In April this year, ESL Shipping's parent company Aspo Plc announced that it has initiated a program to accelerate ESL Shipping’s green transition through a program assessing three alternative measures, including a launch of a new investment pool of fossil-free vessels, a possible equity injection in ESL Shipping by a minority shareholder, and the sale of the two Supramax vessels.
As the first result of this assessment, Aspo has signed an agreement with OP Finland Infrastructure LP regarding an investment of EUR 30 million into Aspo’s subsidiary ESL Shipping. The investment will be made against the issuance of new shares in ESL Shipping with an agreed pre-money equity valuation of EUR 165 million, corresponding to a 15.38% ownership stake in ESL Shipping. This implies an enterprise value of approximately EUR 300 million for ESL Shipping.
The transaction is subject to competition authority filings and change of control approvals from financial institutions. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place during Q1/2024.
“We are delighted to have found a partner in OP Finland Infrastructure LP to support Aspo and ESL Shipping in accelerating the company’s low-carbon growth strategy. We see immense infra-like growth opportunities in ESL Shipping’s market and want the company to play an active part in the ongoing sustainability transformation”, says Rolf Jansson, CEO of Aspo Group.
“For us, this is a great investment opportunity to accelerate the green transition of ESL Shipping and its customers in Finland and around the Baltic Sea”, says Ossi Vasala of OP Finland Infrastructure LP.
ESL Shipping’s strategy
ESL Shipping’s ambition is to instrumentally support the sustainability-driven transformation of its industrial customers by taking further steps in offering them completely fossil-free sea transportation. ESL Shipping’s strategy is focused on long-term industrial partnerships and on being a forerunner in sustainability. The ongoing green transition will substantially enlarge ESL Shipping’s market and offer significant growth opportunities.
The already ongoing investment in twelve Green Coasters is progressing as planned. A total of seven vessels are already under construction and the first vessel in the series, Electramar, was successfully launched in June and is expected to be delivered during Q4/2023. The second vessel, Stellamar, was launched in October.
The program to accelerate ESL Shipping’s green transformation will continue through further investments in fleet and technologies enabling fossil-free shipments for the company’s customer base.
To finance the strategic growth of ESL Shipping, the parties will continue the assessment of alternative measures, including the launch of a new investment pool of fossil-free vessels, sales of the company’s two Supramax vessels and raising further equity through additional co-investments into ESL Shipping.