Global Ship Lease Announces New Senior Secured Loan Facility to Enable Refinancing of 2022 Notes

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Global Ship Lease, Inc. announced that it has agreed a new $236.2 million senior secured loan facility with Hayfin Capital Management, LLP. Global Ship Lease intends to use the proceeds from the New Facility, along with cash on hand, to redeem in full the Company’s outstanding 9.875% First Priority Secured Notes due 2022.

The New Facility matures in January 2026 and bears an interest rate of LIBOR + 7.00%, compared to a coupon of 9.875% on the 2022 Notes. Scheduled amortization under the New Facility is approximately $26 million annually, a reduction from amortization of $35 million annually under the 2022 Notes. Furthermore, amortization will be at par under the New Facility, rather than at 102 under the 2022 Notes. Redemption of the 2022 Notes will, in accordance with the indenture, trigger conversion of the Series C Preferred Shares held by affiliates of Kelso & Company, into approximately 13 million common shares, increasing the number in issue to approximately 30.7 million; underlying ownership and economics are unchanged.

George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, commented, “Against a backdrop of the strongest container shipping industry fundamentals in many years, and having secured a number of charters at highly attractive rates, we are delighted to be able to proceed with refinancing our 2022 Notes while expanding our relationship with Hayfin. The refinancing reflects the extent to which we have materially strengthened Global Ship Lease’s financial position, fleet size and quality, and future prospects, and marks the fulfilment of yet another of our long-term strategic milestones. With less restrictive covenants, this refinancing will allow us to more fully develop the business and return a portion of GSL cashflows to shareholders. Global Ship Lease has never been in a stronger position to take advantage of the full range of exciting and accretive opportunities to maximize shareholder value as a leading owner of high-quality, in-demand containerships.”

Andreas Povlsen, Head of Maritime at Hayfin, commented, “Hayfin is pleased to continue its strong relationship with the management team and shareholders at GSL through this landmark refinancing of the 2022 Notes. Providing a sizeable one-stop solution to support the next step in GSL’s development shows what is possible in a short timeframe when both borrower and lender have a high level of trust and a long-term relationship focus.”

Global Ship Lease is a leading independent owner of containerships with a diversified fleet of mid-sized and smaller containerships. Incorporated in the Marshall Islands, Global Ship Lease commenced operations in December 2007 with a business of owning and chartering out containerships under fixed-rate charters to top tier container liner companies. On November 15, 2018, it completed a strategic combination with Poseidon Containers.

Global Ship Lease owns 43 containerships, ranging from 2,207 to 11,040 TEU, with a total capacity of 245,280 TEU and an average age, weighted by TEU capacity, of 13.4 years as at September 30, 2020. 25 ships are Post-Panamax, of which nine are fuel-efficient new-design wide-beam.

 

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