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AL Group sells older Panamax container ship

Even though many of the local shipowners have freed themselves from the crisis’s constraints, ships are still leaving the German fleet, as is also the case with the AL Group.

Nicolaus and Friedrich Bunnemann’s AL Group has been one of the most active German companies on the market in the recent past. The shipping company based in Hamburg and Singapore has recently invested in numerous newbuildings, including neo-Panamax container ships, bulkers and tankers. [ds_preview]

In the usual market asset play, on the other hand, older ships are repeatedly leaving the fleet. The most recent example is the “ALS Apollo”, a classic Panamax with a capacity of 4,235 TEU and already 15 years old. Brokers have identified Global Feeder Shipping, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the buyer at a rather high price of US$27m.

AL Group quadruples purchase price from 2017

The former “Benedict Schulte” was originally built for the shipping company Thomas Schulte at Samsung in Korea and was taken over by Asiatic Lloyd in February 2017. The purchase price of US$6.5m at the time has reportedly more than quadrupled eight years later and is easily above the current market value, which the industry portal VesselsValue puts at US$24.25m.

With the “CMA CGM Vela”, a former Conti ship also has a new owner. The 11,014 TEU vessel has been sailing under charter with the French liner shipping company for many years. According to reports, the Marseille-based company managed by Rodolphe Saadé has exercised a purchase option. The price for the post-Panamax freighter, which was built in Korea by Daewoo in 2008, is quoted by brokers at US$54m, almost exactly the market value.

After years of decline, the size of the German merchant fleet has recently stabilised at around 1,800 ships. Even though the absolute number shrank again slightly last year, the average increase in ship size led to growth in terms of GT.

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Copyright: © Asiatic Lloyd

Caption: Nicolaus (left) and Friedrich Bunnemann at the christening of the tankers "Bantry Bay" and "Herolds Bay"