MAY 30, 2013 — Costamare Inc. (NYSE:CMRE) reports that it has entered into a joint venture framework deed with New York-based hedge fund manager York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC to invest jointly up to $500 million in equity for the acquisition of container vessels.
Costamare Inc. says it will hold up to a 49 percent interest in the joint venture. It will have the option to increase its percentage participation from a minimum of 25 percent to a maximum of 49 percent within a pre-determined time period after each acquisition commitment has been agreed upon.
Decisions regarding vessel acquisitions will be taken jointly.
The joint venture is expected to be each party's exclusive vehicle for the acquisition of vessels in the container industry during the two-year investment period and it will have a right of first refusal on any container vessel acquisitions proposed by either party.
The term of the joint venture is six years unless earlier terminated by the parties upon the occurrence of certain extraordinary events or disagreements. On any termination of the joint venture, Costamare Inc. will have the right to require a split of the vessel fleet between the parties.
Costamare Shipping Company S.A. ("Costamare Shipping"), an affiliate of Costamare Inc. controlled by one of its principal shareholders, will provide shipmanagement services, with the right to subcontract to V.Ships Greece Ltd. and/or Shanghai Costamare Shipmanagement Co. Ltd. Costamare Shipping currently provides shipmanagement services to Costamare Inc. on an exclusive basis.
Costamare Inc. CFO Gregory Zikos commented:
"We are pleased to announce our joint venture agreement with York, a first class and well respected fund manager, and we look forward to pursuing investment opportunities in container shipping.
"The structure of the agreement is designed to avoid any conflict between the public company and private investors; on the contrary, Costamare Inc. will be co-investing alongside York and will have the opportunity to earn incremental returns.
"With this agreement we complement our own purchasing power with that of our partner, allowing us to pursue opportunities of larger scale and cater to the increased needs of our clients.
"Our strategy has always been returns-oriented; we believe that our partnership with York will further enhance investor returns."
Costamare Inc. is a leading owner and provider of containerships for charter with a fleet of 56 containerships, with a total capacity of approximately 328,000 TEU, including eight newbuild containerships on order.