Photo credit: Höegh Autoliners

The Oslo-based Höegh Autoliners, a global provider of RoRo transportation services, has agreed with the owner of the leased vessel Höegh Berlin to terminate the bareboat charter and purchase the vessel, for a purchase price of USD 34.25 million. The vessel was taken over on 1st of March 2023, in accordance with the company´s latest information. Three different brokers estimated the average market value of the vessel and found that was USD 59 million per end of the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Höegh Berlin vessel built in 2005 by Höegh at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, with a capacity of 7,850 ceu, is one of a series of vessels Höegh built at DSME between 2004 and 2010. The vessel was sold in 2009 and chartered back to Höegh Autoliners, under a bareboat charter agreement.

This is the fifth bareboat chartered vessel the company has purchased back in less than a year, and the other four are Höegh Beijing, Höegh Tracer, Höegh Trapper and Höegh St. Petersburg.

The purchase of Höegh Berlin will reduce the long-term cash capacity cost for the vessel “as well as realise additional value gains from taking direct ownership to leased vessels,” as Höegh Autoliners states.

The company intends to register her under the Norwegian flag after the transfer of ownership, and  this will bring Höegh Autoliners’ number of vessels registered in NIS to 28 out of 31 in its technically managed fleet.

Earlier this month Höegh Autoliners have also taken ownership of Höegh Tracer.

Per Øivind Rosmo, CFO of Höegh Autoliners, commented: “After the purchase of the leased vessels, we will have a fleet of 31 owned vessels, 3 BB chartered vessels with purchase option, and 3 vessels chartered in on medium term Time-Charters. This gives us limited exposure to the currently tight and expensive Time-Charter market.”

As the CFO of the company also said “Höegh Berlin has done a very good job for us and our customers since we built her in 2005 and is very well suited for our established, and balanced trade systems, from Asia to Europe and the US with return to Asia via South Africa and Australia or the Middle East. Together with the Horizon class vessels (8,500 CEU capacity) and the Aurora class vessels under construction (9,100 CEU capacity), the series of 7,850 ceu vessels built at Daewoo represents one of the largest and most environmentally friendly PCTC fleet.”