Capital Product Partners (CPLP), a Nasdaq-listed shipping company, has agreed to acquire 11 newbuild liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers from marine support services provider Capital Maritime & Trading for $3.13bn.

In this connection, Capital Product Partners has signed an umbrella agreement with its general partner Capital GP and Capital Maritime & Trading.

Capital Maritime & Trading is also the largest unitholder and sponsor of Capital Product Partners.

The LNG carriers involved in the deal are Amore Mio I, Axios II, Assos, Apostolos, Aktoras, Archimidis, Agamemnon, Alcaios I, Antaios I, Athlos, and Archon.

Capital Product Partners said that the 11 latest generation two stroke LNG carriers will join its fleet from 2023 to 2027. Following the closing of the deal, the company plans to rebrand as Capital New Energy Carriers, to emphasise its focus on LNG carriers and shipping within the energy transition sector.

Capital GP CEO Jerry Kalogiratos said: “Upon completion of the 11 LNG/C fleet acquisition, we expect CPLP to transform, into one of the largest US listed shipping companies in terms of enterprise value and the largest owner of two stroke, latest generation LNG carriers compared to the current fleet of its US listed peers.”

The acquisition will involve obtaining 100% of the equity interests in the respective vessel-owning company.

The LNG/C Amore Mio I was delivered in October 2023, and the acquisition of its vessel-owning company is expected to occur around the closing date of the umbrella agreement.

The financing for the acquisition of the LNG/C Amore Mio I was facilitated through a $196.3m sale and leaseback transaction between the vessel-owning company and CMB Financial Leasing.

For the LNG/Cs Axios II, Assos, Apostolos, Aktoras, Archimidis, and Agamemnon, a 10% deposit on their respective purchase prices is expected to be paid by Capital Product Partners on the closing date.

Capital Product Partners will acquire each of these initial vessels upon completion of construction and delivery from the shipbuilder.

The vessel-owning companies of the LNG/Cs Alcaios I, Antaios I, Athlos, and Archon will be acquired on the closing date, with Capital Product Partners assuming their obligations under the corresponding shipbuilding contracts with Hyundai.

Capital Product Partners anticipates a total payment of $454.2m to Capital Maritime around the closing date. This includes the acquisition of Amore Mio I, a 10% deposit for initial vessels, and the amount for acquiring remaining vessels.

Upon the delivery of each initial vessel, a balance payment of $1.57bn for all initial vessels will be made to Capital Maritime.

An additional $909.9m is expected to be paid to Hyundai for the remaining vessels in pre-delivery and delivery installments.

The closing date is slated for the end of 2023 concurrent with the completion of the rights offering.

After finalising the umbrella agreement, Capital Product Partners plans to consider divesting its container vessels and refraining from acquiring any more container ships.