Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE: SFL) (Ship Finance) announces that it has agreed to acquire four large container vessels in combination with long-term time-charters to a leading container line.

The vessels are modern eco-design built in 2014 with approximately 14,000 TEU carrying capacity. The Company expects to take delivery of the vessels in the near term, and the purchase price is confidential.

The time-charters to a leading Asia-based container line run until 2024, with options to extend the charters by 18 additional months. Our fixed-rate charter backlog will increase by nearly $450 million and the EBITDA contribution from these new vessels is estimated to approximately $60 million per year.

The consideration to the sellers will be cash plus approximately 4 million newly issued shares in Ship Finance. The cash consideration is financed with cash on the balance sheet and a $320 million unsecured loan facility provided by an affiliate of Hemen Holding Ltd., the Company's largest shareholder. This loan facility is non-amortizing and with a term of more than one year. The Company is exploring long-term financing alternatives for these vessels in the Asian capital market.

Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, said in a comment: "This acquisition highlights Ship Finance's strength and ability to achieve sustained growth and continued diversification. We are deploying a part of the recently raised capital, but still have capacity for new accretive opportunities. Over the last two months we have added nearly $600 million to our charter backlog and expect to continue increasing our fleet of vessels and charter backlog in 2018".

Source: SFL