SANTIAGO, April 4 Chilean shipper Compania Sud
Americana de Vapores said it would spend $570 million to
purchase seven container ships and prepay debt, and it will seek
shareholder approval for a capital increase.
Vapores will buy the ships from South Korea's
Samsung Heavy Industries to replace leased vessels
and boost its wholly owned fleet to 55 percent from 37 percent
currently, the company said late Wednesday.
The new ships will start arriving in late 2014, and Vapores
has the option to purchase an additional seven.
Vapores' board will seek shareholder approval on April 29
for a $500 million capital increase to finance the investment
The board also approved the prepayment of $258 million in
debt with American Family Life Assurance Co.
In recent years, Vapores has faced steep losses as it
grapples with lower shipping rates, high fuel prices and
Under the stewardship of the business-savvy Luksic family
Vapores spun off its SAAM storage and logistics unit
in 2012 as part of a plan to reverse those losses.
The Luksic family, Chile's richest, became Vapores' majority
shareholders in early 2012 when the company completed a $1.2
billion capital increase.
Vapores' shares were down 1.3 percent Thursday morning,
while the IPSA blue-chip index was up 0.3 percent.