United Kingdom

Africa Express Line Ltd.

The challenge

Africa Express Line (AEL) had an investment programme in place to gradually replace leased reefer containers with lease-to-buy containers. During the discussions that followed, AEL asked whether we would be able to make the lease construction cash-neutral for them with a view to potential advance payments in issuing orders to the factory and to payment for the containers on delivery. In previous capital expenditures, AEL was required to provide their own pre-finance, after which the containers were sold to the leasing company.

Our solution

Thanks to our knowledge of the assets and the sector, we were able to make an offer that tied in perfectly with AEL’s wishes and requirements. Under the deal, we took over the order issued to the factory, and we ensured that the residual value of the containers was an above-average and that were able to offer AEL the option of purchasing the containers. For AEL this was an “investment” that was fully no-cash-out. We were therefore very pleased to be able to finance the second tranche.

About Africa Express Line Ltd.

Africa Express Line was established in 2001 to provide a specialised refrigerated shipping service for its parent company Compagnie Fruitiere (CF). Its task involves transporting fruit from CF’s fruit farms in West Africa to Europe. AEL operates a modern fleet of eight reefer vessels, making weekly trips to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. It provides a superior-quality service due to its provision of controlled atmosphere under deck cargo holds and on-deck refrigerated containers. To maintain this high level of service, AEL continually invests in infrastructure. Currently, the company is rebuilding four modern conventional reefer ships in China with a view to having one of the most efficient reefer fleets in the world. In addition, over the past three years AEL has taken delivery of 1,600 new reefer containers.