London-headquartered containership owner Global Ship Lease (GSL) has sealed a deal with Borealis Finance to acquire 12 containerships for a total of $233.9m.

The 12 vessels have an average size of around 3,000 teu, a weighted average age of 11 years, and are all on charter with lines with remaining charter durations of three to 25 months.

Deliveries are scheduled during the third quarter of 2021, and the additions take GSL’s fleet to 62 containerships with a total capacity of 322,770 teu.

George Youroukos, executive chairman of Global Ship Lease, commented, “We are pleased to announce the agreement to acquire these 12 ships, which are cash flow positive from the first day, without any additional issuance of common shares. The vessels have an appealing combination of existing medium-term charter cover and upside potential in the relative near term from charter renewals in one of the strongest ever containership charter markets, in which both charter rates and durations are significantly above the levels of recent years. These additions to the GSL fleet will increase our exposure to the workhorse feeder and handy size segments, which are currently commanding record-high charter rates stemming from strong demand and effectively full employment, and discussions are already underway to secure additional forward cover on terms reflecting these superior market conditions.”

GSL expects to fund the purchase price with cash on hand, the proceeds of new bank debt, and the issuance of $35m of its existing 8.00% Senior Unsecured Notes to Borealis.