A fleet of second-hand cargo ships is about to set sail on the London Stock Exchange in a public flotation worth an estimated £180 million.
Taylor Maritime Investments will use proceeds from the placing and offer of new shares to assemble a portfolio of 23 mainly Japanese-built Handysize and Supramax vessels capable of carrying up to 60,000 tons in dry bulk deadweight.
It describes them as a “compelling” asset class, with robust demand and the all-time low supply of new build ships making an “outstanding” entry point in the cycle.
The maritime cargo sector rose to prominence with the grounding of the 1,300ft Ever Given in the Suez Canal in March causing a six-day blockage which held up trade worth $10billion.
The fund’s second-hand vessels, which have on-board cranes and shallow drafts to allow access to a greater number of ports, typically achieve yields in excess of 7% and are currently seeing valuations below long-term averages.
The Guernsey-incorporated company is led by some of the most active buyers of Handysize and Supramax dry bulk ships, having made over £1 billion of asset purchases and sales since 1987.
The chief executive is Edward Buttery, who joined the Supramax trading desk at Clarksons shipbrokers in 2005 and worked at Asia Maritime Pacific before setting up what later became Taylor Maritime.
Nicholas Lykiardopulo, an experienced figure in international shipping, is the independent chair. He said the listing offered investors potential exposure to “attractive, immediate cash flows and the potential for capital growth”.
Jefferies is acting for the company on the IPO.