Evergreen Marine Corporation has announced that it will sell a pair of 24,000TEU ships to Japanese financial services group ORIX Corporation, following an initial announcement in January.

The Taiwanese liner operator said in filings to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that the vessels, owned by its subsidiary Greencompass Marine SA, will be sold to Nabob Shipping Corp. and Noel Shipping Corp., respectively. The latter entities are understood to be special purpose vehicles owned by ORIX. The Panamanian corporate registry does not disclose beneficial shareholders, but shows that one of ORIX’s directors, Shuji Otake, is a director of Nabob and Noel.

Evergreen is taking delivery of 10 A-type 24,000TEU vessels in total, with an estimated delivery plan of four vessels in 2021 and six in 2022. The ships are under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and two Chinese shipbuilders, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Jiangnan Shipyard.

Greencompass Marine is shown in vessel databases as the ship-owning entity for six vessels being built by SHI and two vessels under construction at Jiangnan.

The sale price of each vessel will be between US$140 million and US$165 million. Sale-leaseback transactions are an increasingly common way of securing ship financing.

Evergreen will create two entities, Reiwa Shipping Corporation and Heisei Shipping Corporation, to function as the bareboat charterers of the vessels.

Ship leasing is among ORIX’s businesses, although its fleet is dominated by bulk carriers. Coincidentally, one of the two container ships owned by ORIX is an 11,850TEU ship that Shoei Kisen Kaisha commissioned at Imabari Shipbuilding for long-term charter to Evergreen. The vessel is due to be delivered in June 2021.