Costamare, Monaco-based owner and provider of containerships and dry bulk vessels for charter, has invested $200 million in Neptune Maritime Leasing Limited, becoming the leading investor in the growth-oriented maritime leasing platform.
Neptune Leasing, established in 2021 by seasoned financier Harris Antoniou, who will continue as CEO, provides flexible financing solutions to shipowners.
Costamare will be appointing three additional members to the Board of Neptune Leasing, including Vassilis Mantzavinos, an experienced shipping banker.
“Costamare is pleased to be teaming up in this venture with Neptune Leasing’s anchor investor, Latsco Family Office, the Family Office of Marianna J. Latsis’ family, which is also increasing its investment in Neptune Leasing,” Costamare said, announcing the deal.
As explained, having in mind the current asset values, the investment is expected to provide healthy returns to the company at acceptable risk levels. Costamare added that the new venture was synergetic to the existing ship-owning platform, and is expected to further enhance relationships built over the last decades with shipowners and commercial lenders in the ship financing sector.
Harris Antoniou, the Founder and CEO of Neptune Leasing, said that Neptune Leasing’s goal is to build a high-quality portfolio in shipping, diversify across various shipping sectors and pursue healthy returns at acceptable risk levels. As explained, the Neptune business model is not competitive but symbiotic to bank finance and the company is pursuing cooperation with commercial lenders.
“Maritime leasing has attractive income-generating capacity, downside protection, and limited correlation with other investment products. Given the large fragmented market and the growing demand for credit, maritime leasing offers an opportune entry point for investors,” Gabriella Kindert, Non-Executive Director & Board Chair added.
According to Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of Costamare Inc., 2022 has been a record year for Costamare.
With a fleet of 117 vessels, including 45 dry bulk ships, the company generated a net income of above $523 million. As of the end of the year liquidity stood at around $970 million.
“We are above 95% covered for 2023 and we have proactively arranged long term employment on a forward basis for a number of containerships coming off charter between 2023 and 2025. At the same time, we are in the process of disposing of some older tonnage at prices fixed during a tight market environment,” he said.
“On the dry bulk side, the new dry bulk operating platform previously announced commenced operations during the quarter. With an equity commitment of up to $200 million our goal is to grow the business on a prudent basis realizing healthy returns for our shareholders.”
Zikos explained that the company was looking into potential investments amid boosted liquidity.
Costamare owns a fleet of 72 containerships, with a total capacity of approximately 531,000 TEU, and 45 dry bulk vessels with a total capacity of 2.4 million DWT.
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