|Closing Price ($)||Shares Out (MM)||Market Cap ($MM)|
|YUMC||Yum China Holdings||16,940|
|FDS||FactSet Research Systems||10,650|
|NAK||Northern Dynasty Minerals||146|
|SALM||Salem Media Group||54|
|ABMT||Advanced Biomedical Technologies||0|
|Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers|
|Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable|
|Item 3. Key Information|
|Item 4. Information on The Company|
|Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments|
|Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects|
|Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees|
|Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions|
|Item 8. Financial Information|
|Item 9. The Offer and Listing|
|Item 10. Additional Information|
|Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk|
|Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities|
|Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies|
|Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds|
|Item 15. Controls and Procedures|
|Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert|
|Item 16B. Code of Ethics|
|Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services|
|Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees|
|Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers|
|Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant|
|Item 16G. Corporate Governance|
|Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure|
|Item 17. Financial Statements|
|Item 18. Financial Statements|
|Item 19. Exhibits|
|Balance Sheet||Income Statement||Cash Flow|
| UNITED STATES |
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20549
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
Commission file number 001-33060
Republic of The Marshall Islands
c/o Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd, Athens Branch
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Name of each exchange on which registered|
Common stock, $0.01 par value per share
|New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
As of December 31, 2018, there were 213,324,455 shares of the registrant's common stock outstanding.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
o Yes ý No
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
o Yes ý No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
ý Yes o No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
ý Yes o No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer", "accelerated filer" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer o
|Accelerated filer o||Non-accelerated filer ý||Emerging growth company o|
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP ý
|International Financial Reporting Standards as issued |
by the International Accounting Standards Board o
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
o Item 17 o Item 18
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
o Yes ý No
| || ||Page|
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Information on the Company
Unresolved Staff Comments
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
The Offer and Listing
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities
Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Controls and Procedures
Audit Committee Financial Expert
Code of Ethics
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Mine Safety Disclosure
This annual report contains forward-looking statements based on beliefs of our management. Any statements contained in this annual report that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events, including:
The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "potential," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," and "should" and similar expressions as they relate to us are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. We may also from time to time make forward-looking statements in our periodic reports that we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") other information sent to our security holders, and other written materials. Such statements reflect our current views and assumptions and all forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect our future financial results are discussed more fully in "Item 3. Key InformationRisk Factors" and in our other filings with the SEC. We caution readers of this annual report not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Danaos Corporation is a corporation domesticated in the Republic of The Marshall Islands that is referred to in this Annual Report on Form 20-F, together with its subsidiaries, as "Danaos Corporation," "the Company," "we," "us," or "our." This report should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto, which are included in Item 18 to this annual report.
We use the term "twenty foot equivalent unit," or "TEU," the international standard measure of containers, in describing the capacity of our containerships. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to currency amounts in this annual report are in U.S. dollars.
All data regarding our fleet and the terms of our charters is as of February 28, 2019. As of February 28, 2019, we owned 55 containerships aggregating 327,616 TEU in capacity. Gemini Shipholdings Corporation ("Gemini"), a Marshall Islands company incorporated in August 2015 and beneficially owned 49% by Danaos Corporation and 51% by Virage International Ltd. ("Virage"), a company controlled by Danaos Corporation's largest stockholder, owned an additional four containerships of 23,998 TEU aggregate capacity as of February 28, 2019. We do not consolidate Gemini's results of operations and account for our minority equity interest in Gemini under the equity method of accounting. See "Item 4. Information on the CompanyBusiness OverviewOur Fleet".
Selected Consolidated Financial Data
The following table presents selected consolidated financial and other data of Danaos Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries for each of the five years in the five year period ended December 31, 2018. The table should be read together with "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects." The selected consolidated financial data of Danaos Corporation as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 and each of the three years ended December 31, 2018 is derived from our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Form 20-F, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or "U.S. GAAP", and have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers S.A., an independent registered public accounting firm. Our selected consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 and for each of the two years ended December 31, 2015 is derived from our consolidated financial statements not included herein and reflect the retrospective application of the change in accounting principle for deferred finance costs.
Our audited consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, changes in stockholders' equity and cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, and the
consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2018 and 2017, together with the notes thereto, are included in "Item 18. Financial Statements" and should be read in their entirety.
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
| ||In thousands, except per share amounts and other data |
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
Vessel operating expenses
Amortization of deferred drydocking and special survey costs
Bad debt expense
General and administrative expenses
Gain/(loss) on sale of vessels
Income/(loss) from operations
Other finance expenses(1)
Equity income/(loss) on investments
Gain on debt extinguishment
Other income/(expenses), net
Unrealized and realized losses on derivatives
Total other expenses, net
PER SHARE DATA
Basic and diluted earnings/(loss) per share of common stock
Basic and diluted weighted average number of shares (in thousands)
Dividends declared per share
CASH FLOW DATA
Net cash provided by operating activities
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities
Net cash used in financing activities(2)
Net increase/(decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash(2)
BALANCE SHEET DATA (at year end)
Total current assets
Total current liabilities, including current portion of long-term debt
Current portion of long-term debt
Current portion of Vendor financing
Long-term debt, net of current portion(1)
Vendor financing, net of current portion
Total stockholders' equity
Common stock shares outstanding (in thousands)
Common stock at par value
Number of vessels at period end
TEU capacity at period end
Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs" ("ASU 2015-03"), which resulted in a reduction of deferred charges, total assets, long-term debt, net and total liabilities by $49,020 as of December 31, 2014.
Capitalization and Indebtedness
The table below sets forth our consolidated capitalization as of December 31, 2018:
Other than these adjustments, there have been no material changes to our capitalization from debt or equity issuances, re-capitalizations, special dividends, or debt repayments as adjusted in the table below between January 1, 2019 and February 28, 2019.
| ||As of December 31, 2018|
| ||Actual||As adjusted|
| ||(US Dollars in thousands) |
Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share; 100,000,000 preferred shares authorized and none issued; actual and as adjusted
Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; 750,000,000 shares authorized; 213,324,455 shares issued and outstanding; actual and as adjusted(2)
Additional paid-in capital
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
Total stockholders' equity
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Risks Inherent in Our Business
Our business, and an investment in our securities, involves a high degree of risk, including risks relating to the downturn in the container shipping market, which continues to adversely affect the major liner companies which charter our vessels and as well as our earnings and cash flows.
The downturn in the containership market, from which we derive all of our revenues, has severely affected the container shipping industry, including the large liner companies to which we charter our vessels, and has adversely affected our business. The containership market has generally remained weak since declining sharply in 2008 and 2009 and, despite improving modestly, for periods in recent years, remains at depressed levels. The benchmark rates have declined in all quoted size sectors, with the benchmark one-year daily rate of a 4,400 TEU Panamax containership, which was $36,000 in May 2008, at $8,000 at the end of 2017 and $9,000 at the end of 2018. The weak charter rates are due to various factors, including the level of global trade, including exports from China to Europe and the United States, and increases in containership capacity. The depressed containership market has affected the major liner companies which charter our vessels, including Hanjin Shipping which cancelled long-term charters for eight of our vessels after it filed for court receivership in September 2016 and Hyundai Merchant Marine ("HMM") with which we agreed to charter modifications in July 2016. Other liner companies have also reported large losses in recent years, including some of our charterers. The weakness in the containership market also affects the value of our vessels, which follow the trends of freight rates and containership charter rates, and the earnings on our charters, and similarly, affects our cash flows and liquidity. In 2017 and 2018, as a result mainly of the cancellation of eight charters for our vessels with Hanjin Shipping, we were in breach of covenants in our financing arrangements and had to refinance our indebtedness in a transaction that, among other things, reduced the principal amount of debt outstanding, extended maturities and involved the issuance of a substantial number of shares of our common stock to our lenders. The extended period of weakness in the containership charter market may continue to have additional adverse consequences for our industry including limited financing for vessel acquisitions and newbuildings, a less active secondhand market for the sale of vessels, additional charterers not performing under, or requesting modifications of, existing time charters and loan covenant defaults. This significant downturn in the container shipping industry could adversely affect our ability to service our debt and other obligations, or to refinance our debt, and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We may have difficulty securing profitable employment for our vessels in the currently depressed containership market.
Of our 55 vessels, as of February 28, 2019, 22 are employed on time charters expiring between March 2019 and December 2019. Given the current state of the containership charter market, we may be unable to secure employment for these vessels at attractive rates, or at all, when, if applicable, their charters expire. Although we do not receive any revenues from our vessels while not employed, as was also the case for certain of our vessels for periods in recent years, we are required to pay expenses necessary to maintain the vessel in proper operating condition, insure it and service any indebtedness secured by such vessel. If we cannot re-charter our vessels profitably, our results of operations and operating cash flow will be adversely affected.
We are dependent on the ability and willingness of our charterers to honor their commitments to us for all of our revenues and the failure of our counterparties to meet their obligations under our charter agreements could cause us to suffer losses or otherwise adversely affect our business.
We derive all of our revenues from the payment of charter hire by our charterers. Each of our 55 containerships are currently employed under time or bareboat charters with eleven liner companies,
with 88% of our revenues in 2018 generated from five such companies. We could lose a charterer or the benefits of a time charter if:
In 2016 Hanjin Shipping cancelled the charters for eight of our vessels after it filed for court receivership in September 2016 and in July 2016 we agreed to modifications to the charters for 13 of our vessels with HMM with substantial charter rate reductions. ZIM's 2014 restructuring agreement with its creditors included a significant reduction in the charter rates payable by ZIM under its time charters, expiring in 2020 or 2021, for six of our vessels.
If we lose a time charter, we may be unable to re-deploy the related vessel on terms as favorable to us or at all. For instance, all of the eight vessels previously chartered to Hanjin Shipping were rechartered on short-term charters at significantly lower rates, after remaining idle for a number of months in the case of the three 10,100 TEU vessels, following Hanjin Shipping's cancellation of the charters. We would not receive any revenues from such a vessel while it remained unchartered, but we may be required to pay expenses necessary to maintain the vessel in proper operating condition, insure it and service any indebtedness secured by such vessel.
Many of the time charters on which we deploy our containerships provide for charter rates that are significantly above current market rates. The ability and willingness of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under their time charters with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the container shipping industry, which has generally experienced weakness with limited recovery since the 2008-2009 economic crisis, and the overall financial condition of the counterparty. Furthermore, the combination of a reduction in cash flow resulting from declines in world trade, a reduction in borrowing bases under credit facilities and the reduced availability of debt and equity financing may result in a significant reduction in the ability of our charterers to make charter payments to us, with a number of large liner companies announcing efforts to obtain third party aid and restructure their obligations, including some of our charterers, in recent years. The likelihood of a charterer seeking to renegotiate or defaulting on its charter with us may be heightened to the extent such customers are not able to utilize the vessels under charter from us, and instead leave such chartered vessels idle. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us, it may be difficult to secure substitute employment for such vessel, and any new charter arrangements we secure may be at lower rates given the current situation in the charter market. Gemini, in which we have minority equity investment, faces the same risks with respect to its vessels that it employs on time charters.
If our charterers fail to meet their obligations to us or attempt to renegotiate our charter agreements, as part of a court-supervised restructuring or otherwise, we could sustain significant reductions in revenue and earnings which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as our ability to comply with the covenants and refinance our credit facilities. In such an event, we could be unable to service our debt and other obligations.
We depend upon a limited number of customers for a large part of our revenues. The loss of these customers could adversely affect us.
Our customers in the containership sector consist of a limited number of liner operators. The percentage of our revenues derived from these customers has varied in past years. In the past several years, CMA CGM, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Yang Ming, Hapag Lloyd and ZIM have represented substantial amounts of our revenue. In 2018, approximately 88% of our operating revenues were generated by five customers and in 2017, approximately 92% of our operating revenues were derived from five customers. As of February 28, 2019, we have charters for seventeen of our vessels with CMA CGM, for seven of our vessels with Yang Ming, for seven of our vessels with ZIM, for five of our vessels with Hyundai, for four of our vessels with Evergreen, for four of our vessels with MSC, for three of our vessels with Maersk, for three of our vessels with Cosco, for three of our vessels with Hapag Lloyd, for one of our vessels with ONE and for one of our vessels with Samudera. We expect that a limited number of liner companies may continue to generate a substantial portion of our revenues. Some of these liner companies have publicly acknowledged the financial difficulties facing them and reported substantial losses in prior years. In 2016 Hanjin Shipping, from which 10% and 17% of our revenues in 2016 and 2015, respectively, were generated, cancelled the charters for eight of our vessels after it filed for court receivership in September 2016 and in July 2016 we agreed to charter rate reductions under the charters for 13 of our vessels with HMM, from which 24% of our revenues were generated in 2018, 31% in 2017 and 32% in 2016. ZIM's 2014 restructuring agreement with its creditors included a significant reduction in the charter rates payable by ZIM under its time charters, expiring in 2020 or 2021, for six of our vessels. If any of these liner operators cease doing business or do not fulfill their obligations under their charters for our vessels, due to the financial pressure on these liner companies from the decreases in demand for the seaborne transport of containerized cargo or otherwise, our results of operations and cash flows, and ability to comply with covenants in our financing arrangements, could be adversely affected. Further, if we encounter any difficulties in our relationships with these charterers, our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our profitability and growth depend on the demand for containerships and global economic conditions, and the impact on consumer confidence and consumer spending may continue to affect containerized shipping volume and adversely affect charter rates. Charter hire rates for containerships may continue to experience volatility or remain at depressed levels, which would, in turn, adversely affect our profitability.
Demand for our vessels depends on demand for the shipment of cargoes in containers and, in turn, containerships. The ocean-going container shipping industry is both cyclical and volatile in terms of charter hire rates and profitability. Containership charter rates peaked in 2005 and generally stayed strong until the middle of 2008, when the effects of the economic crisis began to affect global container trade, and in 2008 and 2009 the ocean-going container shipping industry experienced severe declines, with charter rates at significantly lower levels than the historic highs of the prior few years. Containership charter rates have since generally remained weak, with brief periods of limited improvement and subsequent declines, remain well below long-term averages and could remain at depressed levels for an extended period. Variations in containership charter rates result from changes in the supply and demand for ship capacity and changes in the supply and demand for the major products transported by containerships. The factors affecting the supply and demand for containerships and supply and demand for products shipped in containers are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable. The slowdown in the global economy and disruptions in the credit markets may continue to reduce demand for products shipped in containers and, in turn, containership capacity.
Factors that influence demand for containership capacity include:
Factors that influence the supply of containership capacity include:
The recovery in consumer confidence and consumer spending has been volatile and uneven. Consumer purchases of discretionary items, many of which are transported by sea in containers, generally decline during periods where disposable income is adversely affected or there is economic uncertainty and, as a result, liner company customers may ship fewer containers or may ship containers only at reduced rates. Any such decrease in shipping volume could adversely impact our liner company customers and, in turn, demand for containerships. Such decreases in recent years, led to declines in charter rates and vessel values in the containership sector and increased counterparty risk associated with the charters for our vessels.
Our ability to recharter our containerships upon the expiration or termination of their current charters and the charter rates payable under any renewal or replacement charters will depend upon, among other things, the prevailing state of the charter market for containerships. As of February 28, 2019, the charters for twenty-two of our vessels expire between March 2019 and December 2019. If the charter market, which currently remains at low levels, is depressed when our vessels' charters expire, we may be forced to recharter the containerships, if we were able to recharter such vessels at all, at reduced rates and possibly at rates whereby we incur a loss. If we were unable to recharter our vessels on favorable terms, we may potentially scrap certain of such vessels, which may reduce our earnings or make our earnings volatile. The same issues will exist if we acquire additional containerships and attempt to obtain multi-year charter arrangements as part of an acquisition and financing plan.
Containership charter rates and vessel values may affect our ability to comply with various financial and collateral covenants in our credit facilities.
Our credit facilities, which are secured by, among other things, mortgages on our vessels, require us to maintain specified collateral coverage ratios and satisfy financial covenants. Low containership charter rates, or the failure of our charterers to fulfill their obligations under their charters for our vessels, due to financial pressure on these liner companies from weak demand for the seaborne transport of containerized cargo or otherwise, may adversely affect our ability to comply with these
covenants. The market value of containerships is sensitive to, among other things, changes in the charter markets with vessel values deteriorating in times when charter rates are falling and improving when charter rates are anticipated to rise. As a result of depressed containership market conditions, and the cancellation of eight of our charters by Hanjin Shipping in conjunction with its filing for bankruptcy court protection, we were in breach of the financial covenants in our prior financing arrangements that were refinanced and replaced by our New 2018 Credit Facilities.
Our New 2018 Credit Facilities contain financial covenants set at levels with which we were in compliance as of December 31, 2018 and that require us to maintain:
We also amended the terms of our Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro credit facility in connection with the 2018 Refinancing to align the covenants contained therein with the covenants for our other credit facilities described above.
If we are unable to meet our covenant compliance obligations under our credit facilities, and are unable to reach an agreement with our lenders to obtain compliance waivers, our lenders could then accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose on the vessels in our fleet securing those credit facilities. Any such default could result in cross-defaults under our other credit facilities, and the consequent acceleration of the indebtedness thereunder and the commencement of similar foreclosure proceedings by other lenders. The loss of any of our vessels would have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition and could impair our ability to operate our business.
Substantial debt levels could limit our flexibility to obtain additional financing and pursue other business opportunities and our ability to service our outstanding indebtedness will depend on our future operating performance, including the charter rates we receive under charters for our vessels.
We have aggregate principal amount of indebtedness outstanding of approximately $1.6 billion, as of December 31, 2018. We may seek to incur substantial additional indebtedness, as market conditions warrant, to grow our fleet to the extent that we are able to obtain such financing and our credit facilities permit such financing. This level of debt could have important consequences to us, including the following:
permitted by our New 2018 Credit Facilities and reinstated by our board of directors, dividends to our stockholders;
Our ability to service our debt will depend upon, among other things, our future financial and operating performance, which will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, some of which are beyond our control. In particular, the charter rates we obtain for our vessels, including our vessels on shorter term time charters or other charters expiring in the near future, will have a significant impact on our ability to service our indebtedness. If we do not generate sufficient cash flow to service our debt, we may be forced to take actions such as reducing or delaying our business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures, selling assets, refinancing our debt or seeking additional equity capital. We may not be able to effect any of these remedies on satisfactory terms, or at all.
In addition, we do not have any additional amounts available for borrowing under our credit facilities. Accordingly, we are dependent on our cash flows from operations to meet our operating expenses and debt service obligations. If we need additional liquidity and are unable to obtain such liquidity from existing or new lenders or in the capital markets, such as the common stock offering for net proceeds of at least $50 million that we have agreed to seek to complete within 18 months of the August 10, 2018 consummation of the 2018 Refinancing, or if our New 2018 Credit Facilities do not permit additional debt that we require (and we are unable to obtain waivers from required lenders), we may be unable to meet our liquidity obligations which could lead to a default under our credit facilities.
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to realize the anticipated benefits from the 2018 Refinancing. If we are unable to meet our obligations, we would need to reach another arrangement with our creditors, which may be on terms that are less favorable to us than those of the transactions entered into in connection with the 2018 Refinancing. Notwithstanding the 2018 Refinancing, we remain significantly leveraged and continue to face risks associated with a highly leveraged company.
Disruptions in world financial markets and the resulting governmental action could have a further material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, and could cause the market price of our common stock to decline further.
The global economy has generally improved recently but remains subject to significant downside economic risks, as well as geopolitical risks and the emergence of populist and protectionist political movements in advanced economies, which may negatively impact global economic growth, disrupt financial markets, and may lead to weaker consumer demand. A slowdown in the global economy may result in a decrease in worldwide demand for products transported by containerships. These issues, along with the re-pricing of credit risk and the difficulties being experienced by some financial institutions have made, and will likely continue to make, it difficult to obtain financing. As a result of past disruptions in the credit markets, the cost of obtaining bank financing in the shipping industry has increased as many lenders have increased interest rates, enacted tighter lending standards, required more restrictive terms, including higher collateral ratios for advances, shorter maturities and smaller loan amounts, refused to refinance existing debt at maturity at all or on terms similar to our current debt. Furthermore, certain banks that have historically been significant lenders to the shipping industry have reduced or ceased lending activities in the shipping industry. We cannot be certain that financing will be available on acceptable terms or at all. If financing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our obligations as they come due. In the absence of available financing, we may be unable to take advantage of business opportunities or respond to
competitive pressures, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations.
We face risks attendant to changes in economic environments, changes in interest rates, and any instability in the banking and securities markets around the world, among other factors. Major market disruptions and adverse changes in market conditions and the regulatory climate in the United States and worldwide may adversely affect our business or impair our ability to borrow amounts under any future financial arrangements. However, these recent and developing economic and governmental factors, together with the concurrent decline in charter rates and vessel values, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows, have caused the price of our common stock to decline and could cause the price of our common stock to decline further.
In addition, as a result of the ongoing economic slump in Greece resulting from the sovereign debt crisis and the related austerity measures implemented by the Greek government, our operations in Greece may be subjected to new regulations that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and may require that we pay to the Greek government new taxes or other fees. Furthermore, the change in the Greek government and potential shift in its policies may undermine Greece's political and economic stability, which may adversely affect our operations and those of our manager located in Greece. We also face the risk that strikes, work stoppages, civil unrest and violence within Greece, as well as the capital controls in effect in Greece since mid-2015, may disrupt our shoreside operations and those of our manager located in Greece.
If global economic conditions weaken, particularly in Europe and in the Asia Pacific region, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Global economic conditions impact worldwide demand for various goods and, thus, container shipping. In particular, we anticipate a significant number of the port calls made by our vessels will continue to involve the loading or unloading of containers in ports in the Asia Pacific region. As a result, negative changes in economic conditions in any Asia Pacific country, in particular China which has been one of the world's fastest growing economies in recent years, can have a significant impact on the demand for container shipping. However, if China's pace of growth declines, as recent reports indicate may be occurring, and other countries in the Asia Pacific region experience slower or negative economic growth in the future, this may negatively affect the fragile recovery of the economies of the United States and the European Union, and thus, may negatively impact container shipping demand. For example, the introduction of tariffs on selected imported goods mainly from Asia has provoked retaliatory measures from the affected countries, including China, which may create impediments to trade. Risks remaining from the recent recovery in Europe, including the possibility of sovereign debt defaults by European Union member countries, including Greece, and any resulting weakness of the Euro, including against the Chinese renminbi, could adversely affect European consumer demand, particularly for goods imported, many of which are shipped in containerized form, from China and elsewhere in Asia, and reduce the availability of trade financing which is vital to the conduct of international shipping. In addition, the charters that we enter into with Chinese customers, including the charters we currently have with COSCO for three of our vessels, may be subject to new regulations in China that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and may require that we pay to the Chinese government new taxes or other fees. Changes in laws and regulations, including with regards to tax matters, and their implementation by local authorities could affect our vessels chartered to Chinese customers as well as our vessels calling to Chinese ports and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our business, financial condition, results of operations, as well as our future prospects, will likely be materially and adversely affected by an economic downturn in any of these countries.
A decrease in the level of export of goods, in particular from Asia, or an increase in trade protectionism globally, including from the United States, could have a material adverse impact on our charterers' business and, in turn, could cause a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our operations expose us to the risk that increased trade protectionism from the United States, China or other nations adversely affect our business. Governments may turn to trade barriers to protect or revive their domestic industries in the face of foreign imports, thereby depressing the demand for shipping. Restrictions on imports, including in the form of tariffs, could have a major impact on global trade and demand for shipping. Trade protectionism in the markets that our charterers serve may cause an increase in the cost of exported goods, the length of time required to deliver goods and the risks associated with exporting goods and, as a result, a decline in the volume of exported goods and demand for shipping.
The U.S. president was elected on a platform promoting trade protectionism and has instituted large tariffs on a wide variety of goods, including from China, which has led to threats of retaliatory tariffs from leaders of other countries including China. These policy pronouncements have created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and China and other exporting countries, including with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs and has led to concerns regarding the potential for an extended trade war. Protectionist developments, or the perception they may occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions, and may significantly reduce global trade and, in particular, trade between the United States and other countries, including China.
Our containerships are deployed on routes involving containerized trade in and out of emerging markets, and our charterers' container shipping and business revenue may be derived from the shipment of goods from Asia to various overseas export markets, including the United States and Europe. Any reduction in or hindrance to the output of Asia-based exporters could have a material adverse effect on the growth rate of Asia's exports and on our charterers' business.
Furthermore, the government of China has implemented economic policies aimed at increasing domestic consumption of Chinese-made goods and containing capital outflows. These policies may have the effect of reducing the supply of goods available for exports and the level of international trading and may, in turn, result in a decrease in demand for container shipping. In addition, reforms in China for a gradual shift to a "market economy" including with respect to the prices of certain commodities, are unprecedented or experimental and may be subject to revision, change or abolition and if these reforms are reversed or amended, the level of imports to and exports from China could be adversely affected.
Any new or increased trade barriers or restrictions on trade would have an adverse impact on our charterers' business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. Such adverse developments could in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flow and our ability to service or refinance our debt.
Demand for the seaborne transport of products in containers has a significant impact on the financial performance of liner companies and, in turn, demand for containerships and our charter counterparty risk.
Demand for the seaborne transportation of products in containers, which is significantly impacted by global economic activity, remains below the levels experienced before the global economic crisis of 2008 and 2009. Consequently, the cargo volumes and freight rates achieved by liner companies, with which all of the existing vessels in our fleet are chartered, have declined sharply, reducing liner company profitability and, at times, failing to cover the costs of liner companies operating vessels on their shipping lines. In response to such reduced cargo volume and freight rates, the number of vessels
being actively deployed by liner companies decreased. Approximately 2.5% of the world containership fleet was estimated to be out of service at the end of 2018, which was below the 12% high of December 2009 but up slightly from 1.9% at the end of 2017. Moreover, newbuilding containerships with an aggregate capacity of approximately 2.9 million TEUs, representing approximately 13% of the existing global fleet capacity at the end of 2018, were under construction, which may exacerbate the surplus of containership capacity further reducing charterhire rates or increasing the number of unemployed vessels. Many liner companies, including some of our customers, reported substantial losses in 2018 and other recent years, as well as having announced plans to reduce the number of vessels they charter-in and enter into consolidating mergers and cooperative alliances as part of efforts to reduce the size of their fleets to better align fleet capacity with the reduced demand for marine transportation of containerized cargo.
The reduced demand and resulting financial challenges faced by our liner company customers has significantly reduced demand for containerships and may increase the likelihood of one or more of our customers being unable or unwilling to pay us the contracted charterhire rates, such as we agreed with HMM in 2016 and ZIM in 2014 and Hanjin Shipping's cancellation of long-term charters for eight of our vessels in 2016, which are generally significantly above prevailing charter rates, under the charters for our vessels. We generate all of our revenues from these charters and if our charterers fail to meet their obligations to us, we would sustain significant reductions in revenue and earnings, which could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations, as well as our ability to comply with covenants in our credit facilities.
An over-supply of containership capacity may prolong or further depress the current low charter rates and adversely affect our ability to recharter our containerships at profitable rates or at all and, in turn, reduce our profitability.
While the size of the containership order book has declined from the historic highs reached in mid-2008, at the end of 2018 newbuilding containerships with an aggregate capacity of approximately 2.9 million TEUs were under construction, representing approximately 13% of the existing global fleet capacity, and a higher percentage of large containerships. The size of the orderbook is large relative to historic levels and, notwithstanding that some orders may be cancelled or delayed, will likely result in a significant increase in the size of the world containership fleet over the next few years. An over-supply of containership capacity, particularly in conjunction with the currently low level of demand for the seaborne transport of containers, which proposed liner company alliances may accentuate, could exacerbate the weakness in charter rates or prolong the period during which low charter rates prevail. We do not hedge against our exposure to changes in charter rates, due to increased supply of containerships or otherwise. As such, if the current low charter rate environment persists, or a further reduction occurs, during a period when the current charters for our containerships expire or are terminated, we may only be able to recharter those containerships at reduced or unprofitable rates or we may not be able to charter those vessels at all. As of February 28, 2019, the charters for twenty-two of our vessels expire between March 2019 and December 2019.
Our profitability and growth depends on our ability to expand relationships with existing charterers and to obtain new time charters, for which we will face substantial competition from established companies with significant resources as well as new entrants.
One of our objectives is, when market conditions warrant, to acquire additional containerships in conjunction with entering into additional multi-year, fixed-rate time charters for these vessels. We employ our vessels in highly competitive markets that are capital intensive and highly fragmented, with a highly competitive process for obtaining new multi-year time charters that generally involves an intensive screening process and competitive bids, and often extends for several months. Generally, we compete for charters based on price, customer relationship, operating expertise, professional reputation
and the size, age and condition of our vessels. In recent years, in light of the downturn in the containership charter market, other containership owners have chartered their vessels to liner companies at extremely low rates, including at unprofitable levels, increasing the price pressure when competing to secure employment for our containerships. Container shipping charters are awarded based upon a variety of factors relating to the vessel operator, including:
We face substantial competition from a number of experienced companies, including state-sponsored entities and major shipping companies. Some of these competitors have significantly greater financial resources than we do, and can therefore operate larger fleets and may be able to offer better charter rates. We anticipate that other marine transportation companies may also enter the containership sector, including many with strong reputations and extensive resources and experience. This increased competition may cause greater price competition for time charters and, in stronger market conditions, for secondhand vessels and newbuildings.
In addition, a number of our competitors in the containership sector, including several that are among the largest charter owners of containerships in the world, have been established in the form of a German KG (Kommanditgesellschaft), which provides tax benefits to private investors. Although the German tax law was amended to significantly restrict the tax benefits to taxpayers who invest in these entities after November 10, 2005, the tax benefits afforded to all investors in the KG-model shipping entities continue to be significant, and such entities may continue to be attractive investments. Their focus on these tax benefits allows the KG-model shipping entities more flexibility in offering lower charter rates to liner companies. Further, since the charter rate is generally considered to be one of the principal factors in a charterer's decision to charter a vessel, the rates offered by these sizeable competitors can have a depressing effect throughout the charter market.
As a result of these factors, we may be unable to compete successfully with established companies with greater resources or new entrants for charters at a profitable level, or at all, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may have more difficulty entering into multi-year, fixed-rate time charters if a more active short-term or spot container shipping market develops.
One of our principal strategies is to enter into multi-year, fixed-rate containership time charters particularly in strong charter rate environments, although in weaker charter rate environments, such as the one that currently exists, we would generally expect to target somewhat shorter charter terms of three to six years or even shorter periods, particularly for smaller vessels. As more vessels become available for the spot or short-term market, we may have difficulty entering into additional multi-year, fixed-rate time charters for our containerships due to the increased supply of containerships and the possibility of lower rates in the spot market and, as a result, our cash flows may be subject to instability
in the long-term. A more active short-term or spot market may require us to enter into charters based on changing market rates, as opposed to contracts based on a fixed rate, which could result in a decrease in our cash flows and net income in periods when the market for container shipping is depressed, as it is currently, or insufficient funds are available to cover our financing costs for related containerships.
Delays in deliveries of any newbuilding vessels we may order or any secondhand vessels we may agree to acquire could harm our business.
Delays in the delivery of any newbuilding containerships we may order or any secondhand vessels we may agree to acquire, would delay our receipt of revenues under any arranged time charters and could result in the cancellation of such time charters or other liabilities under such charters, and therefore adversely affect our anticipated results of operations. The delivery of any newbuilding containership could also be delayed because of, among other things:
The shipbuilders with which we contract for any newbuilding may be affected by instability in the financial markets and other market conditions, including with respect to the fluctuating price of commodities and currency exchange rates. In addition, the refund guarantors under any newbuilding contracts we enter into, which would be banks, financial institutions and other credit agencies, may also be affected by financial market conditions in the same manner as our lenders and, as a result, may be unable or unwilling to meet their obligations under their refund guarantees. If shipbuilders or refund guarantors are unable or unwilling to meet their obligations to us, this will impact our acquisition of vessels and may materially and adversely affect our operations and our obligations under our credit facilities.
The delivery of any secondhand containership we may agree to acquire could be delayed because of, among other things, hostilities or political disturbances, non-performance of the purchase agreement
with respect to the vessels by the seller, our inability to obtain requisite permits, approvals or financing or damage to or destruction of the vessels while being operated by the seller prior to the delivery date.
Containership values have decreased significantly in recent years, and may remain at these depressed levels, or decrease further, and over time may fluctuate substantially. Depressed vessel values could cause us to incur impairment charges, such as the $210.7 million and $415.1 million impairment losses we recorded as of December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2016, respectively, for our vessels, or to incur a loss if these values are low at a time we are attempting to dispose of a vessel.
Due to the sharp decline in world trade and containership charter rates, the market values of the containerships in our fleet are currently significantly lower than prior to the downturn that began in the second half of 2008. Containership values may remain at current low, or lower, levels for a prolonged period of time and can fluctuate substantially over time due to a number of different factors, including:
As of December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2016, we recorded an impairment loss of $210.7 million and $415.1 million, respectively, for our older vessels, and we have incurred impairment charges in prior years as well. Conditions in the containership market also required us to record other impairment losses in 2016, including losses with respect to our investment in Gemini and our ZIM securities. In the future, if the market values of our vessels experience further deterioration or we lose the benefits of the existing charter arrangements for any of our vessels and cannot replace such arrangements with charters at comparable rates, we may be required to record additional impairment charges in our financial statements, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Any impairment charges incurred as a result of declines in charter rates could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if we sell any vessel at a time when vessel prices have fallen and before we have recorded an impairment adjustment to our financial statements, the sale may be at less than the vessel's carrying amount on our financial statements, resulting in a loss and a reduction in earnings.
We are a holding company and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations.
We are a holding company and our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own all of our operating assets. We have no significant assets other than the equity interests in our subsidiaries and our equity investment in Gemini. As a result, our ability to pay our contractual obligations and, if permitted under loan agreements and reinstated, to make any dividend payments in the future depends on our subsidiaries and their ability to distribute funds to us. The ability of a subsidiary to make these distributions could be affected by a claim or other action by a third party, including a creditor, or by the law of their respective jurisdictions of incorporation which regulates the payment of dividends by companies. If we are unable to obtain funds from our subsidiaries, even if we were permitted to make dividend payments under our loan agreements, our board of directors may exercise its discretion not to declare or pay dividends. If we reinstate dividend payments in the future, we do not intend to seek to obtain funds from other sources to make such dividend payments, if any.
If we are unable to fund our capital expenditures for additional vessels, we may not be able to grow our fleet.
We would have to make substantial capital expenditures to grow our fleet. We have no remaining borrowing availability under our existing credit facilities. In order to fund capital expenditures for future fleet growth, we generally plan to use equity and debt financing. Our ability to access the capital markets through future offerings may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such offering as well as by adverse market conditions resulting from, among other things, general economic conditions, conditions in the containership charter market and contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. Our failure to obtain funds for future capital expenditures could limit our ability to grow our fleet.
We must make substantial capital expenditures to maintain the operating capacity of our fleet, which may reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes.
Maintenance capital expenditures include capital expenditures associated with modifying an existing vessel or acquiring a new vessel to the extent these expenditures are incurred to maintain the operating capacity of our existing fleet. These expenditures could increase as a result of changes in the cost of labor and materials; customer requirements; increases in our fleet size or the cost of replacement vessels; governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards relating to safety, security or the environment; and competitive standards. Significant capital expenditures, including to maintain the operating capacity of our fleet, may reduce the cash available for other purposes.
Our ability to obtain additional debt financing for future acquisitions of vessels may be dependent on the performance of our then existing charters and the creditworthiness of our charterers.
We have no remaining borrowing availability under our existing credit facilities. We intend, however, to borrow against vessels we may acquire in the future as part of our growth plan. The actual or perceived credit quality of our charterers, and any defaults by them, may materially affect our ability to obtain the additional capital resources that we will require to purchase additional vessels or may significantly increase our costs of obtaining such capital. Our inability to obtain additional financing or committing to financing on unattractive terms could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are exposed to volatility in LIBOR.
Loans advanced under our credit facilities are, generally, advanced at a floating rate based on LIBOR, which has increased in recent years after a long period of stability at historically low level, and has been volatile in past years, which can affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, and which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our earnings and cash flow. LIBOR rates were at historically low levels for an extended period of time and may continue to increase from these low levels. Our financial condition could be materially adversely affected at any time that we have not entered into interest rate hedging arrangements to hedge our interest rate exposure and the interest rates applicable to our credit facilities and any other financing arrangements we may enter into in the future increase. Moreover, even if we have entered into interest rate swaps or other derivative instruments for purposes of managing our interest rate or bunker cost exposure, our hedging strategies may not be effective and we may incur substantial losses.
Increased regulatory oversight, uncertainty relating to the LIBOR calculation process and potential phasing out of LIBOR after 2021 may adversely affect the amounts of interest we pay under our debt arrangements and our results of operations.
Regulators and law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere are conducting civil and criminal investigations into whether the banks that contribute to the British Bankers' Association (the "BBA") in connection with the calculation of daily LIBOR may have been under-reporting or otherwise manipulating or attempting to manipulate LIBOR. A number of BBA member banks have entered into settlements with their regulators and law enforcement agencies with respect to this alleged manipulation of LIBOR.
On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA"), which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR to the administrator of LIBOR after 2021 (the "FCA Announcement"). The FCA Announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis is not guaranteed after 2021. The Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or "SOFR", has been proposed by the Alternative Reference Rate Committee, a committee convened by the U.S. Federal Reserve that includes major market participants and on which regulators participate, as an alternative rate to replace U.S. Dollar LIBOR. It is not possible currently to predict the effect of the FCA Announcement, including any discontinuation or change in the method by which LIBOR rates are determined, or how any such changes or alternative methods for calculating benchmark interest rates would be applied to any particular existing agreement containing terms based on LIBOR, such as our existing loan agreements. Any such changes or developments in the method pursuant to which LIBOR rates are determined may result in an increase in reported LIBOR rates or any alternative rates. If that were to occur, the amount of interest we pay under our credit facilities and any other financing arrangements may be adversely affected which may adversely affect our results of operations.
We may enter into derivative contracts to hedge our exposure to fluctuations in interest rates, which could result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income.
As of December 31, 2018, we did not have any interest rate swap arrangements. In the past, however, we have entered into interest rate swaps in substantial aggregate notional amounts, generally for purposes of managing our exposure to fluctuations in interest rates applicable to indebtedness under our credit facilities, which were advanced at floating rates based on LIBOR, as well as interest rate swap agreements converting fixed interest rate exposure under our credit facilities advanced at a fixed rate of interest to floating rates based on LIBOR. Any hedging strategies we choose to employ, may not be effective and we may again incur substantial losses, as we did in 2015 and prior years. Unless we satisfy the requirements to qualify for hedge accounting for interest rate swaps and any other derivative instruments, we would recognize all fluctuations in the fair value of any such contracts in our consolidated Statements of Operations. Recognition of such fluctuations in our statement of operations may increase the volatility of our earnings. Any hedging activities we engage in may not effectively manage our interest rate exposure or have the desired impact on our financial conditions or results of operations.
Because we generate all of our revenues in United States dollars but incur a portion of our expenses in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could hurt our results of operations.
We generate all of our revenues in United States dollars and for the year ended December 31, 2018, we incurred approximately 26% of our vessels' expenses in currencies other than United States dollars, mainly Euros. This difference could lead to fluctuations in net income due to changes in the value of the United States dollar relative to the other currencies, in particular the Euro. Expenses incurred in foreign currencies against which the United States dollar falls in value could increase,
thereby decreasing our net income. We have not hedged our currency exposure and, as a result, our U.S. dollar-denominated results of operations and financial condition could suffer.
Due to our lack of diversification, adverse developments in the containership transportation business could reduce our ability to meet our payment obligations and our profitability.
We rely exclusively on the cash flows generated from charters for our vessels that operate in the containership sector of the shipping industry. Due to our lack of diversification, adverse developments in the container shipping industry have a significantly greater impact on our financial condition and results of operations than if we maintained more diverse assets or lines of business.
We may have difficulty properly managing our growth through acquisitions of additional vessels and we may not realize the expected benefits from these acquisitions, which may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and performance.
To the extent market conditions warrant and we are able to obtain sufficient financing for such purposes, we intend to grow our business by ordering newbuilding containerships and through selective acquisitions of additional vessels. Future growth will primarily depend on:
Although containership charter rates and vessel values currently are at historically low levels, during periods in which charter rates are high, vessel values generally are high as well, and it may be difficult to acquire vessels at favorable prices. Moreover, our financing arrangements impose significant restrictions on our ability to use debt financing, or cash from operations, asset sales or equity financing, for purposes, such as vessel acquisitions, other than debt repayment without the consent of our lenders. In addition, growing any business by acquisition presents numerous risks, such as managing relationships with customers and integrating newly acquired assets into existing infrastructure. We cannot give any assurance that we will be successful in executing any growth plans or that we will not incur significant expenses and losses in connection with any future growth efforts.
We are subject to regulation and liability under environmental laws that could require significant expenditures and affect our cash flows and net income.
Our business and the operation of our vessels are materially affected by environmental regulation in the form of international, national, state and local laws, regulations, conventions and standards in force in international waters and the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries of their registration, including those governing the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of oil spills and other contamination, air emissions, wastewater discharges and ballast water management. Because such conventions, laws, and regulations are often revised, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of complying with such requirements or their impact on the resale price or useful life of our vessels. We are required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to obtain certain permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances
with respect to our operations. Many environmental requirements are designed to reduce the risk of pollution, such as from oil spills, and our compliance with these requirements could be costly. To comply with these and other regulations, including the new MARPOL Annex VI sulfur emission requirements instituting a global 0.5% (lowered from 3.5%) sulphur cap on marine fuels from January 1, 2020 and the IMO ballast water management ("BWM") convention, which requires vessels to install expensive ballast water treatment systems ("BWTS"), we may be required to incur additional costs to meet new maintenance and inspection requirements, develop contingency plans for potential spills, and obtain insurance coverage. (Please read "Item 4B. Business OverviewRegulation" for more information on the regulations applicable to our vessels.) For instance, to address the lower sulphur cap we have agreed to install scrubbers on seven of our vessels, for an aggregate estimated cost of $21.6 million, and have an option to install them on two more vessels as of February 28, 2019. Additional conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted that could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of doing business and which may materially and adversely affect our operations.
Environmental requirements can also affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels, could require a reduction in cargo capacity, ship modifications or operational changes or restrictions, could lead to decreased availability of insurance coverage for environmental matters or could result in the denial of access to certain jurisdictional waters or ports or detention in certain ports. Under local, national and foreign laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations and natural resource damages liability, in the event that there is a release of petroleum or hazardous materials from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our operations. Environmental laws often impose strict liability for remediation of spills and releases of oil and hazardous substances, which could subject us to liability without regard to whether we were negligent or at fault. We could also become subject to personal injury or property damage claims relating to the release of hazardous substances associated with our existing or historic operations. Violations of, or liabilities under, environmental requirements can result in substantial penalties, fines and other sanctions, including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels.
The operation of our vessels is also affected by the requirements set forth in the International Maritime Organization's, or IMO's, International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, or the ISM Code. The ISM Code requires shipowners and bareboat charterers to develop and maintain an extensive "Safety Management System" that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. Failure to comply with the ISM Code may subject us to increased liability, may decrease available insurance coverage for the affected ships, and may result in denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.
In connection with a 2001 incident involving the presence of oil on the water on the starboard side of one of our former vessels, the Henry (ex CMA CGM Passiflore) in Long Beach, California, our manager pled guilty to one count of negligent discharge of oil and one count of obstruction of justice, based on a charge of attempted concealment of the source of the discharge. Consistent with the government's practice in similar cases, our manager agreed, among other things, to develop and implement an approved third party consultant monitored environmental compliance plan. Any violation of this environmental compliance plan or any penalties, restitution or heightened environmental compliance plan requirements that are imposed relating to alleged discharges in any other action involving our fleet or our manager could negatively affect our operations and business.
Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations.
Due to concern over the risks of climate change, a number of countries and the International Maritime Organization, or "IMO", have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emission from ships. These regulatory measures may include adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards and incentives or
mandates for renewable energy. Emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping currently are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or the "Kyoto Protocol", or any amendments or successor agreements. The Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, which contemplates commitments from each nation party thereto to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit increases in global temperatures but did not include any restrictions or other measures specific to shipping emissions. However, restrictions on shipping emissions are likely to continue to be considered and a new treaty may be adopted in the future that includes additional restrictions on shipping emissions to those already adopted under the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships, or the "MARPOL Convention". Compliance with future changes in laws and regulations relating to climate change could increase the costs of operating and maintaining our ships and could require us to install new emission controls, as well as acquire allowances, pay taxes related to our greenhouse gas emissions or administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program.
Increased inspection procedures, tighter import and export controls and new security regulations could cause disruption of our containership business.
International container shipping is subject to security and customs inspection and related procedures in countries of origin, destination, and certain trans- shipment points. These inspection procedures can result in cargo seizure, delays in the loading, offloading, trans-shipment, or delivery of containers, and the levying of customs duties, fines or other penalties against exporters or importers and, in some cases, charterers and charter owners.
Since the events of September 11, 2001, U.S. authorities increased container inspection rates and further increases have been contemplated. Government investment in non-intrusive container scanning technology has grown and there is interest in electronic monitoring technology, including so-called "e-seals" and "smart" containers, that would enable remote, centralized monitoring of containers during shipment to identify tampering with or opening of the containers, along with potentially measuring other characteristics such as temperature, air pressure, motion, chemicals, biological agents and radiation. Also, additional vessel security requirements have been imposed including the installation of security alert and automatic information systems on board vessels.
It is further unclear what changes, if any, to the existing inspection and security procedures will ultimately be proposed or implemented, or how any such changes will affect the industry. It is possible that such changes could impose additional financial and legal obligations, including additional responsibility for inspecting and recording the contents of containers and complying with additional security procedures on board vessels, such as those imposed under the ISPS Code. Changes to the inspection and security procedures and container security could result in additional costs and obligations on carriers and may, in certain cases, render the shipment of certain types of goods by container uneconomical or impractical. Additional costs that may arise from current inspection or security procedures or future proposals that may not be fully recoverable from customers through higher rates or security surcharges.
Our vessels may call on ports located in countries that are subject to restrictions imposed by the United States government, which could negatively affect the trading price of our shares of common stock.
From time to time on charterers' instructions, our vessels have called and may again call on ports located in countries subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States government and countries identified by the United States government as state sponsors of terrorism. The U.S. sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application, as they do not all apply to the same covered persons or proscribe the same activities, and such sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be amended or strengthened over time.
On January 16, 2016, "Implementation Day" for the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the United States lifted its secondary sanctions against Iran which prohibited certain conduct by non-U.S. companies and individuals that occurred entirely outside of U.S. jurisdiction involving specified industry sectors in Iran, including the energy, petrochemical, automotive, financial, banking, mining, shipbuilding and shipping sectors. By lifting the secondary sanctions against Iran, the U.S. government effectively removed U.S. imposed restraints on dealings by non-U.S. companies, such as our Company, and individuals with these formerly targeted Iranian business sectors. Non-U.S. companies continued to be prohibited under U.S. sanctions from (i) knowingly engaging in conduct that seeks to evade U.S. restrictions on transactions or dealings with Iran or that causes the export of goods or services from the United States to Iran, (ii) exporting, reexporting or transferring to Iran any goods, technology, or services originally exported from the U.S. and / or subject to U.S. export jurisdiction and (iii) conducting transactions with the Iranian or Iran-related individuals and entities that remain or are placed in the future on OFAC's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List), notwithstanding the lifting of secondary sanctions. However, on August 6, 2018, the U.S. re-imposed an initial round of secondary sanctions and as of November 5, 2018, all of the secondary sanctions the U.S. had suspended under the JCPOA have been re-imposed.
The U.S. government's primary Iran sanctions have remained in place throughout recent years and as a consequence, U.S. persons continue to be broadly prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings in or with Iran or its government. In addition, U.S. persons continue to be broadly prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with the Government of Iran and Iranian financial institutions, which effectively impacts the transfer of funds to, from, or through the U.S. financial system whether denominated in US dollars or any other currency.
In 2018, 2017 and 2016, no vessels operated by us made any calls to ports in Cuba, Iran, Syria or Sudan. Although we believe that we are in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations. Any such violation could result in fines or other penalties and could result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in the Company. Additionally, some investors may decide to divest their interest, or not to invest, in the Company simply because we do business with companies that do lawful business in sanctioned countries. Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. Investor perception of the value of our common stock may also be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.
Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, resulting in loss of earnings.
A government of a ship's registry could requisition for title or seize our vessels. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a ship and becomes the owner. Also, a government could requisition our containerships for hire. Requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a ship and effectively becomes the charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during a period of war or emergency. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels may negatively impact our revenues and results of operations.
Terrorist attacks and international hostilities could affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Terrorist attacks such as the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 and more recent attacks in other parts of the world, and the continuing response of the United States and other countries to these attacks, as well as the threat of future terrorist attacks, continue to cause uncertainty in the world financial markets and may affect our business, results of operations and financial
condition. Events in the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt and Syria, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan may lead to additional acts of terrorism, regional conflict and other armed conflicts around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us, or at all.
Terrorist attacks targeted at sea vessels, such as the October 2002 attack in Yemen on the VLCC Limburg, a ship not related to us, may in the future also negatively affect our operations and financial condition and directly impact our containerships or our customers. Future terrorist attacks could result in increased volatility of the financial markets in the United States and globally and could result in an economic recession affecting the United States or the entire world. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenue and costs.
Changing economic, political and governmental conditions in the countries where we are engaged in business or where our vessels are registered could affect us. In addition, future hostilities or other political instability in regions where our vessels trade could also affect our trade patterns and adversely affect our operations and performance.
Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels have recently increased in frequency, which could adversely affect our business.
Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea and in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Despite leveling off somewhat in the last few years, the frequency of piracy incidents has increased significantly since 2008, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. For example, in January 2010, the Maran Centaurus, a tanker vessel not affiliated with us, was captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean while carrying crude oil estimated to be worth $20 million, and was released in January 2010 upon a ransom payment of over $5 million. In addition, crew costs, including costs due to employing onboard security guards, could increase in such circumstances. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, any detention or hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost, or unavailability, of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends.
The smuggling of drugs or other contraband onto our vessels may lead to governmental claims against us.
Our vessels call in ports in South America and other areas where smugglers attempt to hide drugs and other contraband on vessels, with or without the knowledge of crew members. To the extent our vessels are found with contraband, whether inside or attached to the hull of our vessel and whether with or without the knowledge of any of our crew, we may face governmental or other regulatory claims or penalties which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Risks inherent in the operation of ocean-going vessels could affect our business and reputation, which could adversely affect our expenses, net income and stock price.
The operation of ocean-going vessels carries inherent risks. These risks include the possibility of:
Such occurrences could result in death or injury to persons, loss of property or environmental damage, delays in the delivery of cargo, loss of revenues from or termination of charter contracts, governmental fines, penalties or restrictions on conducting business, higher insurance rates, and damage to our reputation and customer relationships generally. Any of these circumstances or events could increase our costs or lower our revenues, which could result in reduction in the market price of our shares of common stock. The involvement of our vessels in an environmental disaster may harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator.
Our insurance may be insufficient to cover losses that may occur to our property or result from our operations due to the inherent operational risks of the shipping industry.
The operation of any vessel includes risks such as mechanical failure, collision, fire, contact with floating objects, property loss, cargo loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities and labor strikes. In addition, there is always an inherent possibility of a marine disaster, including oil spills and other environmental mishaps. There are also liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. We procure insurance for our fleet against risks commonly insured against by vessel owners and operators. Our current insurance includes (i) hull and machinery insurance covering damage to our vessels' hull and machinery from, among other things, contact with fixed and floating objects, (ii) war risks insurance covering losses associated with the outbreak or escalation of hostilities and (iii) protection and indemnity insurance (which includes environmental damage and pollution insurance) covering third-party and crew liabilities such as expenses resulting from the injury or death of crew members, passengers and other third parties, the loss or damage to cargo, third-party claims arising from collisions with other vessels, damage to other third-party property (except where such cover is provided in the hull and machinery policy), pollution arising from oil or other substances and salvage, towing and other related costs.
We can give no assurance that we are adequately insured against all risks or that our insurers will pay a particular claim. Even if our insurance coverage is adequate to cover our losses, we may not be able to obtain a timely replacement vessel in the event of a loss. Under the terms of our credit facilities, we will be subject to restrictions on the use of any proceeds we may receive from claims under our insurance policies. Furthermore, in the future, we may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates for our fleet. We may also be subject to calls, or premiums, in amounts based not only on our own claim records but also the claim records of all other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive indemnity insurance coverage for tort liability. Our insurance policies also contain deductibles, limitations and exclusions which, although we believe are standard in the shipping industry, may nevertheless increase our costs.
In addition, we do not currently carry loss of hire insurance. Loss of hire insurance covers the loss of revenue during extended vessel off-hire periods, such as those that occur during an unscheduled drydocking due to damage to the vessel from accidents. Accordingly, any loss of a vessel or any extended period of vessel off-hire, due to an accident or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to pay dividends, if any, to our stockholders.
Maritime claimants could arrest our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flows.
Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against that vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder may enforce its lien by arresting a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could interrupt our cash flows and require us to pay large sums of money to have the arrest lifted.
In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the "sister ship" theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel that is subject to the claimant's maritime lien and any "associated" vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. Claimants could try to assert "sister ship" liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another of our ships.
The aging of our fleet may result in increased operating costs in the future, which could adversely affect our earnings.
In general, the cost of maintaining a vessel in good operating condition increases with the age of the vessel. As our fleet ages, we may incur increased costs. Older vessels are typically less fuel efficient and more costly to maintain than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. Cargo insurance rates also increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers. Governmental regulations and safety or other equipment standards related to the age of a vessel may also require expenditures for alterations or the addition of new equipment to our vessels, and may restrict the type of activities in which our vessels may engage. Although our current fleet of 55 containerships had an average age (weighted by TEU capacity) of approximately 10.4 years as of February 28, 2019, we cannot assure you that, as our vessels age, market conditions will justify such expenditures or will enable us to profitably operate our vessels during the remainder of their expected useful lives.
Increased competition in technology and innovation could reduce our charter hire income and the value of our vessels.
The charter rates and the value and operational life of a vessel are determined by a number of factors, including the vessel's efficiency, operational flexibility and physical life. Efficiency includes speed and fuel economy. Flexibility includes the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. Physical life is related to the original design and construction, maintenance and the impact of the stress of operations. If new ship designs currently promoted by shipyards as more fuel efficient perform as promoted or containerships are built that are more efficient or flexible or have longer physical lives than our vessels, competition from these more technologically advanced containerships could adversely affect the amount of charter-hire payments that we receive for our containerships once their current time charters expire and the resale value of our containerships. This could adversely affect our ability to service our debt or pay dividends, if any, to our stockholders.
We rely on our information systems to conduct our business, and failure to protect these systems against security breaches could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Additionally, if these systems fail or become unavailable for any significant period of time, our business could be harmed.
The efficient operation of our business is dependent on computer hardware and software systems. Information systems are vulnerable to security breaches by computer hackers and cyberterrorists. We rely on industry accepted security measures and technology to securely maintain confidential and proprietary information maintained on our information systems. However, these measures and technology may not adequately prevent security breaches. In addition, the unavailability of the information systems or the failure of these systems to perform as anticipated for any reason could disrupt our business and could result in decreased performance and increased operating costs, causing
our business and results of operations to suffer. Any significant interruption or failure of our information systems or any significant breach of security could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows.
Compliance with safety and other requirements imposed by classification societies may be very costly and may adversely affect our business.
The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be classed by a classification society authorized by its country of registry. The classification society certifies that a vessel is safe and seaworthy in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, and all vessels must be awarded ISM certification.
A vessel must undergo annual surveys, intermediate surveys and special surveys. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel's machinery may be on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a five-year period. Each of the vessels in our fleet is on a special survey cycle for hull inspection and a continuous survey cycle for machinery inspection.
If any vessel does not maintain its class or fails any annual, intermediate or special survey, and/or loses its certification, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable, and we could be in violation of certain covenants in our loan agreements. This would negatively impact our operating results and financial condition.
Our business depends upon certain employees who may not necessarily continue to work for us.
Our future success depends to a significant extent upon our chief executive officer, Dr. John Coustas, and certain members of our senior management and that of our manager. Dr. Coustas has substantial experience in the container shipping industry and has worked with us and our manager for many years. He and others employed by us and our manager are crucial to the execution of our business strategies and to the growth and development of our business. In addition, under the terms of our New 2018 Credit Facilities, Dr. Coustas ceasing to serve as our Chief Executive Officer and a director of our Company, would give rise to the lenders being able to require us to repay in full debt outstanding under such agreements. If these certain individuals were no longer to be affiliated with us or our manager, or if we were to otherwise cease to receive advisory services from them, we may be unable to recruit other employees with equivalent talent and experience, and our business and financial condition may suffer as a result.
The provisions in our restrictive covenant agreement with our chief executive officer restricting his ability to compete with us, like restrictive covenants generally, may not be enforceable.
Dr. Coustas, our chief executive officer, has entered into a restrictive covenant agreement with us under which he is precluded during the term of our management agreement with our manager, Danaos Shipping, and for one year thereafter from owning and operating drybulk ships or containerships larger than 2,500 TEUs and from acquiring or investing in a business that owns or operates such vessels. In connection with our investment in Gemini in 2015, these restrictions were waived, with the approval of our independent directors, with respect to vessels acquired by Gemini. Courts generally do not favor the enforcement of such restrictions, particularly when they involve individuals and could be construed as infringing on their ability to be employed or to earn a livelihood. Our ability to enforce these restrictions, should it ever become necessary, will depend upon the circumstances that exist at the time enforcement is sought. We cannot be assured that a court would enforce the restrictions as written by way of an injunction or that we could necessarily establish a case for damages as a result of a violation of the restrictive covenants.
In addition, DIL and Dr. Coustas are permitted to terminate the restrictive covenant agreement upon the occurrence of certain transactions constituting a "Change of Control" of the Company which
are not within the control of Dr. Coustas or DIL, including where Dr. Coustas ceases to be both the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and a director of the Company without his consent in connection with a hostile takeover of the Company by a third party. Upon such an occurrence, the non-competition restrictions on our manager under our management agreement would also cease to apply.
We depend on our manager to operate our business.
Pursuant to the management agreement and the individual ship management agreements, our manager and its affiliates provides us with technical, administrative and certain commercial services (including vessel maintenance, crewing, purchasing, shipyard supervision, insurance, assistance with regulatory compliance and financial services). Our operational success will depend significantly upon our manager's satisfactory performance of these services. Our business would be harmed if our manager failed to perform these services satisfactorily. In addition, if the management agreement were to be terminated or if its terms were to be altered, our business could be adversely affected, as we may not be able to immediately replace such services, and even if replacement services were immediately available, the terms offered could be less favorable than the ones currently offered by our manager. Our management agreement with any new manager may not be as favorable.
Our ability to compete for and enter into new time charters and to expand our relationships with our existing charterers depends largely on our relationship with our manager and its reputation and relationships in the shipping industry. If our manager suffers material damage to its reputation or relationships, it may harm our ability to:
If our ability to do any of the things described above is impaired, it could have a material adverse effect on our business and affect our profitability.
Our manager is a privately held company and there is little or no publicly available information about it.
The ability of our manager to continue providing services for our benefit will depend in part on its own financial strength. Circumstances beyond our control could impair our manager's financial strength, and because it is a privately held company, information about its financial strength is not available. As a result, our stockholders might have little advance warning of problems affecting our manager, even though these problems could have a material adverse effect on us. As part of our reporting obligations as a public company, we will disclose information regarding our manager that has a material impact on us to the extent that we become aware of such information.
We are a Marshall Islands corporation, and the Marshall Islands does not have a well-developed body of corporate law.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of incorporation and bylaws and by the Marshall Islands Business Corporations Act, or BCA. The provisions of the BCA are similar to provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, there have been few judicial cases in the Republic of The Marshall Islands interpreting the BCA. The rights and fiduciary
responsibilities of directors under the law of the Republic of The Marshall Islands are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain U.S. jurisdictions. Stockholder rights may differ as well. While the BCA does specifically incorporate the non-statutory law, or judicial case law, of the State of Delaware and other states with substantially similar legislative provisions, our public stockholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by the management, directors or controlling stockholders than would stockholders of a corporation incorporated in a U.S. jurisdiction.
It may be difficult to enforce service of process and enforcement of judgments against us and our officers and directors.
We are a Marshall Islands corporation, and our registered office is located outside of the United States in the Marshall Islands. A majority of our directors and officers reside outside of the United States, and a substantial portion of our assets and the assets of our officers and directors are located outside of the United States. As a result, you may have difficulty serving legal process within the United States upon us or any of these persons. You may also have difficulty enforcing, both in and outside of the United States, judgments you may obtain in the U.S. courts against us or these persons in any action, including actions based upon the civil liability provisions of U.S. federal or state securities laws.
There is also substantial doubt that the courts of the Marshall Islands would enter judgments in original actions brought in those courts predicated on U.S. federal or state securities laws. Even if you were successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Marshall Islands may prevent or restrict you from enforcing a judgment against our assets or our directors and officers.
We maintain cash with a limited number of financial institutions including financial institutions that may be located in Greece, which will subject us to credit risk.
We maintain all of our cash with a limited number of financial institutions, including institutions that are located in Greece. These financial institutions located in Greece may be subsidiaries of international banks or Greek financial institutions. Economic conditions in Greece have been, and continue to be, severely disrupted and volatile, and as a result of sovereign weakness, Moody's Investor Services Inc. has downgraded the bank financial strength ratings, as well as the deposit and debt ratings, of several Greek banks to reflect their weakening stand-alone financial strength and the anticipated additional pressures stemming from the country's challenged economic prospects. In addition, in 2015, Greece implemented capital controls restricting the transfer of funds out of Greece, which could restrict our uses of the limited amount of cash we hold in Greece.
We do not expect that any of our balances held with Greek financial institutions will be covered by insurance in the event of default by these financial institutions. The occurrence of such a default could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. If we are unable to fund our capital expenditures, we may not be able to continue to operate some of our vessels, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.
The market price of our common stock has fluctuated widely and the market price of our common stock may fluctuate in the future.
The market price of our common stock has fluctuated widely since our initial public offering in October 2006, reaching a high of $40.26 per share in 2007 and a low of $0.56 per share on December 26, 2018, and may continue to do so as a result of many factors, including the issuance of additional shares of common stock in the 2018 Refinancing, future share issuances, sales of shares by existing stockholders, our actual results of operations and perceived prospects, the prospects of our
competitors and of the shipping industry in general and in particular the containership sector, differences between our actual financial and operating results and those expected by investors and analysts, changes in analysts' recommendations or projections, changes in general valuations for companies in the shipping industry, particularly the containership sector, changes in general economic or market conditions and broader market fluctuations.
If the market price of our common stock remains below $5.00 per share our stockholders will not be able to use such shares as collateral for borrowing in margin accounts. This inability to use shares of our common stock as collateral may depress demand. In addition, certain institutional investors are restricted from investing in shares priced below $5.00, which may reduce demand for our shares and could also lead to sales of shares creating downward pressure on and increased volatility in the market price of our common stock.
In December 2018, we announced that we received notice from the NYSE indicating that the trading price of our common stock was not in compliance with the NYSE's continuing listing standard that requires a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share over a period of 30 consecutive trading days. Under the NYSE rules, we can cure this deficiency if, during the six-month period following receipt of the NYSE notice, on the last trading day of any calendar month or on the last trading day of the cure period, our common stock has a closing share price of at least $1.00 and an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over the 30-trading day period ending on the last trading day of that month or the last trading day of the cure period. During this period, our common stock will continue to be traded on the NYSE, subject to our compliance with other NYSE listing requirements. We have notified the NYSE of our intent to cure this noncompliance. However, there can be no assurance that any action taken by us to cure such noncompliance will be successful or that we will be able to maintain compliance with the other NYSE continued listing requirements in respect of our common stock.
We may not pay dividends on our common stock.
Declaration and payment of any future dividend is subject to the discretion of our board of directors. The timing and amount of dividend payments will be dependent upon our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements and availability, fleet renewal and expansion, restrictions in our credit facilities, the provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to stockholders and other factors. Under our New 2018 Credit Facilities entered into in August 2018, we are not permitted to pay dividends until (1) we receive in excess of $50 million in net cash proceeds from offerings of our common stock following the 2018 Refinancing and (2) the payment in full of the first installment of amortization payable following the consummation of the 2018 Refinancing under each new credit facility. After these conditions are satisfied, under our New 2018 Credit Facilities we will be permitted to pay dividends if, among other things, a default has not occurred and is continuing or would occur as a result of the payment of such dividend, and we remain in compliance with the financial covenants applicable to the obligors thereunder. In addition, we are a holding company, and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations and to make any dividend payments. We have not paid dividends since 2008. We cannot assure you that we will dividends in the foreseeable future.
Future issuances of equity and equity related securities may result in significant dilution and could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
As part of the 2018 Refinancing, we issued 99,342,271 shares of common stock to lenders under our credit facilities, which represented 47.5% of our issued and outstanding shares of common stock immediately after giving effect to such issuance. The issuance ratably diluted existing holders of our common stock. In addition, as part of the 2018 Refinancing, we have agreed to seek to raise at least
$50 million in net proceeds from a registered offering of our common stock within 18 months of the August 10, 2018 consummation of the 2018 Refinancing.
We may also seek to sell additional shares in the future to satisfy our capital and operating needs and to finance further growth we would likely have to issue additional shares of common or preferred stock in addition to any additional debt we may incur. If we sell shares in the future, the prices at which we sell these future shares will vary, and these variations may be significant. We cannot predict the effect that future sales of our common stock or other equity related securities would have on the market price of our common stock.
Sales of our common stock by stockholders, or the perception that these sales may occur, especially by our directors or significant stockholders, may cause our share price to decline.
If our stockholders, in particular our affiliates and significant stockholders, sell substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, or are perceived by the public market as intending to sell, the trading price of our common stock could decline. In addition, sales of these shares of common stock could impair our ability to raise capital in the future. We have filed shelf registration statements with the SEC registering under the Securities Act an aggregate of 187,564,826 outstanding shares of our common stock for resale on behalf of existing stockholders, including our executive officers, and granted registration rights in respect of additional shares of our common stock. In the aggregate, these shares represent approximately 90% of our outstanding shares of common stock. These shares may be resold in registered transactions and may also be resold subject to the requirements of Rule 144 under the Securities Act. We cannot predict the timing or amount of future sales of these shares of common stock, or the perception that such sales could occur, which may adversely affect prevailing market prices for our common stock.
Certain of our major stockholders will have significant influence over certain matters and may have interests that are different from the interests of our other stockholders.
Certain of our major stockholders may have interests that are different from, or are in addition to, the interests of our other stockholders. In particular, Danaos Investment Limited as Trustee of the 883 Trust ("DIL"), which is affiliated with our Chief Executive Officer, owns approximately 31.8% of our outstanding shares of common stock. In addition, certain of our lenders own a considerable amount of our outstanding common stock as described in "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party TransactionsMajor Shareholders". There may be real or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters affecting such stockholders and their affiliates whose interests in some circumstances may be adverse to our interests.
For so long as a stockholder continues to own a significant percentage of our common stock, it will be able to significantly influence the composition of our Board of Directors and the approval of actions requiring stockholder approval through its voting power. Accordingly, during such period of time, such stockholder will have significant influence with respect to our management, business plans and policies, including the appointment and removal of our officers. In particular, for so long as such stockholder continues to own a significant percentage of our common stock, it may be able to cause or prevent a change of control of our company or a change in the composition of our board of directors and could preclude an unsolicited acquisition of our company. The concentration of ownership could potentially deprive you of an opportunity to receive a premium for your common stock as part of a sale of our company and might affect the market price of our common stock.
Such a stockholder and its affiliates engage in a broad spectrum of activities. In the ordinary course of its business activities, such stockholder may engage in activities where its interests conflict with our interests or those of our stockholders. For example, it may have an interest in our pursuing acquisitions, divestitures and other transactions that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment, even
though such transactions might involve risks to us and our other stockholders. Such potential conflicts may delay or limit the opportunities available to us, and it is possible that conflicts may be resolved in a manner adverse to us or result in agreements that are less favorable to us than terms that would be obtained in arm's-length negotiations with unaffiliated third-parties.
As a foreign private issuer we are entitled to rely upon exemptions from certain NYSE corporate governance standards, and to the extent we elect to rely on these exemptions, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements.
As a foreign private issuer, we are entitled to rely upon exemptions from many of the NYSE's corporate governance practices. To the extent we rely on any of these exemptions, including to have an employee director on our nominating and corporate governance committee and issue shares without shareholder approval, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements.
Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents, as well as terms of our New 2018 Credit Facilities, could make it difficult for our stockholders to replace or remove our current board of directors or could have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a merger or acquisition, which could adversely affect the market price of the shares of our common stock.
Several provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws could make it difficult for our stockholders to change the composition of our board of directors in any one year, preventing them from changing the composition of our management. In addition, the same provisions may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that stockholders may consider favorable.
In addition, the amendment to our articles of incorporation that became effective on the August 10, 2018 closing date of the 2018 Refinancing ("2018 Refinancing Closing Date") requires the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66-2/3%) of the outstanding shares of capital stock in order to take certain actions, including the consummation of any merger, consolidation, spin-off or sale of all or substantially all of our or our subsidiaries' assets.
In addition, our respective lenders under our New 2018 Credit Facilities are entitled to require us to repay in full amounts outstanding under such credit facilities, if: (i) Dr. Coustas ceases to be both the Company's Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, subject to certain exceptions, (ii) the existing members of the board and the directors appointed following nomination by the existing board of directors collectively do not constitute a majority of the board of directors, (iii) Dr. Coustas and members of his family cease to collectively control at least 15% and one share of the voting
interest in the Company's outstanding capital stock or to beneficially own at least 15% and one share of the Company's outstanding capital stock, or (iv) any person or persons acting in concert (other than the Coustas family) (x) holds a greater portion of the Company's outstanding capital stock than the Coustas family (other than as a direct result of the sale by the lenders of shares issued in the 2018 Refinancing) or (y) controls the Company.
These anti-takeover provisions could substantially impede the ability of public stockholders to benefit from a change in control and, as a result, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock and your ability to realize any potential change of control premium.
We may have to pay tax on U.S.-source income, which would reduce our earnings.
Under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, 50% of the gross shipping income of a ship owning or chartering corporation, such as ourselves, that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States is characterized as U.S.-source shipping income and as such is subject to a 4% U.S. federal income tax without allowance for deduction, unless that corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.
We believe that we and our subsidiaries have previously qualified for this statutory tax exemption and have taken that position for U.S. federal income tax reporting purposes. Given the changes in ownership of the Company following the 2018 Refinancing, it is uncertain as to whether we will continue to qualify for this statutory tax exemption, and there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us or our subsidiaries to fail to qualify for the benefit of this tax exemption and thus to be subject to U.S. federal income tax on U.S.-source shipping income. There can be no assurance that we or any of our subsidiaries will qualify for this tax exemption for any year. For example, even assuming, as we expect will be the case, that our shares are regularly and primarily traded on an established securities market in the United States, if stockholders each of whom owns, actually or under applicable attribution rules, 5% or more of our shares own, in the aggregate, 50% or more of our shares, then we and our subsidiaries will generally not be eligible for the Section 883 exemption unless we can establish, in accordance with specified ownership certification procedures, either (i) that a sufficient number of the shares in the closely-held block are owned, directly or under the applicable attribution rules, by "qualified stockholders" (generally, individuals resident in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions) so that the shares in the closely-held block that are not so owned could not constitute 50% or more of our shares for more than half of the days in the relevant tax year or (ii) that qualified stockholders owned more than 50% of our shares for at least half of the days in the relevant taxable year. There can be no assurance that we will be able to establish such ownership by qualified stockholders for any tax year.
If we or our subsidiaries are not entitled to the exemption under Section 883 for any taxable year, we or our subsidiaries would be subject for those years to a 4% U.S. federal income tax on our gross U.S. source shipping income. The imposition of this taxation could have a negative effect on our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our stockholders. A number of our charters contain provisions that obligate the charterers to reimburse us for the 4% gross basis tax on our U.S. source shipping income.
If we were treated as a "passive foreign investment company," certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could result to U.S. stockholders.
A foreign corporation will be treated as a "passive foreign investment company," or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes if at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of "passive income," or at least 50% of the average value of the corporation's assets produce or
are held for the production of those types of "passive income." For purposes of these tests, "passive income" includes dividends, interest, and gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties that are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business. For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute "passive income." In general, U.S. stockholders of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous U.S. federal income tax regime with respect to the distributions they receive from the PFIC, and the gain, if any, they derive from the sale or other disposition of their shares in the PFIC. If we are treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, we will provide information to U.S. stockholders to enable them to make certain elections to alleviate certain of the adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences that would arise as a result of holding an interest in a PFIC.
While there are legal uncertainties involved in this determination, including as a result of a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Tidewater Inc. and Subsidiaries v. United States, 565 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2009) which held that income derived from certain time chartering activities should be treated as rental income rather than services income for purposes of the foreign sales corporation rules under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, we believe we should not be treated as a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2018. However, if the principles of the Tidewater decision were applicable to our time charters, we would likely be treated as a PFIC. Moreover, there is no assurance that the nature of our assets, income and operations will not change or that we can avoid being treated as a PFIC for subsequent years.
If we became subject to Liberian taxation, the net income and cash flows of our Liberian subsidiaries and therefore our net income and cash flows, would be materially reduced.
A number of our subsidiaries are incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Liberia. The Republic of Liberia enacted a new income tax act effective as of January 1, 2001 (the "New Act") which does not distinguish between the taxation of "non-resident" Liberian corporations, such as our Liberian subsidiaries, which conduct no business in Liberia and were wholly exempt from taxation under the income tax law previously in effect since 1977, and "resident" Liberian corporations which conduct business in Liberia and are, and were under the prior law, subject to taxation.
The New Act was amended by the Consolidated Tax Amendments Act of 2011, which was published and became effective on November 1, 2011 (the "Amended Act"). The Amended Act specifically exempts from taxation non-resident Liberian corporations such as our Liberian subsidiaries that engage in international shipping (and are not engaged in shipping exclusively within Liberia) and that do not engage in other business or activities in Liberia other than those specifically enumerated in the Amended Act. In addition, the Amended Act made such exemption from taxation retroactive to the effective date of the New Act.
If, however, our Liberian subsidiaries were subject to Liberian income tax under the Amended Act, they would be subject to tax at a rate of 35% on their worldwide income. As a result, their, and subsequently our, net income and cash flows would be materially reduced. In addition, as the ultimate stockholder of the Liberian subsidiaries, we would be subject to Liberian withholding tax on dividends paid by our Liberian subsidiaries at rates ranging from 15% to 20%, which would limit our access to funds generated by the operations of our subsidiaries and further reduce our income and cash flows.
History and Development of the Company
Danaos Corporation is an international owner of containerships, chartering its vessels to many of the world's largest liner companies. We are a corporation domesticated in the Republic of The Marshall Islands on October 7, 2005, under the Marshall Islands Business Corporations Act, after having been incorporated as a Liberian company in 1998 in connection with the consolidation of our assets under Danaos Holdings Limited. In connection with our domestication in the Marshall Islands we changed our name from Danaos Holdings Limited to Danaos Corporation. Our manager, Danaos Shipping Company Limited, or Danaos Shipping, was founded by Dimitris Coustas in 1972 and since that time it has continuously provided seaborne transportation services under the management of the Coustas family. Dr. John Coustas, our chief executive officer, assumed responsibility for our management in 1987. Dr. Coustas has focused our business on chartering containerships to liner companies and has overseen the expansion of our fleet from three multi-purpose vessels in 1987 to the 55 containerships comprising our fleet as of February 28, 2019. In 2015, we formed a joint venture, Gemini Shipholdings Corporation, in which we have 49% minority equity interest, with our largest stockholder, DIL, to acquire, own and operate containerships. As of February 28, 2019, Gemini had acquired a fleet of four containerships aggregating 23,998 TEU in capacity.
In October 2006, we completed an initial public offering of our common stock in the United States and our common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In August 2010, we completed a sale of 54,054,055 shares of common stock for $200 million and in August 2018 we issued 99,342,271 shares of common stock to our lenders in connection with the 2018 Refinancing. See "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects2018 Refinancing."
Our company operates through a number of subsidiaries incorporated in Liberia, Cyprus, Malta and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, all of which are wholly-owned by us and either directly or indirectly owns the vessels in our fleet. A list of our active subsidiaries as of February 28, 2019, and their jurisdictions of incorporation, is set forth in Exhibit 8 to this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
Our principal executive offices are c/o Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd., Athens Branch, 14 Akti Kondyli, 185 45 Piraeus, Greece. Our telephone number at that address is +30 210 419 6480.
We are an international owner of containerships, chartering our vessels to many of the world's largest liner companies. As of February 28, 2019, we had a fleet of 55 containerships aggregating 327,616 TEUs, making us among the largest containership charter owners in the world, based on total TEU capacity. Gemini, in which we have a 49% minority equity interest, had a fleet of four containerships of 23,998 TEU aggregate capacity as of February 28, 2019.
Our strategy is to charter our containerships under multi-year, fixed-rate period charters to a diverse group of liner companies, including many of the largest companies globally, as measured by TEU capacity. As of February 28, 2019, these customers included CMA-CGM, Yang Ming, COSCO, Hyundai Merchant Marine, ZIM Israel Integrated Shipping Services, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk, Evergreen, MSC, ONE and Samudera; and for Gemini, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and TS Lines.
Danaos is one of the largest containership operating lessors in the world. Since going public in 2006, we have almost tripled our TEU carrying capacity. Today, our fleet includes some of the largest containerships in the world, which are designed with certain technological advances and customized
modifications that make them efficient with respect to both voyage speed and loading capability when compared to many existing vessels operating in the containership sector.
We deploy our containership fleet principally under multi-year charters with major liner companies that operate regularly scheduled routes between large commercial ports, although in weaker containership charter markets such as is currently prevailing we charter more of our vessels on shorter term charters so as to be available to take advantage of any increase in charter rates. As of February 28, 2019, our containership fleet was comprised of fifty-one containerships deployed on time charters, twenty-two of which are scheduled to expire in 2019, and four containerships deployed on bareboat charters. The average age (weighted by TEU) of the 55 vessels in our containership fleet was approximately 10.4 years as of February 28, 2019. As of February 28, 2019, the average remaining duration of the charters for our containership fleet was 4.8 years (weighted by aggregate contracted charter hire).
The table below provides additional information, as of February 28, 2019, about our fleet of 55 cellular containerships and the four cellular containerships owned by Gemini, in which we have a 49% equity interest.
|2012||13,100||12 years||June 2024||Hyundai|
|2012||13,100||12 years||June 2024||Hyundai|
|2012||13,100||12 years||May 2024||Hyundai|
|2012||13,100||12 years||March 2024||Hyundai|
|2012||13,100||12 years||February 2024||Hyundai|
|2011||10,100||4.3 years||February 2022||Hapag Lloyd|
|2011||10,100||4.3 years||April 2022||Yang Ming|
|2011||10,100||3.9 years||February 2022||Hapag Lloyd|
Le Havre (ex CSCL Le Havre)
|2006||9,580||3.9 years||November 2022||MSC|
Pusan C (ex CSCL Pusan)
|2006||9,580||3.8 years||November 2022||MSC|
CMA CGM Melisande
|2012||8,530||12 years||November 2023||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Attila
|2011||8,530||12 years||April 2023||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Tancredi
|2011||8,530||12 years||May 2023||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Bianca
|2011||8,530||12 years||July 2023||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Samson
|2011||8,530||12 years||September 2023||CMA-CGM|
America (ex CSCL America)
|2004||8,468||1.0 year||June 2019||ZIM|
|3.5 years||November 2022||MSC|
|2004||8,468||0.8 year||March 2019||COSCO|
|3.7 years||November 2022||MSC|
CMA CGM Moliere
|2009||6,500||12 years||August 2021||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Musset
|2010||6,500||12 years||August 2022||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Nerval
|2010||6,500||12 years||October 2022||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Rabelais
|2010||6,500||12 years||December 2022||CMA-CGM|
CMA CGM Racine
|2010||6,500||12 years||January 2023||CMA-CGM|
Dimitra C (ex Priority)
|2002||6,402||0.4 year||March 2019||ONE|
|2002||6,402||1 year||May 2019||CMA-CGM|
|2007||4,253||12 years||July 2019||Yang Ming|
|2007||4,253||12 years||September 2019||Yang Ming|
ZIM Rio Grande
|2008||4,253||12 years||May 2020||ZIM|
ZIM Sao Paolo
|2008||4,253||12 years||August 2020||ZIM|
|2008||4,253||12 years||September 2020||ZIM|
|2009||4,253||12 years||November 2020||ZIM|
|2009||4,253||12 years||February 2021||ZIM|
|2009||4,253||12 years||May 2021||ZIM|
|2004||4,253||0.9 year||March 2019||CMA-CGM|
ANL Tongala (ex Deva)
|2004||4,253||0.9 year||March 2019||CMA-CGM|
|2001||3,430||1.0 year||June 2019||CMA-CGM|
Express Black Sea
|2011||3,400||1.0 year||November 2019||CMA-CGM|
|2011||3,400||0.2 year||March 2019||COSCO|
|2010||3,400||1 year||May 2019||Maersk|
|2010||3,400||1 year||July 2019||CMA-CGM|
|2010||3,400||1 year||September 2019||CMA-CGM|
|2004||3,314||12 years||October 2019||Yang Ming|
|2004||3,314||1 year||February 2020||MSC|
|2001||2,524||2 years||January 2020||Hapag Lloyd|
|2001||2,602||2 years||September 2020||MSC|
|1998||2,452||2 years||August 2019||Yang Ming|
|1997||2,200||1.0 year||July 2019||Evergreen|
|1997||2,200||0.3 year||March 2019||Maersk|
|1997||2,200||1.2 year||June 2019||Evergreen|
|1997||2,200||0.4 year||August 2019||Evergreen|
Progress C (ex Hyundai Progress)
|1998||2,200||1.1 year||June 2019||Evergreen|
|1998||2,200||0.5 year||August 2019||Samudera|
|1998||2,200||1.2 year||May 2019||COSCO|
|1997||2,200||0.3 year||March 2019||Maersk|
| || || ||Gemini |
| || |
Catherine C (ex NYK Lodestar)(3)
|2001||6,422||4.1 years||November 2022||MSC|
Leo C (ex NYK Leo)(3)
|2002||6,422||3.7 years||November 2022||MSC|
|2002||5,610||0.3 year||March 2019||TS Lines|
|2002||5,544||0.8 year||July 2019||Hapag Lloyd|
| || || ||Bareboat |
| || |
|2010||6,500||18 years||January 2028||Yang Ming|
|2010||6,500||18 years||April 2028||Yang Ming|
Gemini Shipholdings Corporation
On August 5, 2015, we entered into a Shareholders Agreement (the "Gemini Shareholders Agreement"), with Gemini Shipholdings Corporation ("Gemini") and Virage International Ltd. ("Virage"), a company controlled by our largest stockholder DIL, in connection with the formation of Gemini to acquire and operate containerships. We and Virage own 49% and 51%, respectively, of Gemini's issued and outstanding share capital. Under the Gemini Shareholders Agreement, we and Virage have preemptive rights with respect to issuances of Gemini capital stock as well as tag-along rights, drag-along rights and certain rights of first refusal with respect to proposed transfers of Gemini equity interests. In addition, certain actions by Gemini, including acquisitions or dispositions of vessels and newbuilding contracts, require the unanimous approval of the Gemini board of directors including the director designated by the Company, who is currently our Chief Operating Officer Iraklis Prokopakis. Mr. Prokopakis also serves as Chief Operating Officer of Gemini, and our Chief Financial Officer, Evangelos Chatzis, serves as Chief Financial Officer of Gemini, for which services Messrs. Prokopakis and Chatzis do not receive any additional compensation. We also have the right to purchase all of the equity interests in Gemini that we do not own for fair market value at any time after December 31, 2018, to the extent permitted under our credit facilities, provided that such fair market value is not below the net book value of such equity interests.
As the container shipping industry has grown, the major liner companies have increasingly contracted for containership capacity. As of February 28, 2019, our diverse group of customers in the containership sector included CMA-CGM, Yang Ming, COSCO, Hyundai Merchant Marine, ZIM Israel Integrated Shipping Services, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk, Evergreen, MSC, ONE and Samudera. Gemini has chartered two of its containerships to MSC, one to TS Lines and one to Hapag Lloyd.
The containerships in our fleet are primarily deployed under multi-year, fixed-rate time charters having initial terms that range from less than one to 18 years. These charters expire at staggered dates ranging from March 2019 to the second quarter of 2028. The staggered expiration of the multi-year, fixed-rate charters for our vessels is both a strategy pursued by our management and a result of the growth in our fleet. Under our time charters, the charterer pays voyage expenses such as port, canal and fuel costs, other than brokerage and address commissions paid by us, and we pay for vessel operating expenses, which include crew costs, provisions, deck and engine stores, lubricating oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs. We are also responsible for each vessel's intermediate and special survey costs.
Under the time charters, when a vessel is "off-hire" or not available for service, the charterer is generally not required to pay the hire rate, and we are responsible for all costs. A vessel generally will be deemed to be off-hire if there is an occurrence preventing the full working of the vessel due to, among other things, operational deficiencies, drydockings for repairs, maintenance or inspection, equipment breakdown, delays due to accidents, crewing strikes, labor boycotts, noncompliance with government water pollution regulations or alleged oil spills, arrests or seizures by creditors or our failure to maintain the vessel in compliance with required specifications and standards. In addition, under our time charters, if any vessel is off-hire for more than a certain amount of time (generally between 10-20 days), the charterer has a right to terminate the charter agreement for that vessel. Charterers may also have the right to terminate the time charters in various other circumstances, including but not limited to, outbreaks of war or a change in ownership of the vessel's owner or manager without the charterer's approval.
Management of Our Fleet
Our chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and deputy chief operating officer provide strategic management for our company while these officers also supervise, in conjunction with our board of directors, the management of these operations by Danaos Shipping, our manager. We have a management agreement pursuant to which our manager and its affiliates provide us and our subsidiaries with technical, administrative and certain commercial services, the term of which expires on December 31, 2024. Our manager reports to us and our board of directors through our chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and deputy chief operating officer each of which is appointed by our board of directors.
Our manager is regarded as an innovator in operational and technological aspects in the international shipping community. Danaos Shipping's strong technological capabilities derive from employing highly educated professionals, its participation and assumption of a leading role in European Community research projects related to shipping, and its close affiliation to Danaos Management Consultants, a leading ship-management software and services company.
Danaos Shipping achieved early ISM certification of its container fleet in 1995, well ahead of the deadline, and was the first Greek company to receive such certification from Det Norske Veritas, a leading classification society. In 2004, Danaos Shipping received the Lloyd's List Technical Innovation Award for advances in internet-based telecommunication methods for vessels. In 2015, Danaos Shipping received the Lloyd's List Intelligence Big Data Award for their "Waves" fleet performance system, which provides advanced performance monitoring, close bunkers control, emissions monitoring, energy management, safety performance monitoring, risk management and advance superintendence for the vessels.
Danaos Shipping maintains the quality of its service by controlling directly the selection and employment of seafarers through its crewing offices in Piraeus, Greece, Russia, as well as in Odessa and Mariupol in Ukraine and in Zanzibar, Tanzania and we assume directly all related crewing, technical and other costs in our operating expenses. Investments in new facilities in Greece by Danaos Shipping enable enhanced training of seafarers and highly reliable infrastructure and services to the vessels.
Danaos Shipping provides vessel management services to Gemini at the same rates we pay under our management agreement with Danaos Shipping. Historically, Danaos Shipping only infrequently managed vessels other than those in our fleet and currently it does not actively manage any other company's vessels, other than vessels owned by Gemini. Danaos Shipping also does not arrange the employment of other vessels and has agreed that, during the term of our management agreement, it will not provide any management services to any other entity without our prior written approval, other than with respect to other entities controlled by Dr. Coustas, our chief executive officer, which do not operate within the containership (larger than 2,500 TEUs) or drybulk sectors of the shipping industry or in the circumstances described below. In connection with our investment in Gemini in 2015, these restrictions were waived, with the approval of our independent directors, with respect to containerships acquired by Gemini. Other than with respect to Gemini, Dr. Coustas does not currently have an interest in any such vessel-owning entity. We believe we have and will derive significant benefits from our relationship with Danaos Shipping.
Dr. Coustas has also personally agreed to the same restrictions on the provision, directly or indirectly, of management services during the term of our management agreement. In addition, our chief executive officer (other than in his capacities with us) and our manager have separately agreed not, during the term of our management agreement and for one year thereafter, to engage, directly or indirectly, in (i) the ownership or operation of containerships of larger than 2,500 TEUs or (ii) the ownership or operation of any drybulk carriers or (iii) the acquisition of or investment in any business involved in the ownership or operation of containerships of larger than 2,500 TEUs or any drybulk
carriers. Notwithstanding these restrictions, if our independent directors decline the opportunity to acquire any such containerships or to acquire or invest in any such business, our chief executive officer will have the right to make, directly or indirectly, any such acquisition or investment during the four-month period following such decision by our independent directors, so long as such acquisition or investment is made on terms no more favorable than those offered to us. In this case, our chief executive officer and our manager will be permitted to provide management services to such vessels. In connection with our investment in Gemini in 2015, these restrictions were waived, with the approval of our independent directors, with respect to containerships acquired by Gemini.
Danaos Shipping provides us with administrative, technical and certain commercial management services under a management agreement whose current term expires at the end of 2024. For 2019 our manager will receive the following fees which are fixed at these levels through the remaining term of the agreement: (i) a daily management fee of $850, (ii) a daily vessel management fee of $425 for vessels on bareboat charter, pro rated for the number of calendar days we own each vessel, (iii) a daily vessel management fee of $850 for vessels on time charter, pro rated for the number of calendar days we own each vessel, (iv) a fee of 1.25% on all freight, charter hire, ballast bonus and demurrage for each vessel, (v) a fee of 0.5% based on the contract price of any vessel bought or sold by it on our behalf, excluding newbuilding contracts, and (vi) a flat fee of $725,000 per newbuilding vessel, if any, which is capitalized, for the on premises supervision of any newbuilding contracts by selected engineers and others of its staff.
We operate in markets that are highly competitive and based primarily on supply and demand. Generally, we compete for charters based upon price, customer relationships, operating expertise, professional reputation and size, age and condition of the vessel. Competition for providing containership services comes from a number of experienced shipping companies. In the containership sector, these companies include Zodiac Maritime, Seaspan Corporation and Costamare Inc. A number of our competitors in the containership sector have been financed by the German KG (Kommanditgesellschaft) system, which was based on tax benefits provided to private investors. While the German tax law has been amended to significantly restrict the tax benefits available to taxpayers who invest in such entities after November 10, 2005, the tax benefits afforded to all investors in the KG-financed entities will continue to be significant and such entities may continue to be attractive investments. These tax benefits allow these KG-financed entities to be more flexible in offering lower charter rates to liner companies.
The containership sector of the international shipping industry is characterized by the significant time necessary to develop the operating expertise and professional reputation necessary to obtain and retain customers and, in the past, a relative scarcity of secondhand containerships, which necessitated reliance on newbuildings which can take a number of years to complete. We focus on larger TEU capacity containerships, which we believe have fared better than smaller vessels during global downturns in the containership sector. We believe larger containerships, even older containerships if well maintained, provide us with increased flexibility and more stable cash flows than smaller TEU capacity containerships.
Crewing and Employees
Since May 1, 2015, we have directly employed our Chief Executive Officer, our Chief Operating Officer, our Chief Financial Officer and our Deputy Chief Operating Officer, whose services had been provided to us under our Management Agreement with our Manager, Danaos Shipping until April 30, 2015. As of December 31, 2018, 1,104 people served on board the vessels in our fleet and Danaos Shipping, our manager, employed 146 people, all of whom were shore-based. In addition, our manager is responsible for recruiting, either directly or through a crewing agent, the senior officers and all other
crew members for our vessels and is reimbursed by us for all crew wages and other crew relating expenses. We believe the streamlining of crewing arrangements through our manager ensures that all of our vessels will be crewed with experienced crews that have the qualifications and licenses required by international regulations and shipping conventions.
Permits and Authorizations
We are required by various governmental and other agencies to obtain certain permits, licenses and certificates with respect to our vessels. The kinds of permits, licenses and certificates required by governmental and other agencies depend upon several factors, including the commodity being transported, the waters in which the vessel operates, the nationality of the vessel's crew and the age of a vessel. All permits, licenses and certificates currently required to permit our vessels to operate have been obtained. Additional laws and regulations, environmental or otherwise, may be adopted which could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of doing business.
Inspection by Classification Societies
Every seagoing vessel must be "classed" by a classification society. The classification society certifies that the vessel is "in class," signifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules of the classification society and complies with applicable rules and regulations of the vessel's country of registry and the international conventions of which that country is a member. In addition, where surveys are required by international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of a flag state, the classification society will undertake them on application or by official order, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.
The classification society also undertakes on request other surveys and checks that are required by regulations and requirements of the flag state. These surveys are subject to agreements made in each individual case and/or to the regulations of the country concerned.
For maintenance of the class, regular and extraordinary surveys of hull and machinery, including the electrical plant, and any special equipment classed are required to be performed as follows:
Annual Surveys. For seagoing ships, annual surveys are conducted for the hull and the machinery, including the electrical plant, and where applicable, on special equipment classed at intervals of 12 months from the date of commencement of the class period indicated in the certificate.
Intermediate Surveys. Extended annual surveys are referred to as intermediate surveys and typically are conducted two and one-half years after commissioning and each class renewal. Intermediate surveys may be carried out on the occasion of the second or third annual survey.
Class Renewal Surveys. Class renewal surveys, also known as special surveys, are carried out on the ship's hull and machinery, including the electrical plant, and on any special equipment classed at the intervals indicated by the character of classification for the hull. During the special survey, the vessel is thoroughly examined, including audio-gauging to determine the thickness of the steel structures. Should the thickness be found to be less than class requirements, the classification society would prescribe steel renewals. The classification society may grant an one-year grace period for completion of the special survey. Substantial amounts of funds may have to be spent for steel renewals to pass a special survey if the vessel experiences excessive wear and tear. In lieu of the special survey every four or five years, depending on whether a grace period is granted, a shipowner has the option of arranging with the classification society for the vessel's hull or machinery to be on a continuous survey cycle, in which every part of the vessel would be surveyed within a five-year cycle. At an owner's application, the surveys required for class renewal may be split according to an agreed schedule to extend over the entire period of class. This process is referred to as continuous class renewal.
The following table lists the next drydockings scheduled for the vessels in our current containership fleet for the next years:
Number of vessels
All areas subject to surveys as defined by the classification society are required to be surveyed at least once per class period, unless shorter intervals between surveys are otherwise prescribed. The period between two subsequent surveys of each area must not exceed five years. Vessels under bareboat charter are drydocked by their charterers.
Most vessels are also drydocked every 30 to 36 months for inspection of their underwater parts and for repairs related to such inspections. If any defects are found, the classification surveyor will issue a "recommendation" which must be rectified by the ship-owner within prescribed time limits.
Most insurance underwriters make it a condition for insurance coverage that a vessel be certified as "in class" by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies. All of our vessels are certified as being "in class" by Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, NKK, Det Norske Veritas & Germanischer Lloyd and the Korean Register of Shipping.
Risk of Loss and Liability Insurance
The operation of any vessel includes risks such as mechanical failure, collision, property loss, cargo loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities and labor strikes. In addition, there is always an inherent possibility of marine disaster, including oil spills and other environmental mishaps, and the liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA 90, which imposes virtually unlimited liability upon owners, operators and demise charterers of vessels trading in the United States exclusive economic zone for certain oil pollution accidents in the United States, has made liability insurance more expensive for shipowners and operators trading in the United States market.
While we maintain hull and machinery insurance, war risks insurance, protection and indemnity coverage for our containership fleet in amounts that we believe to be prudent to cover normal risks in our operations, we may not be able to maintain this level of coverage throughout a vessel's useful life. Furthermore, while we believe that our insurance coverage will be adequate, not all risks can be insured, and there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid, or that we will always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates.
Dr. John Coustas, our chief executive officer, is the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Swedish Club, our primary provider of insurance, including a substantial portion of our hull & machinery, war risk and protection and indemnity insurance.
Hull & Machinery, Loss of Hire and War Risks Insurance
We maintain marine hull and machinery and war risks insurance, which covers the risk of particular average, general average, 4/4ths collision liability, contact with fixed and floating objects (FFO) and actual or constructive total loss in accordance with the Nordic Plan for all of our vessels. Our vessels will each be covered up to at least their fair market value after meeting certain deductibles per incident per vessel.
We carried a minimum loss of hire coverage with respect to the America and the Europe, to cover standard requirements of KEXIM until the repayment of our loan in 2016. We also carried minimum loss of hire coverage for the Pusan and Le Havre until mid-2018, to cover standard requirements of KEXIM and ABN Amro, the banks that provided financing for our acquisition of these vessels. We do not and will not obtain loss of hire insurance covering the loss of revenue during extended off-hire periods for the other vessels in our fleet, other than with respect to any period during which our vessels are detained due to incidents of piracy, because we believe that this type of coverage is not economical and is of limited value to us, in part because historically our fleet has had a limited number of off-hire days.
Protection and Indemnity Insurance
Protection and indemnity ("P&I") insurance provides insurance cover to its Members in respect of liabilities, costs or expenses incurred by them in their capacity as owner or operator of the respective entered ship and arising out of an event during the period of insurance as a direct consequence of the operation of the ship. This includes third-party liability, crew liability and other related expenses resulting from the injury or death of crew, passengers and other third parties, the loss or damage to cargo, and except where the cover is provided in the hull and machinery policy, also third-party claims arising from collision with other vessels and damage to other third-party property. Indemnity cover is also provided for liability for the discharge or escape of oil or other substance, or threat of escape of such substances. Other liabilities which include salvage, towing, wreck removal and an omnibus provision are also included. Our protection and indemnity insurance is provided by Mutual Protection and Indemnity Associations who are part of the International Group of P&I Clubs.
Our protection and indemnity insurance coverage in accordance with the International Group of P&I Club Agreement for pollution will be US$1.0 billion per event. Our P&I Excess war risk coverage limit is US$500.0 million and in respect of certain war and terrorist risks the liabilities arising from Bio-Chemical etc., the limit is US$30.0 million. For passengers and seaman risks, the limit is US$3.0 billion, with a sub- limit of US$2.0 billion for passenger claims only. The thirteen P&I associations that comprise the International Group insure approximately 90% of the world's commercial blue-water tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to reinsure each association's liabilities. As a member of a P&I association, that is a member of the International Group, we will be subject to calls payable to the associations based inter-alia on the International Group's claim records, as well as the individual claims' records of all other members of the analogous individual associations and their performance. If our insurance providers are not able to obtain reinsurance for port calls in Iran, due to continuing U.S. primary sanctions applicable to U.S. persons facilitating transactions involving Iran, we may have to pay additional premiums with respect to any port calls that our charterers direct our vessels to make in Iran.
Environmental and Other Regulations
Government regulation significantly affects the ownership and operation of our vessels. They are subject to international conventions, national, state and local laws, regulations and standards in force in international waters and the countries in which our vessels may operate or are registered, including those governing the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of oil spills and other contamination, air emissions, wastewater discharges and ballast water management. These laws and regulations include OPA, the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"), the U.S. Clean Water Act, the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships, regulations adopted by the IMO and the European Union, various volatile organic compound air emission requirements and various Safety of Life at Sea ("SOLAS") amendments, as well as other regulations described below. Compliance with these laws,
regulations and other requirements entails significant expense, including vessel modifications and implementation of certain operating procedures.
A variety of governmental and private entities subject our vessels to both scheduled and unscheduled inspections. These entities include the local port authorities (U.S. Coast Guard, harbor master or equivalent), classification societies, flag state administration (country of registry), charterers and, particularly, terminal operators. Certain of these entities require us to obtain permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances for the operation of our vessels. Failure to maintain necessary permits or approvals could require us to incur substantial costs or result in the temporary suspension of operation of one or more of our vessels.
We believe that the heightened level of environmental and quality concerns among insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers is leading to greater inspection and safety requirements on all vessels and may accelerate the scrapping of older vessels throughout the industry. Increasing environmental concerns have created a demand for vessels that conform to the stricter environmental standards. We are required to maintain operating standards for all of our vessels that emphasize operational safety, quality maintenance, continuous training of our officers and crews and compliance with U.S. and international regulations. We believe that the operation of our vessels is in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. Because such laws and regulations are frequently changed and may impose increasingly stricter requirements, any future requirements may limit our ability to do business, increase our operating costs, force the early retirement of some of our vessels, and/or affect their resale value, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, a future serious marine incident that causes significant adverse environmental impact, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, could result in additional legislation or regulation that could negatively affect our profitability.
Environmental RegulationInternational Maritime Organization ("IMO")
Our vessels are subject to standards imposed by the IMO (the United Nations agency for maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships). The IMO has adopted regulations that are designed to reduce pollution in international waters, both from accidents and from routine operations. These regulations address oil discharges, ballasting and unloading operations, sewage, garbage, and air emissions. For example, Annex III of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, or MARPOL, regulates the transportation of marine pollutants, and imposes standards on packing, marking, labeling, documentation, stowage, quantity limitations and pollution prevention. These requirements have been expanded by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, which imposes additional standards for all aspects of the transportation of dangerous goods and marine pollutants by sea.
In September 1997, the IMO adopted Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships to address air pollution from vessels. Annex VI, which came into effect on May 19, 2005, set limits on sulfur oxide ("SOx") and NOx emissions from vessels and prohibited deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons. Annex VI also included a global cap on the sulfur content of fuel oil and allowed for special areas to be established with more stringent controls on sulfur emissions. Annex VI has been ratified by some, but not all IMO member states, including the Marshall Islands. Pursuant to a Marine Notice issued by the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator as revised in March 2005, vessels flagged by the Marshall Islands that are subject to Annex VI must, if built before the effective date, obtain an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate evidencing compliance with Annex VI by the first dry docking after May 19, 2005, but no later than May 19, 2008. All vessels subject to Annex VI and built after May 19, 2005 must also have this Certificate. We have obtained International Air Pollution Prevention certificates for all of our vessels. Amendments to Annex set progressively stricter regulations to control Sox and NOx emissions from ships, which present both environmental and health risks, entered into
force in July 2010. The amendments provide for a progressive reduction in SOx emissions from ships, with the global sulfur cap reduced initially to 3.50% effective from January 1, 2012; then progressively to 0.50%, a significant reduction, effective from January 1, 2020. The IMO confirmed in October 2016 that a global 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuels will come into force on January 1, 2020, as agreed in amendments adopted in 2008 for Annex VI to MARPOL. When the 2020 sulfur cap was decided upon in 2008, it was also agreed that a review should be undertaken to assess whether there was sufficient compliant fuel available to meet the 2020 date, failing which, the date could be deferred to 2025. That review was completed in July 2016 by a consortium of consultants led by CE Delft and submitted to the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) during their 70th session. The review concluded that sufficient compliant fuel would be available to meet the new requirement. However, there have been competing studies, that hold the opposing view that refining capacity will not be sufficient in 2020, with an estimated 60-70% additional sulfur plant capacity required by 2020. China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have announced an early implementation of the sulphur cap effective January 1, 2019. The regulations, which were announced in mid-2018, are similar to those already applied in European ECAs. They set a sulphur content limit of 0.5% and will affect all vessels sailing within 12 nautical miles of the coast as well as when berthing. The Annex VI amendments also establish tiers of stringent NOx emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their dates of installation. The United States ratified the amendments, and all vessels subject to Annex VI must comply with the amended requirements when entering U.S. ports or operating in U.S. waters. Additionally, more stringent emission standards apply in coastal areas designated by MEPC as Emission Control Areas (ECAs). The North American ECA, which includes the area extending 200 nautical miles from the Atlantic/Gulf and Pacific Coasts of the United States and Canada, the Hawaiian Islands, and the French territories of St. Pierre and Miquelon, has been enforceable since August 1, 2012. The North Sea and Baltic Sea were designated ECAs in 2017, and are expected to take effect in 2021. As of January 1, 2015, fuel used by vessels operating in the ECA cannot contain more than 0.1% sulfur. NOx after- treatment requirements became effective in 2016. The U.S. Caribbean ECA, which includes the waters of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, became enforceable on January 1, 2014. We may incur costs to install control equipment on our engines in order to comply with the new requirements. Other ECAs may be designated, and the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate may adopt more stringent emission standards independent of IMO.
The operation of our vessels is also affected by the requirements set forth in the IMO's International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, or the ISM Code, which was adopted in July 1998. The ISM Code requires shipowners and bareboat charterers to develop and maintain an extensive "Safety Management System" that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. The ISM Code requires that vessel operators obtain a Safety Management Certificate for each vessel they operate. This certificate evidences compliance by a vessel's management with code requirements for a Safety Management System. No vessel can obtain a certificate unless its operator has been awarded a document of compliance, issued by each flag state, under the ISM Code. The failure of a shipowner or bareboat charterer to comply with the ISM Code may subject such party to increased liability, decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels or result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports. Currently, each of the vessels in our fleet is ISM code-certified. However, there can be no assurance that such certifications will be maintained indefinitely.
In 2001, the IMO adopted the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, or the Bunker Convention, which imposes strict liability on ship owners for pollution damage in jurisdictional waters of ratifying states caused by discharges of bunker oil. The Bunker Convention also requires registered owners of ships over a certain size to maintain insurance for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime (but not exceeding the amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of
Liability for Maritime Claims of 1976, as amended). The Bunker Convention entered into force on November 21, 2008. Liability limits under the Bunker Convention were increased as of June 2015. Our entire fleet has been issued a certificate attesting that insurance is in force in accordance with the insurance provisions of the Convention. In jurisdictions where the Bunkers Convention has not been adopted, such as the United States, various legislative schemes or common law govern, and liability is either strict or imposed on the basis of fault.
Environmental RegulationThe U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA")
OPA established an extensive regulatory and liability regime for the protection and cleanup of the environment from oil spills. It applies to discharges of any oil from a vessel, including discharges of fuel oil and lubricants. OPA affects all owners and operators whose vessels trade in the United States, its territories and possessions or whose vessels operate in U.S. waters, which include the United States' territorial sea and its two hundred nautical mile exclusive economic zone. While we do not carry oil as cargo, we do carry fuel oil (or bunkers) in our vessels, making our vessels subject to the OPA requirements.
Under OPA, vessel owners, operators and bareboat charterers are "responsible parties" and are jointly, severally and strictly liable (unless the discharge of oil results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war) for all containment and clean-up costs and other damages arising from discharges or threatened discharges of oil from their vessels. OPA defines these other damages broadly to include:
OPA preserves the right to recover damages under existing law, including maritime tort law.
OPA liability is limited to the greater of $1,100 per gross ton or $939,800 for non-tank vessels, subject to periodic adjustment by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). These limits of liability do not apply if an incident was directly caused by violation of applicable U.S. federal safety, construction or operating regulations or by a responsible party's gross negligence or willful misconduct, or if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with oil removal activities.
OPA requires owners and operators of vessels to establish and maintain with the USCG evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet their potential liabilities under the OPA. Under the regulations, vessel owners and operators may evidence their financial responsibility by providing proof of insurance, surety bond, self-insurance, or guaranty, and an owner or operator of a fleet of vessels is required only to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility in an amount sufficient to cover the vessels in the fleet having the greatest maximum liability under OPA. Under the self-insurance provisions, the shipowner or operator must have a net worth and working capital, measured in assets located in the United States against liabilities located anywhere in the world, that exceeds the applicable amount of financial responsibility. We have complied with the USCG regulations by providing a financial guaranty in the required amount.
OPA specifically permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, and some states have enacted legislation
providing for unlimited liability for oil spills. In some cases, states which have enacted such legislation have not yet issued implementing regulations defining vessels owners' responsibilities under these laws. We intend to comply with all applicable state regulations in the ports where our vessels call.
We currently maintain, for each of our vessels, oil pollution liability coverage insurance in the amount of $1 billion per incident. In addition, we carry hull and machinery and protection and indemnity insurance to cover the risks of fire and explosion. Given the relatively small amount of bunkers our vessels carry, we believe that a spill of oil from the vessels would not be catastrophic. However, under certain circumstances, fire and explosion could result in a catastrophic loss. While we believe that our present insurance coverage is adequate, not all risks can be insured, and there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid, or that we will always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates. If the damages from a catastrophic spill exceeded our insurance coverage, it would have a severe effect on us and could possibly result in our insolvency.
In response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a number of bills that could potentially increase or even eliminate the limits of liability under OPA have been introduced in the U.S. Congress. Compliance with any new OPA requirements could substantially impact our costs of operation or require us to incur additional expenses.
Title VII of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004, or the CGMTA, amended OPA to require the owner or operator of any non-tank vessel of 400 gross tons or more, that carries oil of any kind as a fuel for main propulsion, including bunkers, to have an approved response plan for each vessel. The vessel response plans include detailed information on actions to be taken by vessel personnel to prevent or mitigate any discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge of oil from the vessel due to operational activities or casualties. We have approved response plans for each of our vessels.
CERCLA governs spills or releases of hazardous substances other than petroleum or petroleum products. The owner or operator of a ship, vehicle or facility from which there has been a release is liable without regard to fault for the release, and along with other specified parties may be jointly and severally liable for remedial costs. Costs recoverable under CERCLA include cleanup and removal costs, natural resource damages and governmental oversight costs. Liability under CERCLA is generally limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $0.5 million per vessel carrying non-hazardous substances ($5.0 million for vessels carrying hazardous substances), unless the incident is caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct or a violation of certain regulations, in which case liability is unlimited. The USCG's financial responsibility regulations under OPA also require vessels to provide evidence of financial responsibility for CERCLA liability in the amount of $300 per gross ton. As noted above, we have provided a financial guaranty in the required amount to the USCG.
Environmental RegulationThe Clean Water Act
The U.S. Clean Water Act, or CWA, prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in navigable waters and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for any unauthorized discharges. The CWA also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under the more recent OPA and CERCLA, discussed above. Under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, regulations we are required to obtain a CWA permit regulating and authorizing any discharges of ballast water or other wastewaters incidental to our normal vessel operations if we operate within the three-mile territorial waters or inland waters of the United States. The permit, which EPA has designated as the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels, or VGP, incorporated the then-current U.S. Coast Guard requirements for ballast water management, as well as supplemental ballast water requirements
and limits for 26 other specific discharges. Regulated vessels cannot operate in U.S. waters unless they are covered by the VGP. To do so, vessel owners must submit a Notice of Intent, or NOI, at least 30 days before the vessel operates in U.S. waters. To comply with the VGP vessel owners and operators may have to install equipment on their vessels to treat ballast water before it is discharged or implement port facility disposal arrangements or procedures at potentially substantial cost. The VGP also requires states to certify the permit, and certain states have imposed more stringent discharge standards as a condition of their certification. Many of the VGP requirements have already been addressed in our vessels' current ISM Code SMS Plan. As part of a settlement of a lawsuit challenging the VGP, EPA issued a new VGP (2013 VGP) that became effective on December 19, 2013 and remains in effect during the implementation of the 2018 Vessel Incident Discharge Act, discussed below. The 2013 VGP contains numeric effluent limits for ballast water discharges that are expressed as maximum concentrations of living organisms per unit of ballast water volume discharged. These requirements correspond with the IMO's requirements under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, or the BWM Convention, discussed below, and are consistent with the USCG's 2012 ballast water discharge standards described below. The 2013 VGP also includes additional management requirements for non-ballast water discharges and requires the submission of annual reports by all vessels covered by the 2013 VGP. EPA is implementing the 2013 VGP on a staggered basis, depending on the size of a vessel and its first drydocking between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2016. Vessels that are constructed after December 1, 2013 are immediately subject to the requirements of the 2013 VGP. The ballast water management standards of the 2013 VGP were challenged by the Canadian Shipowners' Association in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on October 5, 2015 that EPA had acted arbitrarily and capriciously with respect to certain of the ballast water provisions in the 2013 VGP. The Court remanded the issue to EPA to either justify its approach in the 2013 VGP or redraft the ballast water sections of the VGP consistent with the Court's ruling. In the meantime, the 2013 VGP will remain in effect. As of the date of this report, there are sixteen USCG-approved ballast water management systems, and EPA has refused to extend or waive the date for compliance with the ballast water management requirements in the 2013 VGP. Instead, EPA will consider why a vessel does not have compliant ballast water management technology if it takes action to enforce the new requirements. We have submitted NOIs for all of our vessels that operate or potentially operate in U.S. waters and have submitted annual reports for all of our covered vessels. On April 12, 2013, EPA issued the 2013 VGP with an effective period of December 19, 2013 to December 18, 2018 (i.e., five years). However, in order to extend the 2013 VGP's provisions, leaving them in effect until new regulations are final and enforceable, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act ("VIDA") was signed. The VIDA, signed into law on December 4, 2018, establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges under Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p). VIDA requires EPA to develop performance standards for those discharges within two years of enactment and requires the U.S. Coast Guard to develop implementation, compliance, and enforcement regulations within two years of EPA's promulgation of standards. Under VIDA, all provisions of the Vessel General Permit remain in force and effect until the U.S. Coast Guard regulations are finalized.
Environmental RegulationThe Clean Air Act
The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA to promulgate standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds and other air contaminants. Our vessels are subject to CAA vapor control and recovery standards for cleaning fuel tanks and conducting other operations in regulated port areas and emissions standards for so-called "Category 3" marine diesel engines operating in U.S. waters. The marine diesel engine emission standards are currently limited to new engines beginning with the 2004 model year. However, on April 30, 2010, EPA adopted more stringent standards for emissions of particulate matter, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides and other related provisions for new Category 3 marine diesel engines installed on vessels registered or flagged in the
U.S. We may incur costs to install control equipment on our vessels to comply with the new standards. Several states regulate emissions from vessel vapor control and recovery operations under federally-approved State Implementation Plans. The California Air Resources Board has adopted clean fuel regulations applicable to all vessels sailing within 24 miles of the California coast whose itineraries call for them to enter any California ports, terminal facilities or internal or estuarine waters. Only marine gas oil or marine diesel oil fuels with 0.1% sulfur will be allowed. If new or more stringent requirements relating to marine fuels or emissions from marine diesel engines or port operations by vessels are adopted by EPA or the states, compliance with these regulations could entail significant capital expenditures or otherwise increase the costs of our operations.
Environmental RegulationOther Environmental Initiatives
The EU has also adopted legislation that: requires member states to impose criminal sanctions for certain pollution events, such as the unauthorized discharge of tank washings. The European Parliament recently endorsed a European Commission proposal to criminalize certain pollution discharges from ships. If the proposal becomes formal EU law, it will affect the operation of vessels and the liability of owners for oil and other pollutant discharges. It is difficult to predict what legislation, if any, may be promulgated by the European Union or any other country or authority.
The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) to which 27 nations are party adopted the "New Inspection Regime" (NIR) to replace the existing Port State Control system, effective January 1, 2011. The NIR is a significant departure from the previous system, as it is a risk based targeting mechanism that will reward quality vessels with a smaller inspection burden and subject high-risk ships to more in-depth and frequent inspections. The inspection record of a vessel, its age and type, the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme, and the performance of the flag State and recognized organizations are used to develop the risk profile of a vessel.
The EU MRV (Monitoring, Reporting, Verification) regulation entered into force on July 1, 2015, and it requires ship owners and operators to annually monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions for vessels larger than 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) calling at any EU and EFTA (Norway and Iceland) port. Data collection takes place on a per voyage basis and started on January 1, 2018. The reported CO2 emissions, together with additional data, are to be verified by independent certified bodies (RO) and sent to a central database managed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The aggregated ship emission and efficiency data will be published by the EC by June 30, 2019 and then every consecutive year.
The U.S. National Invasive Species Act, or NISA, was enacted in 1996 in response to growing reports of harmful organisms being released into U.S. ports through ballast water taken on by ships in foreign ports. Under NISA, the USCG adopted regulations in July 2004 imposing mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks entering U.S. waters. These requirements can be met by performing mid-ocean ballast exchange, by retaining ballast water on board the ship, or by using environmentally sound alternative ballast water management methods approved by the USCG. (However, mid-ocean ballast exchange is mandatory for ships heading to the Great Lakes or Hudson Bay, or vessels engaged in the foreign export of Alaskan North Slope crude oil.) Mid-ocean ballast exchange is the primary method for compliance with the USCG regulations, since holding ballast water can prevent ships from performing cargo operations upon arrival in the United States, and alternative methods are still under development. Vessels that are unable to conduct mid-ocean ballast exchange due to voyage or safety concerns may discharge minimum amounts of ballast water (in areas other than the Great Lakes and the Hudson River), provided that they comply with record keeping requirements and document the reasons they could not follow the required ballast water management requirements. On March 23, 2012 the USCG adopted ballast water discharge standards that set maximum acceptable discharge limits for living organisms and established standards for ballast water management systems. The regulations became effective on June 21, 2012 and were
phased in between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2016 for existing vessels, depending on the size of their ballast water tanks and their next drydocking date. As of the date of this report, the USCG has approved sixteen Ballast Water Treatment Systems. Our fleet has obtained extensions for the vessels drydocked in 2017 and due for drydocking in 2018 which are deferred to their next scheduled dry-docking date. The Coast Guard has not issued extension letters to the vessels with compliance dates on or after January 1, 2019. Now that a type approved system is available, the status of these applications will be changed from "received" to "held in abeyance" since the application's original criteria are no longer valid. In order to receive approval for an extension, additional information must be submitted including appropriate documentation as to why compliance with the requirements is not possible.
Although the USCG ballast water management requirements are consistent with the requirements in EPA's 2013 VGP, the USCG intends to review the practicability of implementing even more stringent ballast water discharge standards. In the past absence of federal standards, states enacted legislation or regulations to address invasive species through ballast water and hull cleaning management and permitting requirements. Michigan's ballast water management legislation was upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and California enacted legislation extending its ballast water management program to regulate the management of "hull fouling" organisms attached to vessels and adopted regulations limiting the number of organisms in ballast water discharges. Other states may proceed with the enactment of requirements similar to those of California and Michigan or the adoption of requirements that are more stringent than the EPA and USCG requirements. We could incur additional costs to comply with additional USCG or state ballast water management requirements.
At the international level, the IMO adopted the BWM Convention in February 2004. The Convention's implementing regulations call for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements, to be replaced in time with mandatory concentration limits. The BWM Convention took effect on September 8, 2017. Many of the implementation dates originally contained in the BWM Convention had already passed prior to its effectiveness, so that the period for installation of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements would be very short, with several thousand ships per year needing to install the systems. Consequently, the IMO Assembly passed a resolution in December 2013 revising the dates for implementation of the ballast water management requirements so that they are triggered by the entry into force date. In effect, this makes all vessels constructed before September 8, 2017 "existing" vessels, allowing for the installation of ballast water management systems on such vessels at the first renewal IOPP survey following entry into force of the BWM Convention. In July 2017, the implementation scheme was further changed to require vessels with International Oil Pollution Prevention ("IOPP") certificates expiring between September 8, 2017 and September 8, 2019 to comply at their second IOPP renewal.
If the mid-ocean ballast exchange is made mandatory throughout the United States or at the international level, or if ballast water treatment requirements or options are instituted, the cost of compliance could increase for ocean carriers. Although we do not believe that the costs of compliance with a mandatory mid-ocean ballast exchange would be material, it is difficult to predict the overall impact of such a requirement on our business.
The 2005 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change required adopting countries to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain greenhouse gases, but emissions from international shipping are not subject to the soon to expire Kyoto Protocol. The Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, contemplates commitments from each nation party thereto to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit increases in global temperatures but did not include any restrictions or other measures specific to shipping emissions. However, restrictions on shipping emissions are likely to continue to be considered and a new treaty may be adopted in the future that includes restrictions on shipping emissions. The IMO's MEPC adopted two new sets of mandatory requirements to address
greenhouse gas emissions from vessels at its July 2011 meeting. The EEDI establishes a minimum energy efficiency level per capacity mile and will be applicable to new vessels. The Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan is applicable to currently operating vessels of 400 metric tons and above and we are in compliance. These requirements entered into force in January 2013 and could cause us to incur additional compliance costs in the future. By 2025, all new ships built must be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2014. The IMO is also considering the development of market based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vessels, as well as sustainable development goals for marine transportation, but it is impossible to predict the likelihood that such measures might be adopted or their potential impacts on our operations at this time. In 2015, the EU adopted a regulation requiring large vessels (over 5,000 gross tons) calling at EU ports to monitor, report and verify their carbon dioxide emissions, which went into effect in January 2018. The U.S. EPA Administrator issued a finding that greenhouse gases threaten the public health and safety and has adopted regulations relating to the control of greenhouse gas emissions from certain mobile sources and proposed regulations that would restrict greenhouse gas emissions from certain large stationary sources. Although the EPA findings and regulations do not extend to vessels and vessel engines, the EPA is separately considering a petition from the California Attorney General and environmental groups to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from ocean-going vessels under the CAA. Any passage of climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives by the IMO, the EU or individual countries in which we operate or any international treaty adopted to succeed the Kyoto Protocol could require us to make significant financial expenditures or otherwise limit our operations that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. Even in the absence of climate control legislation, our business may be indirectly affect to the extent that climate change may result in sea level changes or more intense weather events.
On June 29, 2017, the Global Industry Alliance, or the GIA, was officially inaugurated. The GIA is a program, under the Global Environmental Facility-United Nations Development Program- IMO project, which supports shipping, and related industries, as they move towards a low carbon future. Organizations including, but not limited to, shipowners, operators, classification societies, and oil companies, signed to launch the GIA.
In addition, the United States is currently experiencing changes in its environmental policy, the results of which have yet to be fully determined. For example, in April 2017, the U.S. President signed an executive order regarding the environment that targets the United States' offshore energy strategy, which affects parts of the maritime industry and may affect our business operations. Additional legislation or regulation applicable to the operation of our ships that may be implemented in the future could negatively affect our profitability.
Vessel Security Regulations
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been a variety of initiatives intended to enhance vessel security. On November 25, 2002, the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) came into effect. To implement certain portions of the MTSA, in July 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard issued regulations requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Similarly, in December 2002, amendments to SOLAS created a new chapter of the convention dealing specifically with maritime security. The new chapter went into effect in July 2004, and imposes various detailed security obligations on vessels and port authorities, most of which are contained in the newly created International Ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code.
The ISPS Code is designed to protect ports and international shipping against terrorism. To trade internationally a vessel must obtain an International Ship Security Certificate, or ISSC, from a recognized security organization approved by the vessel's flag state. To obtain an ISSC a vessel must meet certain requirements, including:
In addition, as of January 1, 2009, every company and/or registered owner is required to have an identification number which conforms to the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme. Our Manager has also complied with this amendment to SOLAS XI-1/3-1.
The U.S. Coast Guard regulations are intended to align with international maritime security standards and exempt non-U.S. vessels that have a valid ISSC attesting to the vessel's compliance with SOLAS security requirements and the ISPS Code from the requirement to have a U.S. Coast Guard approved vessel security plan. We have implemented the various security measures addressed by the MTSA, SOLAS and the ISPS Code and have ensured that our vessels are compliant with all applicable security requirements. Our fleet, as part of our continuous improvement cycle, is reviewing vessels SSPs and is maintaining best Management practices during passage through security risk areas.
IMO Cyber security
The Maritime Safety Committee, at its 98th session in June 2017, also adopted Resolution MSC.428(98)Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. The resolution encourages administrations to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in existing safety management systems (as defined in the ISM Code) no later than the first annual verification of the company's Document of Compliance after January 1, 2021. Owners risk having ships detained if they have not included cyber security in the ISM Code safety management on ships by January 1, 2021.
Vessel Recycling Regulations
The EU has also recently adopted a regulation that seeks to facilitate the ratification of the IMO Recycling Convention and sets forth rules relating to vessel recycling and management of hazardous materials on vessels. In addition to new requirements for the recycling of vessels, the new regulation contains rules for the control and proper management of hazardous materials on vessels and prohibits or restricts the installation or use of certain hazardous materials on vessels. The new regulation applies to vessels flying the flag of an EU member state and certain of its provisions apply to vessels flying the flag of a third country calling at a port or anchorage of a member state. For example, when calling at a port or anchorage of a member state, a vessel flying the flag of a third country will be required, among other things, to have on board an inventory of hazardous materials that complies with the requirements of the new regulation and the vessel must be able to submit to the relevant authorities of that member state a copy of a statement of compliance issued by the relevant authorities of the country of the
vessel's flag verifying the inventory. The new regulation will take effect on non-EU-flagged vessels calling on EU ports of call beginning on December 31, 2020.
Our containerships primarily operate under multi-year charters and therefore are not subject to the effect of seasonal variations in demand.
We have no freehold or leasehold interest in any real property. We occupy space at 3, Christaki Kompou Street, Peters House, 3300, Limassol, Cyprus and 14 Akti Kondyli, 185 45 Piraeus, Greece that is owned by our manager, Danaos Shipping, and which is provided to us as part of the services we receive under our management agreement.
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes to those statements included elsewhere in this annual report. This discussion includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under "Item 3. Key InformationRisk Factors" and elsewhere in this annual report, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
Our business is to provide international seaborne transportation services by operating vessels in the containership sector of the shipping industry. As of February 28, 2019, we had a fleet of 55 containerships aggregating 327,616 TEU, making us among the largest containership charter owners in the world, based on total TEU capacity. Gemini, in which we hold a 49% minority equity interest, owned four additional containerships aggregating 23,998 TEU in capacity, as of February 28, 2019. We do not consolidate Gemini's results of operations and account for our minority equity interest under the equity method of accounting, which is recorded under "Equity income/(loss) on investments" in our consolidated statements of operations.
We primarily deploy our containerships on multi-year, fixed-rate charters to take advantage of the stable cash flows and high utilization rates typically associated with multi-year charters, although in weaker containership charter markets such as is currently prevailing we charter more of our vessels on shorter term charters so as to be able to take advantage of any increase in charter rates. As of February 28, 2019, fifty-one containerships in our fleet were employed on time charters, out of which twenty-two expire in 2019, and four containerships were employed on bareboat charters. Gemini has employed all of its containerships on time charters. Our containerships are generally employed on multi-year charters to large liner companies that charter-in vessels on a multi-year basis as part of their business strategies. As of February 28, 2019, our diverse group of customers in the containership sector included CMA-CGM, Yang Ming, COSCO, Hyundai Merchant Marine, ZIM Israel Integrated Shipping Services, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk, Evergreen, MSC, ONE and Samudera; and for Gemini, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and TS Lines.
The average number of containerships in our fleet for each of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 was 55.0.
Our operations are managed by Danaos Shipping, our manager, under the supervision of our officers and our board of directors. We believe our manager has built a strong reputation in the shipping community by providing customized, high-quality operational services in an efficient manner for both new and older vessels. We have a management agreement pursuant to which our manager and its affiliates provide us and our subsidiaries with technical, administrative and certain commercial services. The term of this agreement expires on December 31, 2024 (subject to certain termination rights described in "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions"). Our manager is ultimately owned by DIL, which is also our largest stockholder.
We consummated a comprehensive debt refinancing, which we refer to as the "2018 Refinancing", with certain of our lenders on August 10, 2018, which we refer to as the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date. The 2018 Refinancing involved our entry into modified or amended and restated credit facilities, reflecting a $551 million reduction in our debt, reset financial and certain other covenants, modified interest rates and amortization profiles and extended debt maturities by approximately five years to December 31, 2023 (or, in some cases, June 30, 2024), as described in more detail below under "2018 Refinancing and New 2018 Credit Facilities." In the 2018 Refinancing, we issued to certain of our lenders an aggregate of 99,342,271 shares of our common stock on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, which ratably diluted existing holders of our common stock. We agreed to provide the lenders with certain registration rights with respect to these shares, which have been registered for resale under the Securities Act, pursuant to a registration rights agreement. See "Item 10. Additional InformationMaterial ContractsRegistration Rights."
In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, we agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to consummate an offering of common stock for aggregate net proceeds of not less than $50 million within 18 months after the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date (the "Follow-on Equity Raise"). In order to facilitate the Follow-on Equity Raise, DIL has entered into an agreement with us, dated as of August 10, 2018 (the "Backstop Agreement"), pursuant to which DIL agreed to purchase up to $10 million of common stock in such offering (please see "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party TransactionsRelated Party TransactionsBackstop Agreement").
DIL and our manager, Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd. (the "Manager") made a number of other financial and operating commitments in connection with the 2018 Refinancing, including (1) DIL's contribution of $10 million to us on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date for which it did not receive any shares of common stock or other interests in us, (2) in connection with the amendment and restatement of our management agreement with the Manager (please see "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party TransactionsRelated Party TransactionsManagement Agreement") and of our restrictive covenant agreement with DIL and Dr. Coustas (please see Item 7. "Major Shareholders and Related Party TransactionsRelated Party TransactionsNon-competition") and (3) as set forth in a Stockholders Agreement we entered into on August 10, 2018 with DIL and the lenders receiving shares in the 2018 Refinancing (please see "Item 10. Additional InformationStockholders Agreement"). In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, we also implemented certain corporate governance arrangements, as described under "Item 10. Additional InformationStockholders Agreement" and "Item 10 Additional InformationArticles of Incorporation and BylawsSupermajority Stockholder Approval."
We also agreed to seek to refinance two of our 13,100 TEU vessels, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect. The net proceeds are to be applied pro rata to repay the credit facilities secured by mortgages on such vessels.
On September 1, 2016, Hanjin Shipping, a charterer of eight of our vessels under long term, fixed rate charter party agreements, referred to the Seoul Central District Court, which issued an order to commence the rehabilitation proceedings of Hanjin Shipping. Hanjin Shipping cancelled all eight of its charter party agreements with us, which represented approximately $560 million of our $2.8 billion of contracted revenue as of June 30, 2016, and returned each of the vessels to us. On February 17, 2017 the Seoul Central District Court (Bankruptcy Division), declared the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, converting the rehabilitation proceeding to a bankruptcy proceeding. The Seoul Central District Court (Bankruptcy Division) appointed a bankruptcy trustee to dispose of Hanjin Shipping's remaining assets and distribute the proceeds from the sale of such assets to Hanjin Shipping's creditors according to their priorities. We rechartered all eight vessels on short-term charters at market rates in the prevailing weak containership charter market. As a result of these events, we ceased recognizing revenue from Hanjin Shipping effective from July 1, 2016 onwards and recognized a bad debt expense amounting to $15.8 million relating to unpaid charter hire recorded as accounts receivable as of June 30, 2016 in our consolidated statements of operations in the year ended December 31, 2016. We have an unsecured claim for unpaid charter hire, charges, expenses and loss of profit against Hanjin Shipping totaling $597.9 million submitted to the Seoul Central District Court.
On October 12, 2018 the First Instance Court of Seoul, issued its judgement on our submitted common benefit claim. Owners of the respective vessels were awarded with the total amount of $6.1 million plus interest and legal costs. The common benefit claim applies to the unpaid charter hires plus other outstandings for the period from the date of Hanjin Shipping's filing for bankruptcy until the termination notices for each respective charterparty.
The Bankruptcy Trustee of Hanjin Shipping filed an appeal to the High Court (an appellate court in South Korea). On February 13, 2019, the appellate court in South Korea dismissed the appeal filed by the Bankruptcy Trustee of Hanjin Shipping in its entirety upholding the judgement of the First Instance Court of Seoul. On February 28, 2019 the Bankruptcy Trustee of Hanjin Shipping filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Korea against the judgement rendered by the appellate court in South Korea.
Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations
Our financial results are largely driven by the following factors:
the charters for twenty-two of our vessels are scheduled to expire between March 2019 and December 2019. With the prevailing low charter rate levels, we expect that we will have to re-charter many of these vessels at the existing low spot charter rates.
In addition to those factors described above affecting our operating results, our net income is significantly affected by our financing arrangements, including any interest rate swap arrangements, and, accordingly, prevailing interest rates and the interest rates and other financing terms we may obtain in the future.
The following table presents the contracted utilization of our operating fleet as of December 31, 2018.
| ||2019||2020 - 2021||2022 - 2023||2024 - 2028||Total|
Contracted revenue (in millions)(1)
Number of vessels whose charters are set to expire in the respective period(2)
TEUs on expiring charters in the respective period
Contracted Operating(3) days
Total Operating(3) days
Contracted Operating days/Total Operating days
counterparties and us. See "Operating Revenues," including the contracted revenue table presented therein, for more information regarding our contracted revenues.
Our operating revenues are driven primarily by the number of vessels in our fleet, the number of operating days during which our vessels generate revenues and the amount of daily charter hire that our vessels earn under time charters which, in turn, are affected by a number of factors, including our decisions relating to vessel acquisitions and dispositions, the amount of time that we spend positioning our vessels, the amount of time that our vessels spend in drydock undergoing repairs, maintenance and upgrade work, the age, condition and specifications of our vessels and the levels of supply and demand in the containership charter market. Vessels operating in the spot market generate revenues that are less predictable but can allow increased profit margins to be captured during periods of improving charter rates.
Revenues from multi-year period charters comprised a substantial portion of our revenues for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016. The revenues relating to our multi-year charters will be affected by any additional vessels subject to multi-year charters we may acquire in the future, as well as by the disposition of any such vessel in our fleet. Our revenues will also be affected if any of our charterers cancel a multi-year charter or fail to perform at existing contracted rates. Our multi-year charter agreements have been contracted in varying rate environments and expire at different times. Generally, we do not employ our vessels under voyage charters under which a shipowner, in return for a fixed sum, agrees to transport cargo from one or more loading ports to one or more destinations and assumes all vessel operating costs and voyage expenses.
Our expected revenues as of December 31, 2018, based on contracted charter rates, from our charter arrangements for our containerships is shown in the table below. Although these expected revenues are based on contracted charter rates, any contract is subject to performance by the counterparties. If the charterers, some of which are currently facing substantial financial pressure, are unable or unwilling to make charter payments to us, our results of operations and financial condition will be materially adversely affected, as was the case with the cancellation of long-term, fixed rate charters for eight of our vessels by Hanjin Shipping in 2016. See "Item 3. Key InformationRisk FactorsWe are dependent on the ability and willingness of our charterers to honor their commitments to us for all of our revenues and the failure of our counterparties to meet their obligations under our charter agreements could cause us to suffer losses or otherwise adversely affect our business."
|2019||2020 - 2021||2022 - 2023||2024 - 2028||Total|
revenues above reflect an estimate of off-hire days to perform periodic maintenance. If actual off-hire days are greater than estimated, these would decrease the level of revenues above.
Due to the Hanjin Shipping charter cancellations and weak charter market conditions we currently have twenty-two vessels employed on short term time charters in the spot market. Vessels operating in the spot market generate revenues that are less predictable than vessels on period charters, although this chartering strategy can enable vessel owners to capture increased profit margins during periods of improvements in charter rates. Deployment of vessels in the spot market creates exposure, however, to the risk of declining charter rates, as spot rates may be higher or lower than those rates at which a vessel could have been time chartered for a longer period.
Voyage expenses include port and canal charges, bunker (fuel) expenses (bunker costs are normally covered by our charterers, except in certain cases such as vessel re-positioning), address commissions and brokerage commissions. Under time charters and bareboat charters, such as those on which we charter our containerships, the charterers bear the voyage expenses other than brokerage and address commissions and fees. As such, voyage expenses represent a relatively small portion of our vessels' overall expenses.
From time to time, in accordance with industry practice and in respect of the charters for our containerships we pay brokerage commissions of approximately 0.75% to 1.25% of the total daily charter hire rate under the charters to unaffiliated ship brokers associated with the charterers, depending on the number of brokers involved with arranging the charter. We also pay address commissions of 1.25% up to 3.75% to a limited number of our charterers. Our manager will also receive a fee of 0.5% based on the contract price of any vessel bought or sold by it on our behalf, excluding newbuilding contracts. In 2018, 2017 and 2016 we paid a fee to our manager of 1.25% on all freight, charter hire, ballast bonus and demurrage for each vessel. In 2019, this fee will remain at 1.25%.
Vessel Operating Expenses
Vessel operating expenses include crew wages and related costs, the cost of insurance, expenses for repairs and maintenance, the cost of spares and consumable stores, tonnage taxes and other miscellaneous expenses. Aggregate expenses increase as the size of our fleet increases. Factors beyond our control, some of which may affect the shipping industry in general, including, for instance, developments relating to market premiums for insurance, may also cause these expenses to increase. In addition, a substantial portion of our vessel operating expenses, primarily crew wages, are in currencies other than the U.S. dollar and any gain or loss we incur as a result of the U.S. dollar fluctuating in value against these currencies is included in vessel operating expenses. We fund our manager in advance with amounts it will need to pay our fleet's vessel operating expenses.
Under time charters, such as those on which we charter all but four of the containerships in our fleet as of February 28, 2019, we pay for vessel operating expenses. Under bareboat charters, such as those on which we chartered the remaining four containerships in our fleet, our charterers bear substantially all vessel operating expenses, including the costs of crewing, insurance, surveys, drydockings, maintenance and repairs.
Amortization of Deferred Drydocking and Special Survey Costs
We follow the deferral method of accounting for special survey and drydocking costs, whereby actual costs incurred are deferred and are amortized on a straight-line basis over the period until the next scheduled survey and drydocking, which is two and a half years. If special survey or drydocking is
performed prior to the scheduled date, the remaining unamortized balances are immediately written off. The amortization periods reflect the estimated useful economic life of the deferred charge, which is the period between each special survey and drydocking.
Major overhaul performed during drydocking is differentiated from normal operating repairs and maintenance. The related costs for inspections that are required for the vessel's certification under the requirement of the classification society are categorized as drydock costs. A vessel at drydock performs certain assessments, inspections, refurbishments, replacements and alterations within a safe non-operational environment that allows for complete shutdown of certain machinery and equipment, navigational, ballast (keep the vessel upright) and safety systems, access to major underwater components of vessel (rudder, propeller, thrusters and anti-corrosion systems), which are not accessible during vessel operations, as well as hull treatment and paints. In addition, specialized equipment is required to access and maneuver vessel components, which are not available at regular ports.
Repairs and maintenance normally performed during operation either at port or at sea have the purpose of minimizing wear and tear to the vessel caused by a particular incident or normal wear and tear. Repair and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred.
We have recognized an impairment loss of $210.7 million in relation to ten of our vessels held and used as of December 31, 2018 due to (i) the impairment loss of $197.2 million recognized for eight 4,300 TEU vessels and (ii) the impairment loss of $13.5 million for two 3,300 TEU vessels as a result of volatility in the spot market and the vessels' market values, the continued weakness of containership market and the potential impact the current containership market may have on its future operations. There was no impairment loss as of December 31, 2017. We have recognized an impairment loss of $415.1 million in relation to 25 of our vessels as of December 31, 2016 due to (i) the impairment loss of $205.2 million recognized for five 3,400 TEU vessels formerly chartered to Hanjin Shipping, and (ii) the impairment loss of $209.9 million recognized for 18 of our vessels of 4,300 TEU or less capacity and for two 6,400 TEU vessels as a result of the weakness of containership market and the other than temporary nature of the decline in these vessels' market values. See "Critical Accounting PoliciesImpairment of Long-lived Assets."
We depreciate our containerships on a straight-line basis over their estimated remaining useful economic lives. We estimated the useful lives of our containerships to be 30 years from the year built. Depreciation is based on cost, less the estimated scrap value of $300 per ton for all vessels.
General and Administrative Expenses
We paid our manager the following fees for 2018, 2017 and 2016: (i) a daily management fee of $850, (ii) a daily vessel management fee of $425 for vessels on bareboat charter, pro rated for the number of calendar days we own each vessel, (iii) a daily vessel management fee of $850 for vessels on time charter, pro rated for the number of calendar days we own each vessel. Our executive officers received an aggregate of €2.7 million ($3.2 million), €1.5 million ($1.8 million) and €1.5 million ($1.7 million) in compensation for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
For 2019, we will pay a fee of $850 per day, a fee of $425 per vessel per day for vessels on bareboat charter and a fee of $850 per vessel per day for vessels on time charter.
Furthermore, general and administrative expenses include audit fees, legal fees, board remuneration, executive officers compensation, directors & officers insurance, stock exchange fees and other general and administrative expenses.
Bad Debt Expense
At each balance sheet date, all potentially uncollectible accounts receivable are assessed individually for purposes of determining the appropriate provision for doubtful accounts based on our history of write-offs, level of past due accounts based on the contractual term of the receivables and current relationship with and economic status of our customers. We recorded bad debt expense of $15.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2016 related to unpaid charter hire recorded as accounts receivable from Hanjin Shipping prior to its filing for court receivership in September 2016. There were no bad debt expenses in the years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017.
Other Income/(Expenses), Net
In 2018, we recorded net other expenses of $50.5 million out of which $51.3 million in expenses related to refinancing professional fees. In 2017, we recorded other expenses of $16.2 million mainly related to professional fees due to the refinancing discussions with our lenders of $14.3 million and a $2.4 million realized loss on sale of HMM securities. In 2016, we recorded other expenses of $41.6 million mainly consisting of $29.4 million impairment loss on ZIM securities and a $12.9 million loss on sale of HMM equity securities.
Interest Expense, Interest Income and Other finance expenses
We have incurred interest expense on outstanding indebtedness under our credit facilities which we included in interest expense. We also incurred financing costs in connection with establishing those facilities, which is included in other finance expenses. Further, we earn interest on cash deposits in interest bearing accounts and on interest bearing securities, which we include in interest income. We will incur additional interest expense in the future on our outstanding borrowings and under future borrowings. See "2018 Refinancing and New 2018 Credit Facilities" for a description of our 2018 Refinancing, including the Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) accounting applied from the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, which reduced the aggregate amount of debt outstanding under our credit facilities and the interest expense recognized in our statement of operations.
Gain on Debt Extinguishment
We have recorded a net gain on debt extinguishment of $116.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 related to the refinancing of our loan facilities.
Unrealized Gain/(Loss) and Realized Loss on Derivatives
We currently have no outstanding interest rate swaps agreements. In past years, we had interest rate swaps agreements generally based on the forecasted delivery of vessels we contracted for and our debt financing needs associated therewith. All changes in the fair value of our cash flow interest rate swap agreements were recorded in earnings under "Net Unrealized and Realized Losses on Derivatives". Recognition of non-cash fair value movements of our interest rate swaps directly in our earnings creates potential volatility in our reported earnings. We recorded in our earnings gross unrealized gains from changes in the fair value of the cash flow interest rate swaps of nil for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 and of $4.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
We evaluated whether it is probable that the previously hedged forecasted interest payments prior to June 30, 2012 are probable to not occur in the originally specified time period. We have concluded that the previously hedged forecasted interest payments are probable of occurring. Therefore, unrealized gains or losses in accumulated other comprehensive loss associated with the previously designated cash flow interest rate swaps will remain frozen in accumulated other comprehensive loss and recognized in earnings when the interest payments will be recognized. If such interest payments were to be identified as being probable of not occurring, the accumulated other comprehensive loss
balance pertaining to these amounts would be reversed through earnings immediately. We reclassified from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss to our earnings unrealized losses of $0.2 million and recognized accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss for the year ended December 31, 2016. An amount of $3.7 million, $3.7 million and $4.0 million was reclassified from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss into earnings for the years ended December 31, 2018, December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, representing amortization of deferred realized losses on cash flow hedges over the depreciable life of the vessels. Additionally, we recognized accelerated amortization of these deferred realized losses of $1.4 million, nil and $7.7 million in connection with the impairment losses recognized on the respective vessels for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016.
As of December 31, 2016, all of our cash flow interest rate swap arrangements had expired and we have not entered into any new interest rate swap arrangements since that time.
Results of Operations
Year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017
During the year ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, Danaos had an average of 55 containerships. Our fleet utilization for the year ended December 31, 2018 was 96.8% compared to 96.4% for the year ended December 31, 2017. The fleet utilization excluding the off charter days of the vessels that were previously chartered to Hanjin was 97.9% in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Operating revenues increased by 1.5%, or $7.0 million, to $458.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $451.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2018 reflect:
Voyage expenses decreased by $0.4 million, to $12.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $12.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Vessel Operating Expenses
Vessel operating expenses decreased by 2.2%, or $2.4 million, to $104.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $107.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The average daily operating cost per vessel for vessels on time charter was $5,619 per day for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $5,661 per day for the year ended December 31, 2017. Management believes that our daily operating cost ranks as one of the most competitive in the industry.
Depreciation expense decreased by 6.4%, or $7.4 million, to $107.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $115.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Amortization of Deferred Drydocking and Special Survey Costs
Amortization of deferred dry-docking and special survey costs increased by $2.5 million, to $9.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $6.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase was mainly due to the increased number of vessels dry-docked over the last year.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses increased by $3.6 million, to $26.3 million in the year ended December 31, 2018, from $22.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase was mainly due to increased remuneration costs and professional fees.
We have recognized an impairment loss of $210.7 million in relation to 10 of our vessels as of December 31, 2018 compared to nil in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Interest Expense, Interest Income and Other Finance Expenses
Interest expense decreased by 1.0%, or $0.9 million, to $85.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $86.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in interest expense is attributable to a:
As of December 31, 2018, the debt outstanding, gross of deferred finance costs, was $1,666.2 million compared to $2,340.8 million as of December 31, 2017.
Interest income increased by $0.2 million to $5.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $5.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Other finance costs, net decreased by $1.1 million, to $3.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $4.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly due to decreased exit fees expenses.
Gain on debt extinguishment
The gain on debt extinguishment of $116.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 relates to our 2018 Refinancing described below and consists of debt principal reduction net of refinancing related fees.
Equity income on investments
Equity income on investments amounted to $1.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $1.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 and relates to the improved operating performance of Gemini, in which the Company has a 49% shareholding interest.
Loss on Derivatives
Amortization of deferred realized losses on interest rate swaps increased by $1.4 million to $5.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $3.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 due to the accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss.
Other income/(expenses), net
Other income/(expenses), net was $50.5 million in expenses in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $15.8 million in expenses in the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly due to a $37.0 million increase in refinancing-related professional fees, which were partially offset by a $2.4 million realized loss on sale of HMM securities in the year ended December 31, 2017 that did not recur in the 2018 period.
Year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016
During the years ended December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 we had an average of 55 containerships. Our fleet utilization in the year ended December 31, 2017 was 96.4%, while fleet utilization for the vessels under employment, excluding the off charter days of the vessels that were previously chartered to Hanjin, increased to 97.9% in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 97.3% in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Operating revenues decreased by 9.4%, or $46.6 million, to $451.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $498.3 million in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 reflect:
Voyage expenses decreased by $1.3 million to $12.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $13.9 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease is mainly due to decreased commissions.
Vessel Operating Expenses
Vessel operating expenses decreased by 2.2%, or $2.4 million, to $107.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $109.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The average daily operating cost per vessel for vessels on time charter was $5,661 per day for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $5,637 per day for the year ended December 31, 2016. Management believes that our daily operating cost ranks as one of the most competitive in the industry.
Depreciation expense decreased by 10.7%, or $13.8 million, to $115.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $129.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2016, mainly due to decreased depreciation expense for twenty-five vessels for which we recorded an impairment charge on December 31, 2016.
Amortization of Deferred Drydocking and Special Survey Costs
Amortization of deferred dry-docking and special survey costs increased by $1.2 million, to $6.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $5.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was mainly due to the increased payments for dry-docking and special survey costs related to certain vessels over the last year.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses increased by $0.6 million, to $22.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017, from $22.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Bad Debt Expense
Bad debt expense of $15.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to nil in the year ended December 31, 2017 relates to receivables from Hanjin, which were written-off.
We have recognized an impairment loss of $415.1 million in relation to 25 of our vessels as of December 31, 2016 compared to nil in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Interest Expense, Interest Income and Other Finance Expenses
Interest expense increased by 4.3%, or $3.6 million, to $86.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $83.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in interest expense was mainly due to the increase in average cost of debt due to the increase in US$ Libor by about 50 bps between the two periods, which was partially offset by a decrease in our average debt by $243.1 million, to $2,409.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2017, from $2,652.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2016 and a $1.8 million decrease in the amortization of deferred finance costs.
As of December 31, 2017, the debt outstanding gross of deferred finance costs was $2,340.8 million compared to $2,527.3 million as of December 31, 2016.
Interest income increased by $0.9 million to $5.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $4.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was mainly attributed to the interest income recognized on HMM notes receivable.
Other finance expenses, net decreased by $0.8 million, to $4.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $4.9 million in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Equity loss on investments
Equity income on investments amounted to $1.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the equity loss on investments of $16.2 million (mainly attributed to our share of impairment loss for Gemini vessels amounting to $14.6 million) in the year ended December 31, 2016 and relates to the improved operating performance of Gemini, in which the Company has a 49% shareholding interest.
Unrealized Gain/(Loss) and Realized Loss on Derivatives
Unrealized loss on interest rate swaps amounted to nil in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to a loss of $3.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The unrealized loss in the year ended December 31, 2016 was attributable to the accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss of $7.7 million, which was partially offset by the unrealized gains of $4.6 million attributable to mark to market valuation of our swaps, which all expired by December 31, 2016.
Realized loss on interest rate swaps decreased to $3.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from a loss of $9.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. This decrease is attributable to swap expirations. As of December 31, 2016, all of our interest rate swaps have expired.
The table below provides an analysis of the items discussed above, and which were recorded in the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:
| ||Year ended |
|Year ended |
| ||(in millions) |
Cash flow interest rate swaps
Realized losses expensed in consolidated Statements of Operations
Amortization of deferred realized losses
Accelerated amortization of deferred realized losses
Unrealized and realized losses on cash flow interest rate swaps
Fair value interest rate swaps
Unrealized losses on swap asset
Reclassification of fair value hedged debt to Statements of Operations
Unrealized and realized gains on fair value interest rate swaps
Unrealized and realized losses on derivatives
Other income/(expenses), net
Other expenses, net amounted to $15.8 million related mainly to a $14.3 million increase in professional fees due to the refinancing discussions with our lenders and a $2.4 million realized loss on sale of HMM securities in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to other expenses, net of $41.6 million mainly due to a $29.4 million impairment loss in Zim equity and debt securities and a $12.9 million loss on sale of HMM equity securities recognized in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our principal source of funds has been operating cash flows, vessel sales, and long-term bank borrowings, as well as equity provided by our stockholders from our initial public offering in October 2006, common stock sale in August 2010 and the capital contribution of DIL. Our principal uses of funds have been capital expenditures to establish, grow and maintain our fleet, comply with international shipping standards, environmental laws and regulations and to fund working capital requirements and repayment of debt.
Our short-term liquidity needs primarily relate to the funding of our vessel operating expenses, debt interest payments and servicing the current portion of our debt obligations. Our long-term liquidity needs primarily relate to any additional vessel acquisitions in the containership sector and debt repayment. We anticipate that our primary sources of funds will be cash from operations and equity or debt financings. As described below, on August 10, 2018, we refinanced over $2.2 billion of debt scheduled to mature by December 2018, extending maturities to December 31, 2023 (or in some cases June 30, 2024).
Under our existing multi-year charters as of December 31, 2018, we had contracted revenues of $366.7 million for 2019, $345.2 million for 2020 and, thereafter, approximately $0.9 billion. Although these contracted revenues are based on contracted charter rates, we are dependent on the ability and willingness of our charterers, some of which are facing substantial financial pressure, to meet their obligations under these charters.
As of December 31, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $77.3 million. As of December 31, 2018, we had no remaining borrowing availability under our credit facilities. As of December 31, 2018, we had $1,666.2 million of outstanding indebtedness gross of deferred finance costs. We are obligated to make quarterly fixed amortization payments, totaling $113.8 million in 2019, and quarterly variable amortization payments on this outstanding indebtedness. See "Scheduled Principal Payments" below.
The Company entered into an agreement with certain of the lenders holding approximately $2.2 billion of debt maturing on December 31, 2018 for a debt refinancing transaction which was consummated on August 10, 2018. The debt refinancing involved the Company's entry into new credit facilities, which we refer to as the New 2018 Credit Facilities, including the amendment and restatement of certain previous credit facilities, resulting in a $551 million reduction in our debt, reset financial and certain other covenants, modified interest rates and amortization profiles and the extension of debt maturities by approximately five years to December 31, 2023 (or, in some cases, June 30, 2024). In the 2018 Refinancing, the Company issued to certain of its lenders an aggregate of 99,342,271 shares of the Company's common stock on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, representing 47.5% of the Company's issued and outstanding common stock immediately after giving effect to such issuance. The issuance ratably diluted existing holders of the Common Stock. See "2018 Refinancing and New 2018 Credit Facilities" below.
Under the New 2018 Credit Facilities, we are required to apply a substantial portion of our cash from operations to the repayment of principal under such facilities. See "2018 Refinancing and New 2018 Credit Facilities" below and Note 10 "Long-Term Debt, net" to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. We currently expect that the remaining portion of our cash from operations will be sufficient to fund all of our other obligations.
We have not paid a dividend since 2008, when our board of directors determined to suspend the payment of cash dividends as a result of market conditions in the international shipping industry. In addition, under the New 2018 Credit Facilities we are not permitted to pay dividends, until (1) we receive in excess of $50 million in net cash proceeds from offerings of common stock and (2) the payment in full of the first installment of amortization payable following the consummation of the debt refinancing under each new credit facility. After these conditions are satisfied, under the New 2018
Credit Facilities we will be permitted to pay dividends if an event of default has not occurred and is continuing or would occur as a result of the payment of such dividend, and we remain in compliance with the financial and other covenants thereunder. To the extent our credit facilities permit us to pay dividends, any dividend payments will be subject to us having sufficient available excess cash and distributable reserves, the provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to stockholders and the discretion of our board of directors.
In July 2014, ZIM and its creditors entered into definitive documentation effecting ZIM's restructuring with its creditors. The terms of the restructuring included a reduction in the charter rates payable by ZIM under its time charters, expiring in 2020 or 2021, for six of our vessels. The terms also included our receipt of approximately $49.9 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured, interest bearing ZIM notes maturing in 2023 (consisting of $8.8 million of 3% Series 1 Notes due 2023 amortizing subject to available cash flow in accordance with a corporate cash sweep mechanism, and $41.1 million of 5% Series 2 Notes due 2023 non-amortizing (of the 5% interest rate, 3% is payable quarterly in cash and 2% is payable in kind, accrued quarterly with deferred cash payment on maturity)) and ZIM shares representing approximately 7.4% of the outstanding ZIM shares immediately after the restructuring, in exchange for such charter rate reductions and cancellation of ZIM's other obligations to us which relate to the outstanding long term receivable as of December 31, 2013. ZIM's charter-owner creditors designated two of the nine members of ZIM's initial Board of Directors following the restructuring, including one director nominated by us, Dimitris Chatzis, the father of our Chief Financial Officer.
In July 2016, we entered into a charter restructuring agreement with Hyundai Merchant Marine ("HMM"), which provides for a 20% reduction, for the period until December 31, 2019 (or earlier charter expiration in the case of eight vessels), in the charter hire rates payable for thirteen of our vessels currently employed with HMM. In exchange, under the charter restructuring agreement we received (i) $32.8 million principal amount of senior, unsecured Loan Notes 1, amortizing subject to available cash flows, which accrue interest at 3% per annum payable on maturity in July 2024, (ii) $6.2 million principal amount of senior, unsecured, non-amortizing Loan Notes 2, which accrue interest at 3% per annum payable on maturity in December 2022 and (iii) 4,637,558 HMM shares, which were sold on September 1, 2016 for cash proceeds of $38.1 million. On March 28, 2017, the Company sold $13.0 million principal amount carried at amortized costs of $8.6 million of HMM Loan Notes 1 for gross cash proceeds on sale of $6.2 million resulting in a loss on sale of $2.4 million. The sale of these notes resulted in the transfer of all held to maturity securities into the available for sale securities and recognizing unrealized holding losses of $36.4 million for all remaining HMM and ZIM notes in accumulated other comprehensive income/(loss) as of December 31, 2018. See Note 7, "Other Non-current Assets" to our consolidated financial statements included in this report.
In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, DIL, our largest stockholder, contributed $10 million to us on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, for which DIL did not receive any shares of common stock or other interests in us. In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, we have also undertaken to seek to refinance two of our 13,100 TEU vessels, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect. The net proceeds are to be applied pro rata to repay the credit facilities secured by mortgages on such vessels.
We have agreed to install scrubbers on seven of our vessels with estimated total costs amounting to approximately $21.6 million, of which $5 million was paid as advances in 2018, and have an option to install the scrubbers on two more vessels as of February 28, 2019.
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Net cash provided by operating activities
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities
Net cash used in financing activities
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities
Net cash flows provided by operating activities decreased by 9.1%, or $16.4 million, to $164.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $181.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease was the result of an increase of $37.1 million in other expenses mainly due to refinancing-related professional fees and an increase in payments for drydocking and special survey costs by $5.8 million, which were partially offset by an increase of $7.0 million in operating revenue, a $6.3 million decrease in net finance costs and a $13.0 million change in working capital in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017.
Net cash flows provided by operating activities decreased by 30.9%, or $80.9 million, to $181.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $262.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was the result of a decrease of $46.6 million in operating revenue, a $26.5 million change in working capital (mainly due to $38.1 million cash proceeds from sale of HMM securities in the year ended December 31, 2016), a $14.1 million increase in other expenses mainly due to refinancing-related professional fees and a $3.7 million increase in net finance costs, which were partially offset by a reduction in realized losses from derivatives by $5.4 million, a $3.1 million decrease in operating expenses and lower payments for drydocking and special survey costs by $1.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016.
Net Cash Provided by/(Used in) Investing Activities
Net cash flows provided by/(used in) investing activities decreased by $10.0 million, to $8.2 million used in investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $1.8 million provided by investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease mainly reflects $6.2 million in net proceeds from the sale of securities in the year ended December 31, 2017 that did not recur in the year ended December 31, 2018 and a $3.8 million increase in cash used in connection with vessel additions and advances for vessels additions in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017.
Net cash flows provided by/(used in) investing activities increased by $11.2 million, to $1.8 million provided by investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $9.4 million used in investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase reflects mainly $6.2 million of net proceeds from sale of securities in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $5.1 million of net proceeds from sale of vessels in the year ended December 31, 2016 and nil cash used for investments in affiliates in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $10.0 million cash used for investments in affiliates in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Net Cash Used in Financing Activities
Net cash flows used in financing activities decreased by $40.8 million, to $148.9 million used in financing activities in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $189.7 million used in financing activities in the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly due to debt payments of $441.0 million partially
paid with new loan facilities drawdowns of $325.9 million, deferred finance costs of $35.0 million relating to certain of our new loan agreements in connection with our debt refinancing, payments of accumulated accrued interest of $8.6 million and share issuance costs of $0.2 million, which were partially offset by paid-in capital of $10.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $189.7 million of debt payments in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Net cash flows used in financing activities decreased by $61.4 million, to $189.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $251.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2016, as a result of a decrease in repayments of long-term debt.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We report our financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management believes, however, that certain non-GAAP financial measures used in managing the business may provide users of this financial information additional meaningful comparisons between current results and results in prior operating periods. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures can provide additional meaningful reflection of underlying trends of the business because they provide a comparison of historical information that excludes certain items that impact the overall comparability. Management also uses these non-GAAP financial measures in making financial, operating and planning decisions and in evaluating our performance. See the table below for supplemental financial data and corresponding reconciliation to GAAP financial measures. Non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, our reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
EBITDA represents net income before interest income and expense, taxes, depreciation, as well as amortization of deferred drydocking & special survey costs, amortization of deferred realized losses of cash flow interest rate swaps, amortization of deferred finance costs and finance costs accrued. Adjusted EBITDA represents net income before interest income and expense, taxes, depreciation, amortization of deferred drydocking & special survey costs, amortization of deferred realized losses of cash flow interest rate swaps, amortization of deferred finance costs and finance costs accrued, impairment losses, stock based compensation, (gain)/loss on sale of vessels, unrealized (gain)/loss on derivatives, realized loss on derivatives, bad debt expense, gain on debt extinguishment, refinancing professional fees, loss on sale of securities and accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss. We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA assist investors and analysts in comparing our performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis by excluding items that we do not believe are indicative of our core operating performance. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are also used: (i) by prospective and current customers as well as potential lenders to evaluate potential transactions; and (ii) to evaluate and price potential acquisition candidates. Our EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to that reported by other companies due to differences in methods of calculation.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA have limitations as analytical tools, and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Some of these limitations are: (i) EBITDA/Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, working capital needs; and (ii) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA/Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect any cash requirements for such capital expenditures. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items.
Because of these limitations, EBITDA/Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as principal indicators of our performance.
Net Income/(loss) Reconciliation to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
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Amortization of deferred drydocking & special survey costs
Amortization of deferred realized losses of cash flow interest rate swaps
Amortization of finance costs and debt discount
Finance costs accrued (Exit Fees under our Bank Agreements)
Gain on debt extinguishment
Refinancing professional fees
Loss on sale of securities
Impairment loss on securities
Impairment loss component of equity loss on investments
Bad debt expense
Accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss
Stock based compensation
Loss on sale of vessels
Realized loss on derivatives
Unrealized gain on derivatives
EBITDA decreased by $124.0 million, to $169.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2018, from $293.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. This decrease was attributed to a $210.7 million impairment loss and a related accelerated amortization of accumulated other comprehensive loss of $1.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to nil in the year ended December 31, 2017, by a $34.7 million increase in net other expenses mainly due to refinancing-related professional fees and a $0.9 million increase in operating expenses, which were partially offset by a $116.4 million gain on debt extinguishment, a $7.0 million increase in operating revenue and a $0.4 million improvement in operating performance on our equity investments in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017.
Adjusted EBITDA increased by $7.4 million, to $317.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 from $310.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase was attributable mainly to a $7.0 million increase in operating revenue and a $0.4 million improvement in operating performance on our equity investments in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017.
EBITDA increased by $439.6 million, to $293.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2017, from $(145.9) million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was attributable to a decrease in impairment losses by $459.1 million, a $15.8 million decrease in bad debt expense, a $10.5 million decrease in loss on sale of securities, a $8.5 million decrease in unrealized and realized losses on derivatives, a $3.1 million decrease in operating expenses, an $2.6 million operating performance improvement on equity investments and a $0.7 million decrease in other expenses in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. This increase was partially offset by a $46.6 million decrease in operating revenues and an $14.1 million increase in other expenses mainly due to refinancing professional fees in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016.
Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $40.2 million, to $310.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 from $350.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was attributable to a $46.6 million decrease in operating revenues, which was partially offset by a $3.1 million decrease in operating expenses, a $2.6 million operating performance improvement on equity investments and a $0.7 million decrease in other expenses in the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016.
2018 Refinancing and New 2018 Credit Facilities
We entered into a debt refinancing agreement with certain of our lenders holding debt of $2.2 billion maturing by December 31, 2018, for a debt refinancing, which we refer to as the "2018 Refinancing", which was consummated on August 10, 2018, which we refer to as the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, that superseded, amended and supplemented the terms of each of our then-existing credit facilities (other than the Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro credit facility which is not covered thereby). The 2018 Refinancing provided for, among other things, the issuance of 99,342,271 new shares of common stock to certain of our lenders (which represented 47.5% of our outstanding common stock immediately after giving effect to such issuance and diluted existing shareholders ratably), a principal amount debt reduction of approximately $551 million, revised amortization schedules, maturities, interest rates, financial covenants, events of defaults, guarantees and security packages and $325.9 million of new debt financing from one of our lendersCitibank (the "CitibankNew Money"). Our largest stockholder, DIL, contributed $10 million to the Company on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, for which DIL did not receive any shares of common stock or other interests in the Company. The maturities of the new loan facilities covered by this debt refinancing were extended by five years to December 31, 2023 (or, in some cases, June 30, 2024).
In addition, we agreed to make reasonable efforts to source investment commitment for new shares of common stock for not less than $50 million in net proceeds no later than 18 months after the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date (up to $10 million of which is to be underwritten by DIL as set out in the Backstop Agreement (See "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party TransactionsRelated Party TransactionsBackstop Agreement")).
As part of the 2018 Refinancing we entered into new credit facilities for an aggregate principal amount of approximately $1.6 billion due December 31, 2023 (or, in some cases as noted below, June 30, 2024) through an amendment and restatement or replacement of existing credit facilities. The following are the new term loan credit facilities (the "New 2018 Credit Facilities"):
Interest and Fees
The interest rate payable under the New 2018 Credit Facilities (which does not include the Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro credit facility) is LIBOR+2.50% (subject to a 0% floor), with subordinated tranches of two credit facilities incurring additional PIK interest of 4.00%, compounded quarterly, payable in respect of $282 million principal related to the RBS Facility and HSH Facility, which tranches have maturity dates of June 30, 2024.
We were required to pay a cash amendment fee of $69.2 million in the aggregate, out of which $23.9 million was paid in cash before December 31, 2018 and the remaining portion will be paid in instalments. Of the unpaid portion of the amendment fee, $30.5 million was accrued under "Other current liabilities" and $14.8 million under "Other long-term liabilities" in the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2018. Of the cash amendment fee, $17.2 million was deferred and will be amortized over the life of the respective credit facilities with the effective interest method and $52.0 million was expensed to the consolidated statement of operations.
We were also required to issue 14.7 million shares of common stock as part of the amendments fees on the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date, or $25.0 million fair value in the aggregate. Of this amount, recognition of $18.1 million was deferred and will be amortized over the life of the respective credit facilities with the effective interest method and $6.9 million was expensed in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The fair value of the shares issued at the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date are based on a Level 1 measurement of the share's price, which was $1.70 as of August 10, 2018.
We incurred $51.3 million and $14.3 million of professional fees related to the refinancing discussions with our lenders reported under "Other income/(expenses), net" in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Additionally, we deferred $11.7 million of professional fees related to the Citibank facilities, which will be amortized over the life of the respective credit facilities.
Covenants, Events of Defaults, Collaterals and Guarantees
The New 2018 Credit Facilities contain financial covenants set at levels with which we were in compliance as of December 31, 2018 and that requires us to maintain:
The New 2018 Credit Facilities contain certain restrictive covenants and customary events of default, including those relating to cross-acceleration and cross-defaults to other indebtedness, non-compliance, or repudiation of security documents, material adverse changes to our business, the Company's common stock ceasing to be listed on the NYSE (or another recognized stock exchange), foreclosure on a vessel in our fleet, a change in control of the Manager, a breach of the management agreement by the Manager and a material breach of a charter by a charterer or cancellation of a charter (unless replaced with a similar charter acceptable to the lenders) for the vessels securing the respective New 2018 Credit Facilities. Each of the new credit facilities are collateralized by first and second preferred mortgages over the vessels financed, general assignment of all hire freights, income and earnings, the assignment of their insurance policies, as well as any proceeds from the sale of mortgaged vessels, our investments in ZIM and Hyundai Merchant Marine securities, stock pledges and benefits from corporate guarantees.
In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, we have also undertaken to seek to refinance two of our 13,100 TEU vessels, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect. The net proceeds are to be applied pro rata to repay the new credit facilities secured by mortgages on such vessels.
For the purpose of these covenants, the market value of our vessels will be calculated, except as otherwise indicated above, on a charter-inclusive basis (using the present value of the "bareboat-equivalent" time charter income from such charter) so long as a vessel's charter has a remaining duration at the time of valuation of more than 12 months plus the present value of the residual value of the relevant vessel (generally equivalent to the charter free value of an equivalent a vessel today at the age such vessel would be at the expiration of the existing time charter). The market value of any newbuilding vessels would equal the lesser of such amount and the newbuilding vessel's book value.
As of December 31, 2018, the Company has an accrued Exit Fee of $21.6 million relating to its debt facilities and is reported under "Long-term debt, net" in the consolidated Balance Sheet. The payment of the exit fees accrued under the long-term debt prior to the debt refinancing shall be postponed on the earlier of maturity, acceleration or prepayment or repayment in full of the amended facilities or the relevant facility refinancing. The exit fees will accrete in the consolidated statement of operations of the Company over the life of the respective facilities covered by the 2018 Refinancing
(which does not include the Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro credit facility) up to the agreed full exit fees payable amounting to $24.0 million.
Accounting for the Refinancing Agreement
We performed an accounting analysis on a lender by lender basis to determine which accounting guidance applied to each of the amendments to our Existing Credit Facilities. The following guidance was used to perform the analysis:
Based on the analysis, we concluded for the lenders that participated in both the Existing Credit Facilities and the New 2018 Credit Facilities, the following accounting:
Troubled Debt Restructuring
Prior to the finalization of the 2018 Refinancing, we concluded that we were experiencing financial difficulty and that certain of our lenders granted a concession (as part of the 2018 Refinancing). We were experiencing financial difficulty primarily as a result of the projected cash flows not being sufficient to service the balloon payment due as of December 31, 2018 without restructuring and we were not able to obtain funding from sources other than existing creditors at an effective interest rate equal to the current market interest rate for similar debt. As a result, the following accounting has been applied at the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date:
net concession of $167.1 million. Accumulated accrued interest of $129.3 million was recognized using the Libor rate of 2.34% as of August 10, 2018. The TDR accounting guidance requires us to record the value of the new debt to its restructured undiscounted cash flows over the life of the loan, including cash flows associated with the remaining scheduled interest and principal payments. In cases in which the recorded value of the debt instrument exceeds the sum of undiscounted future cash flows to be received under the restructured debt instrument, the recorded value is reduced to the sum of undiscounted future cash flows, and a gain is recorded. For the HSH Facility, the total undiscounted future cash flows total $518.6 million, which results in a gain of $36.6 million. The amendment fees to be paid to HSH Facility lenders of $9.5 million were recorded in the consolidated statement of operations and reduced the net gain on debt extinguishment.
Following the issuance of the shares of common stock, HSH and RBS are considered related parties. The fair value of the shares issued at the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date are based on a Level 1 measurement of the share's price, which was $1.70 as of August 10, 2018.
Modification and Extinguishment Accounting
Based on the accounting analysis performed, we concluded that:
different from the present value of the remaining cash flows under the terms of the original instrument prior to the debt refinancing, and, as such, accounted for the debt refinancing as an extinguishment. Accordingly, we derecognized the carrying value of the prior Citibank debt facilities and recorded the refinanced debt at fair value totaling $448.2 million. Total new fees of $49.5 million were recorded directly in the consolidated statement of operations under the gain on debt extinguishment. The fair value of the new Citibank facilities was determined by the Company through an independent valuation using an issue date, risk adjusted market interest rate of 7.15% per annum, similar to the market yield for unsecured high yield bonds to the shipping companies, and considered to be a Level 2 input in the ASC 820 fair value hierarchy.
The outstanding principal and related exit fee payable for the Deutsche Bank Facility, the EnTrustPermal portion of the Club Facility and the ABN AmroBank of America Merrill LynchBurlington Loan ManagementNational Bank of Greece Facility ("Other facilities") totaling $450.8 million were extinguished with the proceeds from the CitibankNew Money amounting to $325.9 million and with corporate cash amounting to $12.0 million, resulting in a net gain on debt extinguishment of $89.3 million.
Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility
On February 21, 2011, we entered into an agreement with Citibank, acting as agent, ABN Amro and the Export-Import Bank of China ("CEXIM") for a senior secured credit facility (the "Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility") of $203.4 million for the newbuilding vessels, the CMA CGM Tancredi, the CMA CGM Bianca and the CMA CGM Samson, securing such tranche for post-delivery financing of these vessels. We took delivery of the respective vessels in 2011. The China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, or Sinosure, covers a number of political and commercial risks associated with each tranche of the credit facility.
Principal and Interest Payments
Borrowings under the Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility bear interest at an annual interest rate of LIBOR plus a margin of 2.85% payable semi-annually in arrears. We are required to repay principal amounts drawn in consecutive semi-annual installments over a ten-year period commencing from the delivery of the respective newbuilding.
Covenants, Events of Default and Other Terms
On the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date we amended and restated the Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility, dated as of February 21, 2011, as amended, primarily to align its financial covenants with those contained in the New 2018 Credit Facilities and provide second lien collateral to the lenders under certain of the New 2018 Credit Facilities.
The Sinosure-CEXIM-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility is secured by customary shipping industry collateral relating to the financed vessels, the CMA CGM Tancredi, the CMA CGM Bianca and the CMA CGM Samson, securing the respective tranche.
Kexim-ABN Amro Credit Facility
On June 27, 2018, the Company gave notice to the lenders under the KEXIM-ABN Amro credit facility and fully repaid the $17.5 million outstanding under this facility on July 20, 2018.
Scheduled Principal Payments
The Sinosure-Cexim-Citibank-ABN Amro Credit Facility provides for semi-annual amortization payments and the New 2018 Credit Facilities provide for quarterly fixed and variable amortization payments, together representing approximately 85% of actual free cash flows from the relevant vessels securing such credit facilities, subject to certain adjustments. The New 2018 Credit Facilities have maturity dates of December 31, 2023 (or in some cases as indicated below, June 30, 2024). After giving effect to the debt refinancing consummated on August 10, 2018, scheduled debt maturities of total long-term debt subsequent to December 31, 2018 are as follows (in thousands):
|Fixed principal |
December 31, 2019
December 31, 2020
December 31, 2021
December 31, 2022
December 31, 2023
Total long-term debt
We, as guarantor, and certain of our subsidiaries, as borrowers, have entered into a number of credit facilities in connection with financing the acquisition of certain vessels in our fleet and the 2018 Refinancing, which are described in Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report. The following summarizes certain terms of our credit facilities:
The Royal Bank of Scotland $475.5 mil. Facility(2)
|$||474.7||The Progress C (ex Hyundai Progress), the Highway, the Bridge, the Zim Monaco, the Express Argentina, the Express France, the Express Spain, the CMA CGM Racine, the America (ex CSCL America), the CMA CGM Melisande, the Maersk Enping, the Express Berlin, the Le Havre (ex CSCL Le Havre) and the Derby D|
HSH NordbankAegean Baltic BankPiraeus Bank $382.5 mil. Facility(2)
The Vladivostok, the Advance, the Stride, the Future, the Sprinter, the Amalia C, the MSC Zebra, the Danae C, the Dimitris C, the Performance, the Europe, the Dimitra C (ex Priority), the Maersk Exeter, the Express Rome, the CMA CGM Rabelais, the Pusan C (ex CSCL Pusan) and the ANL Tongala (ex Deva)
Citibank $114 mil. Facility
The CMA CGM Moliere, the CMA CGM Musset , the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect
Citibank $123.9 mil. Facility
The Zim Rio Grande, the Zim Sao Paolo and the Zim Kingston, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect
Citibank $120 mil. Facility(2)
The Colombo, the YM Seattle, the YM Vancouver, the Singapore and the Express Athens
CitibankEurobank $37.6 mil. Facility
The MSC Ambition
Club Facility $206.2 mil.
The Zim Dalian, the Express Brazil, the YM Maturity, the Express Black
Sea, the CMA CGM Attila, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect
Credit Suisse $171.8 mil. Facility
The Zim Luanda, the CMA CGM Nerval, the YM Mandate, the Hyundai Honour and the Hyundai Respect
Sinosure-Cexim-Citibank-ABN Amro $203.4 mil. Facility
The CMA CGM Tancredi, the CMA CGM Bianca and the CMA CGM Samson
As of December 31, 2018, there was no remaining borrowing availability under any of our credit facilities.
The weighted average interest rate on our borrowings for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 was 4.3%, 3.1% and 2.6%, respectively.
Interest Rate Swaps
In the past, we entered into interest rate swap agreements converting floating interest rate exposure into fixed interest rates in order to hedge our exposure to fluctuations in prevailing market interest rates, as well as interest rate swap agreements converting the fixed rate we paid in connection with certain of our credit facilities into floating interest rates in order to economically hedge the fair value of the fixed rate credit facilities against fluctuations in prevailing market interest rates. All of these interest rate swap agreements have expired and we do not currently have any outstanding interest rate swap agreements. See "Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and "Factors Affecting our Results of OperationsUnrealized gain/(loss) and realized loss on derivatives."
In 2011, we issued an aggregate of 15,000,000 warrants to our lenders under our 2011 bank agreement with those lenders and the January 2011 Credit Facilities to purchase, solely on a cash-less exercise basis, an aggregate of 15,000,000 shares of our common stock, which warrants had an exercise price of $7.00 per share. All of these warrants expired, without being exercised, on January 31, 2019.
Our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2018 were:
| ||Payments Due by Period|
| ||Total||Less than |
|2 - 3 years |
(2020 - 2021)
|4 - 5 years |
(2022 - 2023)
|More than |
| ||in thousands of Dollars |
Long-term debt obligations of contractual fixed debt principal repayments(1)
Accumulated accrued interest(2)
Interest on long-term debt obligations(3)
Payments to our manager(5)
Research and Development, Patents and Licenses
We incur from time to time expenditures relating to inspections for acquiring new vessels that meet our standards. Such expenditures are insignificant and they are expensed as they are incurred.
Our results of operations depend primarily on the charter hire rates that we are able to realize. Charter hire rates paid for containerships are primarily a function of the underlying balance between vessel supply and demand and respective charter-party details. The demand for containerships is determined by the underlying demand for goods which are transported in containerships.
After a sharp decrease in charter rates for containerships in the middle of 2015, in many cases to a level below operating costs, charter rates for containerships have generally improved, albeit modestly and unevenly. In 2018, the time charter rate index on a full year average basis was up by 28% relative to 2017, however, time charter rates in December 2018 were at the same level as at the end of 2017. The global demand for seaborne transportation of containerized cargoes is estimated to have increased modestly overall in 2018 mainly due to growth in Transpacific trade as well as Far East-Europe trade and is expected to continue to rise in 2019 subject to heightened risks from the global economy. Containership fleet capacity also grew significantly, by an estimated 5.6% in 2018, due to new deliveries, with an increasing proportion accounted for by very large containerships, and is expected to grow by a further 2.9% in 2019. As such, container freight rates and containership charter rates are expected to remain under pressure. Overall, global containership demand is currently expected to slightly exceed supply growth in 2019 and 2020, while differing across different trade lanes and vessel sizes. In particular, the relative weakness of the main trade lanes, which utilize larger vessels, has
resulted in cascading of larger containerships for use on shorter trades, with such cascading expected to continue.
The idle containership fleet at the end of 2018 stood at approximately 2.5% of global fleet capacity and the average idle capacity recorded in full year 2018 came to 1.9%, relatively improved compared to the averages of 3.5% and 6.4% recorded in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Earnings improved with the guideline rate for a 4,400 TEU Panamax reaching $9,000 per day at the end of 2018 compared to $8,000 and $4,150 per day at the end of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Containership newbuilding orders totaled 1.2 million TEU in 2018 compared to 0.7 million TEU ordered in 2017, although still representing a subdued annual level compared to that seen in 2015. The size of the order book compared to global fleet capacity remained stable at approximately 13% as of the end of 2018 and 2017, down from record high levels in 2008 but still relatively high compared to historical averages. In particular, larger containerships of greater than 10,000 TEU represent a significant majority of the order book with approximately 1.0 million TEU of vessels of over 10,000 TEU scheduled to be delivered between 2019 and 2021. The "slow-steaming" of services since 2009, particularly on longer trade routes, enabled containership operators to both moderate the impact of high bunker costs, while absorbing additional capacity. This has proved to be an effective approach and it currently appears likely that this will remain in place in the coming year. A number of liner companies, including some of our customers, reported substantial losses in recent years, with Hanjin Shipping filing for bankruptcy in 2016, as well as having entered into consolidating mergers or formed cooperative alliances as part of efforts to reduce the size of their fleets to better align fleet capacity with the demand for marine transportation of containerized cargo, all of which may decrease the demand for chartered-in containership tonnage.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have any other transactions, obligations or relationships that could be considered material off-balance sheet arrangements.
Critical Accounting Policies
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make estimates in the application of our accounting policies based on our best assumptions, judgments and opinions. We base these estimates on the information currently available to us and on various other assumptions we believe are reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. Following is a discussion of the accounting policies that involve a high degree of judgment and the methods of their application. For a further description of our material accounting policies, please refer to Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.
Purchase of Vessels
Vessels are stated at cost, which consists of the contract purchase price and any material expenses incurred upon acquisition (improvements and delivery expenses), less accumulated depreciation. Subsequent expenditures for conversions and major improvements are also capitalized when they appreciably extend the life, increase the earning capacity or improve the efficiency or safety of the vessels. Otherwise we charge these expenditures to expenses as incurred. Our financing costs incurred during the construction period of the vessels are included in vessels' cost.
We acquired certain vessels in the secondhand market in prior years, all of which were considered to be acquisitions of assets. Certain vessels in our fleet that were purchased in the secondhand market were acquired with existing charters. We determined that the existing charter contracts for these vessels did not have a material separate fair value and, therefore, we recorded such vessels at their fair value,
which equaled the consideration paid. The adoption of ASU 2017-01 "Business Combinations (Topic 805)" on January 1, 2018 did not have any effect on our business as we have not acquired any vessels in 2018, however it might have in the future if any vessel acquisition in secondhand market will constitute a business or not. When substantially all of the fair value of the gross assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or group of similar identifiable assets, the set is not a business. The following assets will be considered as a single asset for the purposes of the evaluation (i) a tangible asset that is attached to and cannot be physically removed and used separately from another tangible assets (or an intangible asset representing the right to use a tangible asset); (ii) in place lease intangibles, including favorable and unfavorable intangible assets or liabilities, and the related leased assets.
The determination of the fair value of acquired assets and assumed liabilities requires us to make significant assumptions and estimates of many variables, including market charter rates, expected future charter rates, future vessel operating expenses, the level of utilization of our vessels and our weighted average cost of capital. The use of different assumptions could result in a material change in the fair value of these items, which could have a material impact on our financial position and results of operations.
Our revenues and expenses are recognized on the accrual basis. Revenues are generated from bareboat hire and time charters. Bareboat hire revenues are recorded over the term of the hire on a straight-line basis. Time charter revenues are recorded over the term of the charter as service is provided. Unearned revenue includes revenue received in advance, and the amount recorded for an existing time charter acquired in conjunction with an asset purchase.
Special Survey and Drydocking Costs
We follow the deferral method of accounting for special survey and drydocking costs. Actual costs incurred are deferred and are amortized on a straight- line basis over the period until the next scheduled survey, which is two and a half years. If special survey or drydocking is performed prior to the scheduled date, the remaining unamortized balances are immediately written-off.
Major overhauls performed during drydocking are differentiated from normal operating repairs and maintenance. The related costs for inspections that are required for the vessel's certification under the requirement of the classification society are categorized as drydock costs. A vessel at drydock performs certain assessments, inspections, refurbishments, replacements and alterations within a safe non-operational environment that allows for complete shutdown of certain machinery and equipment, navigational, ballast (keep the vessel upright) and safety systems, access to major underwater components of vessel (rudder, propeller, thrusters anti-corrosion systems), which are not accessible during vessel operations, as well as hull treatment and paints. In addition, specialized equipment is required to access and maneuver vessel components, which are not available at regular ports.
Troubled Debt Restructuring and Accumulated Accrued Interest
Prior to the finalization of the 2018 Refinancing, we concluded that we were experiencing financial difficulty and that certain of our lenders granted a concession (as part of the 2018 Refinancing). We were experiencing financial difficulty primarily as a result of the projected cash flows not being sufficient to service the balloon payment due as of December 31, 2018 without restructuring and we were not able to obtain funding from sources other than existing creditors at an effective interest rate
equal to the current market interest rate for similar debt. As a result, the accounting guidance for troubled debt restructuring ("TDR") was applied at the 2018 Refinancing Closing Date:
In the future, when interest rates change, actual cash flows will differ from the cash flows measured on the Refinancing date. The accounting treatment for changes in cash flows due to changes in interest rates depends on whether there is an increase or a decrease from the spot interest rate used in the initial TDR accounting ("threshold interest rate"). Fluctuations in the effective interest rate after the Refinancing from changes in the interest rate or other cause are accounted for as changes in estimates in the periods in which these changes occur. Upon an increase in the interest rates from the threshold interest rate used to calculate accumulated accrued interest payable, we recognize additional interest expenses in the period the expense is incurred. The additional interest expense is calculated by multiplying the difference between the current interest rate and the threshold interest rate with the current carrying value of the debt. A gain due to decrease in interest rates ('interest windfall') will not be recognized until the debt facilities have been settled and there are no future interest payments. In case there are subsequent increases in interest rates above the threshold interest rate after a previous decrease in interest rates, the carrying amount of the accumulated accrued interest will be reduced by the interest payments in excess of the threshold interest rate until the prior interest windfall due to decrease in the interest rates is recaptured on a cumulative basis.
The Paid-in-kind interest ("PIK interest") related to each period will increase the carrying value of the loan facility and correspondingly decrease the carrying value of the accumulated accrued interest. PIK interest in excess of the amount recognized in the accumulated accrued interest is expensed in the period the expense is incurred.
Vessel Lives and Estimated Scrap Values
Our vessels represent our most significant assets and we state them at our historical cost, which includes capitalized interest during construction and other construction, design, supervision and predelivery costs, less accumulated depreciation. We depreciate our containerships on a straight-line basis over their estimated remaining useful economic lives. We estimate the useful lives of our containerships to be 30 years in line with the industry practice. Depreciation is based on cost less the estimated scrap value of the vessels. Should certain factors or circumstances cause us to revise our estimate of vessel service lives in the future or of estimated scrap values, depreciation expense could be materially lower or higher. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the extent of cash flows generated from future charter arrangements, changes in international shipping requirements, and other factors many of which are outside of our control.
We have calculated the residual value of the vessels taking into consideration the 10 year average and the five year average of the scrap. We have applied uniformly the scrap value of $300 per ton for all vessels. We believe that $300 per ton is a reasonable estimate of future scrap prices, taking into consideration the cyclicality of the nature of future demand for scrap steel. Although we believe that the assumptions used to determine the scrap rate are reasonable and appropriate, such assumptions are highly subjective, in part, because of the cyclical nature of future demand for scrap steel.
Impairment of Securities
With regard to our equity securities in ZIM, which were initially recognized at cost of $28.7 million, we evaluate if any event or change in circumstances has occurred in the reporting period that may have a significant adverse effect on the fair value of our investment. If an event or change that causes an adverse effect on the fair value of our investment occurs, as evidenced by the presence of an impairment indicator, the fair value of our investment should be estimated. In 2016, ZIM experienced significant deterioration of its financial results, reported significant operating losses, negative equity and negative working capital mainly as a result of the adverse change in the general containership market conditions. As a result of these adverse conditions, we estimated the fair value of our equity investment in ZIM at nil, therefore we recorded an impairment loss amounting to $28.7 million as of December 31, 2016, which was recognized under "Other income/(expenses), net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
With regard to our debt securities in ZIM and HMM, we originally recognized these securities as held to maturity based on our positive intent and ability to hold these securities to maturity. These securities were initially recognized at amortized costs, net of other than temporary impairment losses. We evaluate these securities for other than temporary impairment at each reporting date. Debt securities are considered impaired if the fair value of the investment is less than its amortized costs. In our evaluation we consider the following (i) if we intend to sell these debt securities, (ii) it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell these securities before the recovery of their entire amortized cost basis or (iii) if a credit loss exists, which means that we do not expect to recover the entire amortized cost basis of these securities. With regard to ZIM debt securities, as a result of the deterioration of ZIM's financial results in 2016, as described above, we do not expect the present value of future cash flows to be collected to exceed their amortized cost basis due to a change in the timing of these expected cash flows. Thus other than temporary impairment, a credit loss, has occurred as of December 31, 2016 amounting to $0.7 million, which was recognized under "Other income/(expenses), net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
On March 28, 2017, we sold $13.0 million principal amount of HMM notes carried at amortized costs of $8.6 million for gross cash proceeds on sale of $6.2 million, which were used to repay related outstanding debt obligations. The loss on sale of $2.4 million was recognized under "Other income/(expenses), net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations for the year ended December 31, 2017.
The sale of these notes resulted in a transfer of all remaining held to maturity HMM notes and ZIM notes into the available for sale securities at fair value and unrealized losses amounting to $36.4 million and $26.6 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, were recognized in other comprehensive loss. As of December 31, 2018, we do not intend to sell these debt securities and we evaluate that it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell these debt securities before the recovery of their amortized cost basis. No other than temporary impairment loss was identified with regard to HMM and ZIM debt securities as of December 31, 2018.
Impairment of Vessels
We evaluate the net carrying value of our vessels for possible impairment when events or conditions exist that cause us to question whether the carrying value of the vessels will be recovered from future undiscounted net cash flows. An impairment charge would be recognized in a period if the fair value of the vessels was less than their carrying value and the carrying value was not recoverable from future undiscounted cash flows. Considerations in making such an impairment evaluation would include comparison of current carrying value to anticipated future operating cash flows, vessel market values, expectations with respect to future operations, and other relevant factors.
As of December 31, 2018, we concluded that events occurred and circumstances had changed, which may trigger the existence of potential impairment of some of our vessels. These indicators included volatility in the charter market and the vessels' market values, as well as the potential impact the current marketplace may have on our future operations. As a result, we performed an impairment assessment of certain of our vessels by comparing the undiscounted projected net operating cash flows for each vessel to their carrying value. Our strategy is to charter our vessels under multi- year, fixed rate period charters that range from less than one to 18 years for our current vessels, providing us with contracted stable cash flows. The significant factors and assumptions we used in our undiscounted projected net operating cash flow analysis included operating revenues, off-hire revenues, dry docking costs, operating expenses and management fees estimates.
As of December 31, 2018, our revenue assumptions were based on contracted time charter rates up to the end of life of the current contract of each vessel as well as the estimated average time charter equivalent rates for the remaining life of the vessel after the completion of its current contract. The estimated daily time charter equivalent rates used for non-contracted revenue days are based on a combination of (i) recent charter market rates, (ii) conditions existing in the containership market as of December 31, 2018, (iii) historical average time charter rates, based on publications by independent third party maritime research services, and (iv) estimated future time charter rates, based on publications by independent third party maritime research services that provide such forecasts. We had five 2012-built 13,100 TEU vessels employed on 12-year charters, with breakeven rechartering rates of about $18,689 per day on average. Vessels of this size are recent entrants into the containership market and, accordingly, historical data as to their re-chartering rates was episodic. We estimated rechartering rates for these 13,100 TEU vessels for step one of the impairment analysis based on forecasts of independent third party maritime research services, which took into account recent chartering rates for newbuilding vessels of this size and estimates based on historical charter rates for other larger sized containerships. Recognizing that the container transportation is cyclical and subject to significant volatility based on factors beyond our control we believe that the appropriate historical average time charter rates to use as a benchmark for impairment testing of our vessels are the most recent 10 to 15 year averages, to the extent available, as such averages take into account the volatility and cyclicality of the market. Management believes the use of revenue estimates, based on the combination of factors (i) to (iv) above, to be reasonable as of the reporting date.
In addition, we used annual operating expenses escalation factors and estimations of scheduled and unscheduled off-hire revenues based on historical experience. All estimates used and assumptions made were in accordance with our internal budgets and historical experience of the shipping industry.
The more significant factors that could impact management's assumptions regarding time charter equivalent rates include (i) loss or reduction in business from significant customers, (ii) unanticipated changes in demand for transportation of containers, (iii) greater than anticipated levels of containership newbuilding orders or lower than anticipated levels of containership scrappings, and (iv) changes in rules and regulations applicable to the shipping industry, including legislation adopted by international organizations such as IMO and the EU or by individual countries. Although management believes that the assumptions used to evaluate potential impairment were reasonable and appropriate at the time they were made, such assumptions are highly subjective and likely to change, possibly materially, in the future. There can be no assurance as to how long charter rates and vessel values will remain at their low levels or whether they will improve by a significant degree.
As of December 31, 2018, our assessment concluded that step two of the impairment analysis was required for ten of our vessels held and used, as their undiscounted projected net operating cash flows did not exceed their carrying value. The fair values of these vessels were determined with assistance from valuations obtained from third party independent shipbrokers. As of December 31, 2018 we recorded an impairment loss of $210.7 million for these ten of our vessels held and used.
As of December 31, 2017, we concluded that there are no events and circumstances, which may trigger the existence of potential impairment of our vessels. The indicators which we considered were mainly the improved charter market conditions and the improved vessel's market value compared to the prior year, as well as the potential impact the current marketplace may have on our future operations. Additionally, we have not lost any significant charterer in 2017 as was the case in 2016 and the current improved market rates and the improved charter market supply demand conditions contributed to a better operating results reported by our charterers in 2017 compared to 2016. Based on our assessment, two vessels with long-term bareboat charters expiring in 2028 and twenty-five of our vessels, which were impaired as of December 31, 2016 to their fair value (see the table presented below), had their estimated market value higher than their carrying value as of December 31, 2017. We believed that it can be reasonable anticipated that each of these twenty-seven vessels will recover their carrying values through the end of their useful lives. The remaining twenty-eight vessels in our fleet may had aggregate estimated market values below their aggregate carrying values by approximately $590.5 million as of December 31, 2017. We believed that each of these twenty-eight vessels, twenty-five of which were under long-term time charters expiring from July 2018 through June 2024 and three of which were under short-term time charters, will recover their carrying values through the end of their useful lives, given the remaining average estimated useful life of these twenty-eight vessels was 22 years as of December 31, 2017 and given the estimated future time charter rates anticipated following the termination of their current time charters or bareboat charters compared to the prior year when these vessels were tested for impairment, based on publications by independent third party maritime research services that provide such forecasts.
Impairment Sensitivity Analysis
For the forty-five vessels for which our assessment concluded that step two of the impairment analysis was not required, an internal analysis, which used a discounted cash flow model utilizing inputs and assumptions based on market observations as of December 31, 2018, and is also in accordance with our vessel's market valuation as described in our credit facilities and accepted by our lenders, suggests that twenty-one vessels have current market values that exceed their carrying values and twenty-four vessels may have current market values below their carrying values. We believe that each of the twenty-four vessels identified as having estimated market values less than their carrying value, all of which are currently under long-term charters expiring from August 2021 to April 2028, will recover their carrying values through the end of their useful lives, based on their undiscounted net cash flows calculated in accordance with our impairment assessment.
While the Company intends to hold and operate its vessels, the following table presents information with respect to the carrying amount of the Company's vessels. The carrying value of each of the Company's vessels does not represent its market value or the amount that could be obtained if the vessel were sold. The Company's estimates of market values are based on an internal analysis, which used a discounted cash flow model utilizing inputs and assumptions based on market observations, and is also in accordance with its vessels' market valuation, determined as of the dates indicated, following the methodology as described in its credit facilities and accepted by its lenders. In addition, because vessel values are highly volatile, these estimates may not be indicative of either the current or future prices that the Company could achieve if it were to sell any of the vessels. The Company would not record a loss for any of the vessels for which the market value is below its carrying
value unless and until the Company either determines to sell the vessel for a loss or determines that the vessel's carrying value is not recoverable as discussed above.
|Net Book Value |
December 31, 2018
|Net Book Value |
December 31, 2017
Le Havre (ex CSCL Le Havre)(2)
Pusan C (ex CSCL Pusan)(2)
CMA CGM Melisande(2)
CMA CGM Attila(2)
CMA CGM Tancredi(2)
CMA CGM Bianca(2)
CMA CGM Samson(2)
America (ex CSCL America)(2)
CMA CGM Moliere(2)
CMA CGM Musset(2)
CMA CGM Nerval(2)
CMA CGM Rabelais(2)
CMA CGM Racine(2)
Dimitra C (ex Priority)(1)
ZIM Rio Grande(3)
ZIM Sao Paolo(3)
ANL Tongala (ex Deva)(1)
Express Black Sea(1)
Progress C (ex Hyundai Progress)(1)
As discussed above, we believe that the appropriate historical period to use as a benchmark for impairment testing of our vessels is the most recent 10 to 15 years, to the extent available, as such averages take into account the volatility and cyclicality of the market. Charter rates are, however, subject to change based on a variety of factors that we cannot control and we note that charter rates over the last few years have been, on average, below their ten to fifteen year historical average.
In connection with the impairment testing of our vessels as of December 31, 2018, for the twenty-four vessels that our internal analysis suggests that may have current market values below their carrying values, we performed a sensitivity analysis on the most sensitive and/or subjective assumption that has the potential to affect the outcome of the test, the projected charter rate used to forecast future cash flows for non-contracted days. The following table summarizes information about these twenty-four vessels, including the breakeven charter rates and the one-year charter rate historical average for the last 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively.
|Break Even |
($ per day)
($ per day)/(%)
|1 year |
last 1 year
($ per day)
|1 year |
last 3 years
($ per day)
|1 year |
last 5 years
($ per day)
|1 year |
($ per day)
|1 year |
($ per day)
5 × 13,100 TEU vessels (2012)(1)
|$||19,278||$47,170 / 59.1%||$||23,216||$||18,794||$||24,834||$||32,009||$||47,178|
3 × 10,100 TEU vessels (2011)(2)
|$||25,099||$39,500 / 36.5%||$||19,045||$||15,606||$||20,967||$||26,875||$||39,517|
2 × 9,580 TEU vessels (2006)(3)
|$||16,204||$25,900 / 37.4%||$||18,093||$||14,875||$||20,165||$||25,959||$||38,231|
5 × 8,530 TEU vessels (2011 - 2012)(4)
|$||15,491||$35,600 / 56.5%||$||16,171||$||13,398||$||18,545||$||24,115||$||35,632|
2 × 8,468 TEU vessels (2004)(5)
|$||14,441||$24,000 / 39.8%||$||16,057||$||13,311||$||18,449||$||24,007||$||35,480|
7 × 6,500 TEU vessels (2009 - 2010)(6)
|$||13,240||$27,200 / 51.3%||$||14,350||$||11,350||$||13,010||$||17,010||$||27,280|
follows: the Express Rome, on February 28, 2022, the Express Athens on February 26, 2022 and the Express Berlin, on April 7, 2022.
If we had used the historical average one-year charter rates for the last 10 or 15 years, the results of our 2018 impairment testing on all vessel categories discussed on the above table would not have been impacted, as the cash flow forecasts would still result in each vessel's carrying cost being recovered. If, however, historical average one-year charter rates for the last 1, 3, or 5 years had been used in the cash flow forecasts of our three 10,100 TEU vessels and five 6,500 TEU vessels, then the carrying values of the respective vessels as of December 31, 2018, which were under time charters expiring from August 2021 through January 2023 would not have been recovered. Additionally, on the premise of a 30 year useful life, given that these vessels will have a remaining life above 17 years when they come off charter, the historical 10 to 15 year average is considered by the management as the most reasonable reference point when assessing the earnings generation potential of these vessels during their remaining life after expiry of their current charters.
Furthermore, as discussed above, the Company's internal analysis suggested that another twenty-one vessels had a market value in excess of its carrying value as of December 31, 2018.
Newly Implemented Accounting Policies:
Statement of Cash Flows
In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15, "Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments" ("ASU 2016-15"). The guidance adds or clarifies guidance on the classification of certain cash receipts and payments in the statement of cash flows. Additionally, in November 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-18, "Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash" ("ASU 2016-18"), which requires that amounts generally described as restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the beginning-of-period and end-of-period total amounts shown on the statement of cash
flows. We adopted these standards effective January 1, 2018. Prior periods were retrospectively adjusted to conform to the current period's presentation. The adoption of ASU 2016-15 did not have a material impact on our consolidated statements of cash flows. Upon adoption of ASU 2016-18, we reclassified the restricted cash balance of $2.8 million as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 to the cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash balances within the consolidated statements of cash flows. Refer to Note 3 "Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash" for further details.
In January 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-01, "Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities" ("ASU 2016-01"). ASU 2016-01 requires all equity investments to be measured at fair value with changes in the fair value recognized through net income (other than those accounted for under equity method of accounting or those that result in consolidation of the investee). The amendments in this Update also require an entity to present separately in other comprehensive income the portion of the total change in the fair value of a liability resulting from a change in the instrument-specific credit risk when the entity has elected to measure the liability at fair value in accordance with the fair value option for financial instruments. In addition the amendments in this Update eliminate the requirement to disclose the methods and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value that is required to be disclosed for financial instruments measured at amortized cost on the balance sheet for public business entities. We adopted this standard effective January 1, 2018. Our investment in ZIM equity securities does not have readily determinable fair value. As a result, we elected to record this equity investment at cost, less impairment, adjusted for subsequent observable price changes. The adoption of this standard did not have a material effect on the consolidated financial statements and notes disclosures. As of December 31, 2018, we did not identify any observable prices for the same or similar securities that would indicate a change in the carrying value of our equity.
In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-9 "Revenue from Contracts with Customers" ("ASU 2014-09"), which superseded the current revenue recognition guidance and outlines a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-08, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net)" ("ASU 2016-08"), which clarifies the implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations. In addition, in 2016, the FASB issued four amendments, which clarified the guidance on certain items such as reporting revenue as a principal versus agent, identifying performance obligations, accounting for intellectual property licenses, assessing collectability and presentation of sales taxes. We adopted this standard effective January 1, 2018 using modified retrospective approach. The adoption of this standard did not have any effect on our retained earnings or on our financial results for year ended December 31, 2018 since all of our revenues are generated from time charter and bareboat charter agreements.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements:
In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, "Leases (Topic 842)" ("ASU 2016-02"). ASU 2016-02 will apply to both types of leasescapital (or finance) leases and operating leases. According to the new Accounting Standard, lessees will be required to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by all leases with terms of more than 12 months. ASU 201602 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early application is permitted. This guidance requires companies to identify lease and non-lease components of a lease agreement.
Lease components relate to the right to use the leased asset and non-lease components relate to payments for goods or services that are transferred separately from the right to use the underlying asset. Total lease consideration is allocated to lease and non-lease components on a relative standalone basis. The recognition of revenues related to lease components will be governed by ASC 842 while revenue related to non-lease components will be subject to ASC 606. In March 2018, the FASB tentatively approved a proposed amendment to ASU 842, that would provide an entity the optional transition method to initially account for the impact of the adoption with a cumulative adjustment to retained earnings on the effective date of the ASU, January 1, 2019 rather than January 1, 2017, which would eliminate the need to restate amounts presented prior to January 1, 2019. In addition, lessors can elect, as a practical expedient, not to allocate the total consideration to lease and non-lease components based on their relative standalone selling prices. As adopted by the Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-11 in July 2018, this practical expedient will allow lessors to elect and account for the combined component based on its predominant characteristic. ASC 842 provides practical expedients that allow entities to not (i) reassess whether any expired or existing contracts are considered or contain leases; (ii) reassess the lease classification for any expired or existing leases; and (iii) reassess initial direct costs for any existing leases. In July 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-10, "Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases" and in December 2018 the Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-20 "Narrow-scope improvements for lessors", which further improve and clarify ASU 2016-02. We plan to adopt the standard on January 1, 2019 and expect to elect the use of all practical expedients. Based on our preliminary assessment, we are expecting that the adoption will not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements since the Company is primarily a lessor and the changes are fairly minor.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, "Financial InstrumentsCredit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments" ("ASU 2016-13"), which amends the impairment model by requiring entities to use a forward-looking approach based on expected losses to estimate credit losses on certain types of financial instruments, including trade receivables. In December 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-19 "Codification improvements to Topic 326", which clarifies that impairment of receivables arising from operating leases should be accounted for in accordance with Topic 842, Leases. The ASU 2016-13 is effective for public entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact of the new standard on our consolidated financial statements.
The following table sets forth, as of February 28, 2019, information for each of our directors and executive officers.
|Dr. John Coustas||63||President and CEO and Class I Director|
|Iraklis Prokopakis||68||Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer and Class II Director|
|Evangelos Chatzis||45||Chief Financial Officer and Secretary|
|Dimitris Vastarouchas||51||Deputy Chief Operating Officer|
|George Economou||66||Class II Director|
|Myles R. Itkin||71||Class I Director|
|Miklós Konkoly-Thege||76||Class III Director|
|William Repko||69||Class III Director|
|Petros Christodoulou||58||Class I Director|
The term of our Class III directors expires in 2019, the term of our Class II directors expires in 2020 and the term of our Class I directors expires in 2021. Certain biographical information about each of these individuals is set forth below.
Dr. John Coustas is our President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors. Dr. Coustas has over 30 years of experience in the shipping industry. Dr. Coustas assumed management of our company in 1987 from his father, Dimitris Coustas, who founded Danaos Shipping in 1972, and has been responsible for our corporate strategy and the management of our affairs since that time. Dr. Coustas is Vice Chairman of the board of directors of The Swedish Club. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors of the Union of Greek Shipowners and a member of the DNV Council. Dr. Coustas holds a degree in Marine Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens as well as a Master's degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Controls from Imperial College, London.
Iraklis Prokopakis is our Senior Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Operating Officer and a member of our board of directors. Mr. Prokopakis joined us in 1998 and has over 40 years of experience in the shipping industry. Prior to entering the shipping industry, Mr. Prokopakis was a captain in the Hellenic Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Portsmouth University in the United Kingdom, a Master's degree in Naval Architecture and a Ship Risk Management Diploma from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and a post-graduate diploma in business studies from the London School of Economics. Mr. Prokopakis also has a Certificate in Operational Audit of Banks from the Management Center Europe in Brussels and a Safety Risk Management Certificate from Det Norske Veritas. He is a member of the Board of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Owners' Committee of the Korean Register of Shipping.
Evangelos Chatzis is our Chief Financial Officer and Secretary. Mr. Chatzis has been with Danaos Corporation since 2005 and has over 22 years of experience in corporate finance and the shipping industry. During his years with Danaos he has been actively engaged in the company's initial public offering in the United States and has led the finance function of the company. Throughout his career he has developed considerable experience in operations, corporate finance, treasury and risk management and international business structuring. Prior to joining Danaos, Evangelos was the Chief Financial Officer of Globe Group of Companies, a public company in Greece engaged in a diverse scope of activities including dry bulk shipping, the textile industry, food production & distribution and real estate. During his years with Globe Group, he was involved in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and privatizations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, a Master's of Science degree in Shipping & Finance from City University Cass Business School, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Shipping Risk Management from IMD Business School.
Dimitris Vastarouchas is our Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Vastarouchas has been the Technical Manager of our Manager since 2005 and has over 20 years of experience in the shipping industry. Mr. Vastarouchas initially joined our Manager in 1995 and prior to becoming Technical Manager he was the New Buildings Projects and Site Manager, under which capacity he supervised newbuilding projects in Korea for 4,250, 5,500 and 8,500 TEU containerships. He holds a degree in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Certificates & Licenses of expertise in the fields of Aerodynamics (C.I.T.), Welding (CSWIP), Marine Coating (FROSIO) and Insurance (North of England P&I). He is also a qualified auditor by Det Norske Veritas and Certified Negotiator by Schranner Negotiations Institute (SNI).
George Economou has been a member of our board of directors since 2010. Mr. Economou has over 40 years of experience in the maritime industry and has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dryships Inc. since its incorporation in 2004. He successfully took the company public in February 2005 on NASDAQ under the trading symbol: DRYS. The company subsequently invested and
developed Ocean Rig UDW Inc., an owner of rigs and ships involved in ultra deep water drilling. Mr. Economou was the Chairman of Ocean Rig UDW Inc. until December 2018 when Ocean Rig UDW Inc. merged with Transocean. Mr. Economou is a member of ABS Council, Intertanko Hellenic Shipping Forum and Lloyds Register Hellenic Advisory Committees. Mr. Economou is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and a Master of Science in Shipping and Shipbuilding Management.
Myles R. Itkin has been a member of our board of directors since 2006. Mr. Itkin was the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. ("OSG"), in which capacities he served, with the exception of a promotion from Senior Vice President to Executive Vice President in 2006, from 1995 to 2013. Prior to joining OSG in June 1995, Mr. Itkin was employed by Alliance Capital Management L.P. as Senior Vice President of Finance. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance at Northwest Airlines, Inc. Mr. Itkin served on the board of directors of the U.K. P&I Club from 2006 to 2013. Mr. Itkin holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and an MBA from New York University.
On November 14, 2012, OSG filed voluntary petitions for reorganization for itself and 180 of its subsidiaries under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United States Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. On January 23, 2017, Mr. Itkin, and OSG, consented to an SEC order finding they violated or caused the violation of, among other provisions, the negligence-based antifraud provisions as well as reporting, books-and-records, and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws, in relation to the failure to recognize tax liabilities in OSG's financial statements resulting from its controlled foreign subsidiary guaranteeing OSG's debt. Mr. Itkin agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty and OSG agreed to pay a $5 million penalty subject to bankruptcy court approval.
Miklós Konkoly-Thege has been a member of our board of directors since 2006. Mr. Konkoly-Thege began at Det Norske Veritas ("DNV"), a ship classification society, in 1984. From 1984 through 2002, Mr. Konkoly-Thege served in various capacities with DNV including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller, Head of Corporate Management Staff and Head of Business Areas. Mr. Konkoly-Thege became President and Chairman of the Executive Board of DNV in 2002 and served in that capacity until his retirement in May 2006. Mr. Konkoly-Thege is a member of the board of directors of Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions AS, Callenberg Technology Group AB and Stena Hungary Holding KFT. Mr. Konkoly-Thege holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from Technische Universität Hannover, Germany and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.
William Repko has been a member of our board of directors since July 2014. Mr. Repko has nearly 40 years of investing, finance and restructuring experience. Mr. Repko retired from Evercore Partners in February 2014 where he had served as a senior advisor, senior managing director and was a co-founder of the firm's Restructuring and Debt Capital Markets Group since September 2005. Prior to joining Evercore Partners Inc., Mr. Repko served as chairman and head of the Restructuring Group at J.P. Morgan Chase, a leading investment banking firm, where he focused on providing comprehensive solutions to clients' liquidity and reorganization challenges. In 1973, Mr. Repko joined Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, a commercial bank, which after a series of mergers became part of J.P. Morgan Chase. Mr. Repko has been named to the Turnaround Management Association (TMA)-sponsored Turnaround, Restructuring and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame. Mr. Repko has served on the Board of Directors of Stellus Capital Investment Corporation (SCM:NYSE) since 2012 and is Chairman of its Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. Mr. Repko received his B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University.
Petros Christodoulou has been a member of our board of directors since June 2018. Mr. Christodoulou has been a member of the Board of Directors of Guardian Capital Group since 2016 and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada. He has also been a
member of the Board of Directors of Aegean Baltic Bank since 2017. Mr. Christodoulou was Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Capital Product Partners, an owner of crude, product carriers and containerships, from September 2014 until 2015. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Christodoulou was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Member of the Board of the National Bank of Greece Group, acting as chairman of NBG Asset Management, Astir Palace SA and NBG BankAssurance. Mr. Christodoulou was a member of the Board of Directors of Hellenic Exchanges SA from 2012 to 2014 and Director General of the Public Debt Management Agency of Greece from 2010 to 2014, acting as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2012. Mr. Christodoulou holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Athens School of Commerce and Economics.
Compensation of Directors and Senior Management
Non-executive directors receive annual fees of $70,000 per annum, plus reimbursement for their out-of-pocket expenses, which amounts are payable at the election of each non-executive director in cash or stock as described below under "Equity Compensation Plan." We do not have service contracts with any of our non-employee directors. We have employment agreements with two directors who are also executive officers of our company, as well as with our other two executive officers.
Since May 1, 2015, we have directly employed our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, who received aggregate compensation of €2.7 million ($3.2 million) €1.5 million ($1.8 million) and €1.5 million ($1.7 million) for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Our executive officers are eligible, in the discretion of our board of directors and compensation committee, for incentive compensation and restricted stock, stock options or other awards under our equity compensation plan, which is described below under "Equity Compensation Plan."
Our executive officers are entitled to severance payments for termination without "cause" or for "good reason" generally equal to (i) (x) the greater of (A) the amount of base salary that would have been payable during the remaining term of the agreements, which expire in December 2023 (or in the case of Dr. Coustas, December 2024), and (B) three times the executive officer's annual salary plus bonus (based on an average of the prior three years), including the value on the date of grant of any equity grants made under our equity compensation plan during that three-year period (which, for stock options, will be the Black- Scholes value), as well as (y) a pro-rata bonus for the year in which termination occurs and continued benefits, if any, for 36 months or (ii) if such termination without cause or for good reason occurs within two years of a "change of control" of our company the greater of (a) the amount calculated as described in clause (i) and (b) a specified dollar amount for each executive officer (approximately €4.6 million in the aggregate for all executive officers), as well as continued benefits, if any, for 36 months.
We directly employ our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Approximately 1,104 officers and crew members served on board the vessels we own as of December 31, 2018, but are employed by our manager. Crew wages and other related expenses are paid by our manager and our manager is reimbursed by us.
The common stock beneficially owned by our directors and executive officers and/or companies affiliated with these individuals is disclosed in "Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions" below.
Board of Directors
At December 31, 2018 and February 28, 2019, we had seven members on our board of directors. The board of directors may change the number of directors to not less than two, nor more than 15, by a vote of a majority of the entire board, subject to the terms of our Stockholders Agreement which limits the size of the board to nine directors. See "Item 10. Additional InformationStockholders Agreement." Each director is elected to serve until the third succeeding annual meeting of stockholders and until his or her successor shall have been duly elected and qualified, except in the event of death, resignation or removal. A vacancy on the board created by death, resignation, removal (which may only be for cause), or failure of the stockholders to elect the entire class of directors to be elected at any election of directors or for any other reason, may be filled only by an affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors then in office, even if less than a quorum, at any special meeting called for that purpose or at any regular meeting of the board of directors.
In accordance with the terms of the August 6, 2010 common stock subscription agreement between Sphinx Investment Corp. and us, we have agreed to nominate Mr. Economou or such other person, in each case who shall be acceptable to us, designated by Sphinx Investment Corp., for election by our stockholders to the Board of Directors at each annual meeting of stockholders at which the term of Mr. Economou or such other director so designated expires, so long as such investor beneficially owns a specified minimum amount of our common stock. We have been informed that our largest stockholder, a family trust established by Dr. John Coustas, and Dr. John Coustas have agreed to vote all of the shares of common stock they own, or over which they have voting control, in favor of any such nominee standing for election.
Our board of directors has determined that each of Messrs. Economou, Itkin, Konkoly-Thege, Repko and Christodoulou are independent within the requirements of the NYSE.
To promote open discussion among the independent directors, those directors meet in regularly scheduled and ad hoc executive session without participation of our company's management and will continue to do so in 2019. Mr. Myles Itkin served as the presiding director for purposes of these meetings. Stockholders who wish to send communications on any topic to the board of directors or to the independent directors as a group, or to the presiding director, Mr. Myles Itkin, may do so by writing to our Secretary, Mr. Evangelos Chatzis, Danaos Corporation, c/o Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd., 14 Akti Kondyli, 185 45 Piraeus, Greece.
The board of directors and our company's management has engaged in an ongoing review of our corporate governance practices in order to oversee our compliance with the applicable corporate governance rules of the New York Stock Exchange and the SEC.
We have adopted a number of key documents that are the foundation of its corporate governance, including:
These documents and other important information on our governance, including the board of director's Corporate Governance Guidelines, are posted on the Danaos Corporation website, and may be viewed at http://www.danaos.com. We will also provide a paper copy of any of these documents upon
the written request of a stockholder. Stockholders may direct their requests to the attention of our Secretary, Mr. Evangelos Chatzis, Danaos Corporation, c/o Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd., 14 Akti Kondyli, 185 45 Piraeus, Greece.
Committees of the Board of Directors
We are a "foreign private issuer" under SEC rules promulgated under the Securities Act and within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance standards. Pursuant to certain exceptions for foreign private issuers, we are not required to comply with certain of the corporate governance practices followed by domestic U.S. companies under the New York Stock Exchange listing standards. We have elected to comply, however, with the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance rules applicable to domestic U.S. issuers, except that (1) as permitted for foreign private issuers, one member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is (and, prior to September 2018, one member of our Compensation Committee was) a non-independent director and (2) we have not sought stockholder approval for certain issuances of common stock, including the common stock issued in connection with the consummation of the 2018 Refinancing, and we may not seek stockholder approval for future issuances of common stock, as permitted by applicable Marshall Islands law. See "Item 16G. Corporate Governance."
Our audit committee consists of Myles R. Itkin (chairman), Miklós Konkoly-Thege and William Repko, each of whom our Board has determined is independent within the requirements of the NYSE and SEC. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Itkin qualifies as an audit committee "financial expert," as such term is defined in Regulation S-K. The audit committee is responsible for (1) the hiring, termination and compensation of the independent auditors and approving any non-audit work performed by such auditor, (2) approving the overall scope of the audit, (3) assisting the board in monitoring the integrity of our financial statements, the independent accountant's qualifications and independence, the performance of the independent accountants and our internal audit function and our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (4) annually reviewing an independent auditors' report describing the auditing firms' internal quality-control procedures, any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality-control review, or peer review, of the auditing firm, (5) discussing the annual audited financial and quarterly statements with management and the independent auditor, (6) discussing earnings press releases, as well as financial information and earning guidance, (7) discussing policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management, (8) meeting separately, periodically, with management, internal auditors and the independent auditor, (9) reviewing with the independent auditor any audit problems or difficulties and management's response, (10) setting clear hiring policies for employees or former employees of the independent auditors, (11) annually reviewing the adequacy of the audit committee's written charter, (12) handling such other matters that are specifically delegated to the audit committee by the board of directors from time to time, (13) reporting regularly to the full board of directors and (14) evaluating the board of directors' performance. During 2018, there were five meetings of the audit committee.
Our compensation committee consists of Miklós Konkoly-Thege (chairman), William Repko and Petros Christodoulou who replaced Iraklis Prokopakis on the committee in 2018. The compensation committee is responsible for (1) reviewing key employee compensation policies, plans and programs, (2) reviewing and approving the compensation of our chief executive officer and other executive officers, (3) developing and recommending to the board of directors compensation for board members, (4) reviewing and approving employment contracts and other similar arrangements between us and our executive officers, (5) reviewing and consulting with the chief executive officer on the selection of
officers and evaluation of executive performance and other related matters, (6) administration of stock plans and other incentive compensation plans, (7) overseeing compliance with any applicable compensation reporting requirements of the SEC, (8) retaining consultants to advise the committee on executive compensation practices and policies and (9) handling such other matters that are specifically delegated to the compensation committee by the board of directors from time to time. During 2018, there were five meetings of the compensation committee.
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
Our nominating and corporate governance committee consists of William Repko (chairman), Iraklis Prokopakis and Myles R. Itkin. The nominating and corporate governance committee is responsible for (1) developing and recommending criteria for selecting new directors, (2) screening and recommending to the board of directors individuals qualified to become executive officers, (3) overseeing evaluations of the board of directors, its members and committees of the board of directors and (4) handling such other matters that are specifically delegated to the nominating and corporate governance committee by the board of directors from time to time. During 2018, there were seven meetings of the nominating and corporate governance committee.
Equity Compensation Plan
We have adopted an equity compensation plan, which we refer to as the Plan. The Plan is generally administered by the compensation committee of our board of directors, except that the full board may act at any time to administer the Plan, and authority to administer any aspect of the Plan may be delegated by our board of directors or by the compensation committee to an executive officer or to any other person. The Plan allows the plan administrator to grant awards of shares of our common stock or the right to receive or purchase shares of our common stock (including options to purchase common stock, restricted stock and stock units, bonus stock, performance stock, and stock appreciation rights) to our employees, directors or other persons or entities providing significant services to us or our subsidiaries, including employees of our manager, and also provides the plan administrator with the authority to reprice outstanding stock options or other awards. The actual terms of an award, including the number of shares of common stock relating to the award, any exercise or purchase price, any vesting, forfeiture or transfer restrictions, the time or times of exercisability for, or delivery of, shares of common stock, will be determined by the plan administrator and set forth in a written award agreement with the participant. Any options granted under the Plan will be accounted for in accordance with accounting guidance for share-based compensation.
The aggregate number of shares of our common stock for which awards may be granted under the Plan cannot exceed 6% of the number of shares of our common stock issued and outstanding at the time any award is granted. Awards made under the Plan that have been forfeited (including our repurchase of shares of common stock subject to an award for the price, if any, paid to us for such shares of common stock, or for their par value) or cancelled or have expired, will not be treated as having been granted for purposes of the preceding sentence.
The Plan requires that the plan administrator make an equitable adjustment to the number, kind and exercise price per share of awards in the event of our recapitalization, reorganization, merger, spin-off, share exchange, dividend of common stock, liquidation, dissolution or other similar transaction or event. In addition, the plan administrator will be permitted to make adjustments to the terms and conditions of any awards in recognition of any unusual or nonrecurring events. Unless otherwise set forth in an award agreement, any awards outstanding under the Plan will vest upon a "change of control," as defined in the Plan. Our board of directors may, at any time, alter, amend, suspend, discontinue or terminate the Plan, except that any amendment will be subject to the approval of our stockholders if required by applicable law, regulation or stock exchange rule and that, without the consent of the affected participant under the Plan, no action may materially impair the rights of such participant under any awards outstanding under the Plan. The Plan will terminate on September 17, 2019.
As of April 18, 2008, the Board of Directors and the Compensation Committee approved incentive compensation of the Manager's employees with its shares from time to time, after specific for each such time, decision by the compensation committee and the Board of Directors in order to provide a means of compensation in the form of free shares under its 2006 equity compensation plan to certain employees of the Manager of the Company's common stock. The plan was effective as of December 31, 2008. Pursuant to the terms of the plan, employees of the Manager may receive (from time to time) shares of the Company's common stock as additional compensation for their services offered during the preceding period. The total amount of stock to be granted to employees of the Manager will be at the Company's Board of Directors' discretion only and there will be no contractual obligation for any stock to be granted as part of the employees' compensation package in future periods. On September 14, 2018, 4,182,832 shares of restricted stock were granted to our executive officers, 50% of which are scheduled to vest on December 31, 2019 and 50% of which are scheduled to vest on December 31, 2021, subject to the executive's continued employment with the Company as of such dates or earlier death or disability, under its 2016 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended. During 2017, no shares of common stock were granted. As of December 15, 2016, the Company granted 25,000 shares and recorded an expense of $0.1 million, representing the fair value of the stock granted as at the date of the grant. This grant was cancelled on December 14, 2017. During 2016, the Company issued 17,608 shares of common stock in partial settlement of 2015 and 2014 grants. Refer to Note 17, Stock Based Compensation, in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.
The Company has also established the Directors Share Payment Plan under its 2006 equity compensation plan. The purpose of the plan is to provide a means of payment of all or a portion of compensation payable to directors of the Company in the form of Company's Common Stock. The plan was effective as of April 18, 2008. Each member of the Board of Directors of the Company may participate in the plan. Pursuant to the terms of the plan, Directors may elect to receive in Common Stock all or a portion of their compensation. During 2018, 2017 and 2016, none of the directors elected to receive in Company shares his compensation. Refer to Note 17, Stock Based Compensation, in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.
Related Party Transactions
Danaos Shipping Co. Ltd., which we refer to as our Manager, is ultimately owned by Danaos Investment Limited as the trustee of the 883 Trust, of which Dr. Coustas and other members of the Coustas family are beneficiaries. Dr. Coustas has certain powers to remove and replace Danaos Investment Limited as trustee of the 883 Trust. DIL is also our largest stockholder, owning approximately 31.8% of our outstanding common stock as of February 28, 2019. Our Manager has provided services to our vessels since 1972 and continues to provide technical, administrative and certain commercial services which support our business, as well as comprehensive ship management services such as technical supervision and commercial management, including chartering our vessels pursuant to a management agreement.
In connection with the 2018 Refinancing, on August 10, 2018, our management agreement with the Manager was amended and restated, including to (1) extend its term until December 31, 2024, (2) provide for the management fee offsets contemplated by the Backstop Agreement (see "Backstop Agreement" below), and (3) address the allocation of charter opportunities across our fleet. The fees payable to the Manager pursuant to the management agreement were not changed in connection with this amendment and are fixed through the term of the management agreement.
Management fees in respect of continuing operations under our management agreement amounted to approximately $16.8 million in 2018, $16.9 million in 2017 and $17.1 million in 2016. The related
expenses are presented under "General and administrative expenses" on the Consolidated Statement of Operations. We pay monthly advances in regard to the next month vessels' operating expenses. These prepaid monthly expenses are presented in our consolidated balance sheet under "Due from related parties" and totaled $18.0 million and $34.0 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Under our management agreement, our Manager is responsible for providing us with technical, administrative and certain commercial services, which include the following: