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Euronav seals sale and leaseback deal for three VLCCs with Chinese firm

Euronav has entered into a sale and leaseback agreement for three VLCCs with China’s Taiping & Sinopec Financial Leasing.

The three 2008-built, 307,284-dwt ships from Dalian Shipyard – Nautica, Nectar, and Noble – were sold for a net en-bloc purchase price of $126m.

Euronav has leased back the three vessels under a 54-month bareboat contract at an average rate of $20,681 per day per vessel. At the end of the bareboat contract, the vessels will be redelivered to their new owners and Euronav will have purchase options exercisable after the first year.

“Consistent with our approach on fleet renewal, we are securing an excellent price for these vessels whilst retaining the capability to recycle this cash into younger tonnage,” said Hugo De Stoop, ceo of Euronav.

“At the same time we maintain our exposure to a freight market that is currently characterised by robust market fundamentals and which is, we believe, in the early stages of a sustained cycle of elevated cashflows,” he added.

The transaction produced a capital gain of about $23m for Euronav and will be booked as an operating lease. After repayment of existing debt, the transaction generated $66.6m free cash for Euronav.

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