AUGUST 8, 2013 — Back in May, Svein Engh, Managing Director and Group Head of CIT Maritime Finance said that right now is "the perfect time" to be in the maritime finance market."
Today, CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), which only got back into maritime finance last November, reported that CIT Maritime Finance has provided a $61.8 million senior secured credit facility to a portfolio company of Alterna Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Wilton, CT, to finance the acquisition of three 50,000 DWT ECO-design Medium Range (MR) IMO II/III product/chemical tankers from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
The tankers are owned by Sterling Ocean Shipping, which is majority owned and controlled by Alterna, with technical management provided by Fleet Management Limited. All three vessels have been placed under long-term time charters with Stena Weco.
The Sterling MR tankers are the first in a series of STX next-generation ECO MR tanker designs.
CIT Maritime Finance structured and facilitated the transaction, while financing was provided by CIT Bank, the U.S. commercial bank subsidiary of CIT. The transaction has a five-year term; additional terms were not disclosed. This transaction is CIT's third transaction with Alterna; the first two involved financing a portion of the construction cost and, later, of the delivered cost of the American Phoenix, a U.S.-flagged Jones Act-qualified chemical tanker.
"We are proud to provide Alterna with this financing and further expand our loan portfolio in the maritime industry," said Mr. Engh. "This is our third transaction with Alterna, which further highlights our expertise in the sector and our continued commitment to support our clients' growth initiatives."
Eric Press, Managing Partner of Alterna Capital Partners said, "We are pleased to partner once again with CIT to finance these three ECO-ships. This is our third maritime finance transaction with CIT and its team has clearly demonstrated a deep expertise in the industry."