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Bulk operator CMB into containers

Bulk shipping operator Cie Maritime Belge has entered the container shipping market through the acquisition of Delphis
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Delphis is a fully owned subsidiary of Saverco (Saverys family), one of CMB’s reference shareholders. Delphis operates a fleet of 14 containerships of which seven are fully owned and seven are owned in joint venture. Of the seven joint-venture vessels, six are on long term charter to Maersk. Seven out of the 14 ships concerned are type 1A ice-classed. Additionally, the six ships on charter to Maersk are the biggest ice classed ships in the world.

Simultaneously with the acquisition of the Delphis fleet, CMB will acquire the stake of the Hong Kong partner in the seven joint-venture vessels.

The overall consideration for both transactions amounts to US$2.2M and is based on the current market value of the vessels and of the time charter contracts.

The transactions are subject to certain approvals, including the consent of the financing banks. CMB expects to be able to close the transactions early in 2015.

Early in December, CMB ordered two new 2,000 TEU 1A ice-classed container vessels from Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC). These vessels will reportedly be the largest ships that are able to navigate the Kiel Canal and they will have an ultra eco design. Delivery is scheduled for May and June of 2016.

Taking advantage of extremely low second-hand prices the group acquired two Panamax container ships at the beginning of December. The two units of 4,100 TEU were built in Korea at HHIC in 2004 and 2006. These vessels are scheduled to join the CMB fleet during Q1 2015.

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