GasLog Ltd. and GasLog Partners LP announced that GasLog has agreed to charter to Methane Services, Ltd. (“MSL”), a subsidiary of BG Group, three of GasLog’s uncontracted newbuilds that are currently under construction. MSL also has an option to elect to charter an additional six newbuilds provided it makes that election within 2015. The highlights of this transaction are as follows:
- MSL will charter three newbuildings commencing mid-2018 and early 2019 for average initial terms of approximately 9.5 years at attractive rates
- These charters will add approximately $845 million of fixed rate revenue to GasLog’s existing contracted revenue backlog
- MSL has an option exercisable within 2015 to charter an additional six newbuildings for average initial terms of approximately 10 years
- The six option vessels would add approximately $1.8 billion of fixed rate contracted revenue(1) should MSL exercise its option
The three firm ships to be chartered by MSL will be modern 174,000 cubic meter LNG carriers with low-pressure, two-stroke propulsion technology. Two of the vessels will be delivered from Hyundai Heavy Industries. One vessel will be delivered fromSamsung Heavy Industries.
Together with MSL’s entry into the 9.5 year average charters on the three GasLog newbuild vessels, and as part of MSL’s overall portfolio management, the three existing charters on the GasLog Shanghai, GasLog Santiago and GasLog Sydney (all owned byGasLog Partners) will be adjusted. MSL will lengthen two of the existing charters by approximately 4 months and shorten one charter by 8 months. MSL retains the existing extension options of two consecutive periods of three or four years on all three vessels.
MSL also has an option to elect to charter an additional six newbuilds from GasLog, with average initial terms of ten years at rates consistent with the three firm charters, provided it makes that election within 2015. If MSL makes that election, MSL would take earlier delivery of the three firm newbuilds described above immediately upon their delivery from the shipyards in 2017.
If MSL exercises the options, the three charters of the GasLog Shanghai, GasLog Santiago and GasLog Sydney would be further adjusted by a potential shortening of a maximum 31 months in total, with the aim of redelivering these ships to coincide with the newbuild deliveries in 2017. This would be at a time when management believes there will be a tightening of the supply-demand balance for LNG carriers, as currently indicated by new vessel orders and prospective LNG projects. This option is currently exercisable only within 2015 and the parties are discussing a possible extension of such option beyond the end of 2015.
If MSL does not exercise the extension options referenced above on the GasLog Shanghai, GasLog Santiago and GasLog Sydneyand GasLog Partners does not enter into a third-party charter on such vessels, GasLog and GasLog Partners intend to enter into a bareboat arrangement that is designed to guarantee the total cash distribution from each vessel. However, if they are unable to agree on such bareboat arrangement, GasLog will enter into a time charter with GasLog Partners on equivalent terms to the existing MSL time charters for any period of shortening.
Paul Wogan, CEO of GasLog, commented, “This is another transformational transaction for GasLog, potentially adding nine long-term charters to our fleet. The three firm vessels will add $845 million of fixed contracted revenue at attractive day rates. This transaction will also provide long-term charters for three of our unfixed newbuilds that are currently scheduled to deliver in late 2017. The transaction also further extends the pipeline of vessels we have available to drop down into GasLog Partners and we believe enhances our sum-of-the-parts valuation.”
Andy Orekar, CEO of GasLog Partners, commented, “Today’s transaction adds up to nine vessels under long-term contracts to GasLog Partners’ dropdown pipeline, giving us additional visible growth for multiple years. The immediate addition of three firm charters brings our total current pipeline to 15 LNG carriers, which would increase further to 21 vessels if MSL exercises its option for the six additional newbuildings. With this enhanced pipeline of vessels and the agreement by GasLog to compensate for any shortening of existing charters, GasLog Partners continues to be well positioned for future growth.”