed in the Marshall Islands, or the same place as Scorpio Tankers, which went public in New York.
Young tanker fleet
With 19 ships already at sea and 8 fully financed eco newbuilds on the way, the combined commercial platform in Hafnia Tankers will comprise a fleet of a total 70 ships including pools from Hafnia Management and Strait Tankers. The self-owned fleet of 27 vessels, including the 8 newbuilds to be delivered in 2015 and 2016, will have an average age of 3.1 years.
Hafnia Tankers’ shareholders aim to raise USD 200-235m in private placement at the OTC in Oslo. According to Shippingwatch’s sources, the lion’s share of this capital will be used to finance a purchase of J. Lauritzens fleet of product tankers, 10 vessels in total, as well as 5 as time charter, while the rest of the capital will be used on existing newbuilds.
Public listing on the way
The financial platform for Hafnia Tankers is an initial equity value (Net Asset Value) of about USD 385m, of which USD 165m of equity swaps from existing fleet owners including Blackstone, Tufton, Barclays and J. Lauritzen and the management team.
The ambitious plans for Hafnia Tankers include a fast track public listing in Oslo or New York within the coming six months, and the ultimate goal is 50 fully-owned product tankers with an average age of less than 5 years.
Hafnia Tankers is allegedly already negotiating with several shipyards in China and South Korea for additional newbuilds. The 8 newbuilds the company will receive in 2015 and 2016 will all be built at stock market listed Guangzhou Shipyard in China, where Maersk has also had 8 product tankers built.
In Oslo with Scorpio and Navig8
In mid-August, international shipping group Navig8 raised USD 70m at the OTC in Oslo for financing a series of product tankers, LR2 (Long Range Two), in the company’s new unit Navig8 Product Tankers Inc. The share issue won backing from a group of institutional investors, hedge and capital funds, and was heavily oversubscribed. And a new share issue has already been planned for sometime in the fall with a view to a final listing in either Oslo or New York, much like Hafnia Tankers.
Oslo’s OTC has also served as a market place for the likes of Scorpio Bulkers and Greenship Bulk Trust in recent months.
In August 2012, major investor in Hafnia Tankers, BNRI (Barclays), revealed plans to take the company public as soon as the market was suitable for it. But things have developed much faster than the investor expected at the time.
“The most obvious target for Tankers Inc. is to work toward a stock listing. The time of this potential listing will be determined by when it is most suitable from a market perspective, but 2016 could be a qualified guess. It is too early to say where a stock listing would most advantageously take place – that will depend on the composition of the target investor base, the management team and the assets in the business,” said Director Freddie Lee of BNRI at the time.