CIT Maritime helps Tanker Solutions add to LR1 fleet

Svein Engh Svein Engh

APRIL 8, 2014 — CIT Maritime Finance has provided a $55 million senior secured credit facility to Tanker Solutions LLC, a joint venture between Prime Tanker Management and Castlelake, L.P. The facility supports the purchase of a fleet of four modern LR1 (long-range) product tankers. Financing from CIT was provided by CIT Bank, the U.S. commercial bank subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"We're pleased to extend our lending relationship with Tanker Solutions, having helped finance the acquisition of a LR1 product tanker in 2013," said Svein Engh, Managing Director and Group Head of CIT Maritime Finance. "Prime and Castlelake are experienced participants in the petrochemical industry and marine transportation. We look forward to further building this relationship."

Michael Chalkias, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Prime Tanker Management, said, "The long-term demand/supply balance of seaborne clean petroleum products transportation is favorable for the foreseeable future, driven mainly by export oriented refineries being relocated progressively further away from demand centers, as well as increasing U.S. refined oil products exports. These structural industry changes and regional dynamics will further support long haul trades, and consequently, demand for LR1s. This financing provided by CIT allows us to further expand Tanker Solutions' fleet, which in combination with Prime's wider LR1 platform, results in commercially controlling one of the world's largest fleets of LR1s trading in clean petroleum products. We look forward to building and expanding further this relationship."

Luke Beltnick, Managing Director of Castlelake, L.P., said, "Castlelake has invested more than $400 million in the energy/petrochemical industry through 14 investments in ethanol plants, E&P companies, oil refiners, pipeline companies and offshore rigs. This transaction allows us to continue growing our portfolio with a great partner in Prime Tanker Management. CIT's ability to execute this transaction in a timely and efficient manner is why they are so well regarded in the maritime sector."

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