Poseidon Acquisition Corp., the consortium that last month had submitted an offer to acquire Atlas Corp., the holding company that which owns the Seaspan Corporation, the world's leading charterer of container ships, and APR Energy, a company operating in the energy sector (
of 5 August
2022), announced today the decision to raise the offer price to buy all circulating ordinary shares of Atlas not already in possession or under the control of Poseidon, raising it to $15.50 in cash per share compared to the $14.45 previously offered.
The president of Poseidon, David L. Sokol, specified that this is the best and final offer formulated by the consortium.
Presenting the new proposal, Poseidon highlighted the deterioration of the economic scenario in the last few years weeks, starting from what characterized the markets financial. With regard to the markets in which Atlas operates, Poseidon has noted that ship chartering rates are continuing to decrease and the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, the index of world containerized imports from China, the last September 23 at 2,072 points, with a decrease of -59% compared to the peak of 5,110 points on January 7, 2022 and fell by -45% since 5 August. Poseidon found that, with the decline in freight for containerized maritime shipments, navigation and shippers may not be able to cope their commitments relating to the chartering of ships and that could result in a renegotiation of the terms of the agreements with container ship charterers or their cancellation, such as - specified Poseidon - experimented last month with a company which operates in the same market as Atlas.
In addition, Poseidon noted that, as the report reports. monthly Alphaliner, currently the world's order book of container ships accounts for 28% of capacity today in service and that in 2023 and 2024 new ones will be delivered container ships with a capacity of over five million teu. In 2023 - Poseidon specified - capacity overall fleet is expected to record growth in +8.2%, significantly exceeding the increase in containerized traffic which is expected to stand at +2.7%. This - has Emphasized Poseidon - carries the significant risk of a reduction of the rental rates of the ships that will come renegotiated as the agreed rental periods will arrive at maturity.
Finally Poseidon pointed out that he predicts that Atlas will go meeting large capital expenditures for restructuring or replacement of ships in its fleet, container ships that could become obsolete well before the currently planned useful life equal to 30 years, while many of the main maritime carriers Atlas customers assume that the service life is between 20 and 25 years old. Poseidon then found that Atlas operates for a highly concentrated sector, with the top eight companies of containerized navigation that last August represented about 80% of the market in terms of hold capacity and with Atlas' top three carrier customers, namely the companies COSCO, Yang Ming and ONE, which in 2019 contributed to more than 60% of Atlas' annual revenues. These three companies, according to Alphaliner's latest monthly report, they have ongoing orders for 68 new ships with a total capacity of over a million teu and - observed Poseison - if the question will continue to decrease, the liner companies customers of the Atlas will be able to use their own ships instead of renting them to meet their capacity needs of hold.
The Poseidon consortium, in addition to being constituted by the Canadian financial Fairfax Financial Holdings and the group US Washington who are the main shareholders of the same Atlas, is formed by David Sokol, chairman of the board of administration of Atlas, and Ocean Network Express (ONE), which is precisely one of atlas' main customers.