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Hoegh Autoliners nets $920m from eight banks to mark major refinancing

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OSLO : Hoegh Autoliners has secured long-term financing for purchases, newbuildings and repayment of bank debt.

A new $720m six-year fleet facility will finance the purchase of two 6,500-ceu vessels, the Hoegh Jacksonville and Hoegh Jeddah (both built 2014), four Aurora newbuildings and to settle existing bank debt.

“Hoegh Autoliners is now fully financed at attractive terms into 2030,” Chief Finance Per Oivind Rosmo said in a statement.

The deal, structured as a term loan and a revolving credit facility, is secured by six ships, excluding the Höegh Jeddah and Höegh Jacksonville and the four newbuilds which will be pledged when the debt is drawn. Höegh noted that the facility’s minimum annual amortisation had been considerably reduced compared to the previous deal “given the age structure of the financed vessels”.

In addition, the company has secured a $200m non-amortising, four-year loan that is currently undrawn and that will serve as an additional capital firepower. The lenders in both facilities are Citibank, BNP Paribas, ING Bank, CA-CIB, DNB, Danske Bank, SEB and Nordea.

The other eight newbuilds are all financed long-term by China’s Bank of Communications.

“With 24 owned vessels being debt free, attractive and flexible amortisations, only $30m left in equity instalments for the 12 newbuilds, and the additional liquidly reserve of $200m, the company is in a unique position to continue to create shareholder’s value,” Rosmo added.

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