Teekay Tankers Debt-Free after $137m vessel buybacks

Teekay Tankers is expanding its fleet portfolio with new purchases under sale and leaseback deals. The New-York listed owner last month gave notice to exercise purchase options on eight vessels under sale-leaseback arrangements.

The company will be paying $137m in total for the transactions, which should leave the tanker player free of debt after the vessels are repurchased.

The owner did not specify the vessels but only mentioned that are expected to be repurchased with cash balances in March 2024 and will then be unencumbered.

Kevin Mackay, Teekay Tankers’ president and chief executive, said: “We took the opportunity afforded by the strong tanker market to agree to the sale of our two oldest vessels for $46.5 million, which resulted in a combined gain on sale of approximately $21.9 million. Looking ahead, we turn our attention to unwinding our last remaining sale-leaseback arrangements, after which Teekay Tankers will be debt free.”

Teekay Tankers agreed recently to sell two of its 2004-built aframax vessels for gross proceeds of $46.5m.

One vessel sale completed in December 2023 which resulted in a gain on sale of $10.4m. The other vessel sale completed this month which is expected to result in a gain on sale of approximately $11.5m during the first quarter of 2024.

Teekay Tankers has a fleet of 42 double-hull tankers, including 25 suezmax tankers and 17 aframax / LR2 tankers, and has eight time chartered-in tankers.

Its vessels are typically employed through a mix of spot tanker market trading and short- or medium-term fixed-rate time charter contracts. The firm also owns a very large crude carrier (VLCC) through a 50 percent-owned joint venture.

In its tanker market outlook, the shipowner predicts a combination of robust tanker demand growth and very positive fleet supply fundamentals that will continue to lay the foundation for a strong spot tanker market over the next two to three years.