The Hamburg-based non-operating owner Rickmers Group disclosed that it has acquired enbloc five 2,226 teu container ships.
Rickmers said that the volume of the investment amounts to more than USD 30 million and that the transaction increases the fleet of vessels owned or managed by the group to a total of 97.
The shipowner commented that it regarded ‘this particular vessel size as one of the few market segments with positive short term upside potential for the charter rates inter alia as the number of vessels in this segment decreased in 2012′.
While the identity of the five ships has not been disclosed, the quintet is believed to comprise the ANGLIA, AS ASTURIA, AS ANDALUSIA, AQUITANIA and AS ALICANTIA. The ships were built in 1999 and 2000 at CSBC’s Kaohsiung shipyard. All five were owned by German KG-funds of Fondshaus Hamburg and managed by the Ahrenkiel Group. Since the KG funds that owned the ships declared insolvency this year, the vessels were put up for sale.
Rickmers already owns eight ships of the type, built in 1997 and 1998 at the same yard. The ships are ALEXANDRA RICKMERS, ALBERT RICKMERS, AENNE RICKMERS, ALICE RICKMERS, ANDREAS RICKMERS, ANDRE RICKMERS, PATRICIA RICKMERS and WILLI RICKMERS. A ninth ship, CLASEN RICKMERS, was sold to Victoria Oceanway in 2012.
All of Rickmers’ eight CSBC 2200 sisters are presently employed trading on charter to MSC, CMA CGM, UAFL, PIL and X-Press Feeders.