Summary of Key Highlights
-- Achieved vessel utilization of 98.5% and 98.9% for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012, respectively.-- Accepted delivery of four newbuilding vessels in 2012, bringing Seaspan's operating fleet to a total of 69 vessels at December 31, 2012.-- Paid a quarterly dividend of $0.59375 per Series C preferred share on October 30, 2012, representing a total distribution of $8.3 million. This dividend was paid to all Series C shareholders of record on October 29, 2012 for the period from July 30, 2012 to October 29, 2012.-- Paid a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per Class A common share on November 23, 2012 to all shareholders of record as of November 13, 2012. Together with the dividend declared and paid in February 2013, in regard to the fourth quarter of 2012, Seaspan's common share dividends for the four quarters ended December 31, 2012 totaled $1.00 per share.-- Issued 3.1 million 7.95% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares ("Series D Preferred Shares") for net proceeds of approximately $74.7 million in December 2012.
Gerry Wang, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chairman, and Co-Founder of Seaspan, commented, "We are satisfied with the operational and financial results that we achieved during the year of 2012. We are also pleased with the steps we took to further strengthen our balance sheet and capital structure, positioning the Company to take advantage of an attractive acquisition environment. We commenced the year 2013 by entering into two important transactions with MOL and Yang Ming for their large ship requirements. We remain well positioned to continue to execute our disciplined growth strategy."
Mr. Wang continued, "The 25% increase in our dividend for the first quarter of 2013 reflects our financial strength and our confidence in our future. We have increased our quarterly common dividend by 213% since March 31, 2010."
Fourth Quarter Developments
Issuance of Series D Preferred Shares
In December 2012, Seaspan issued 3.1 million Series D Preferred Shares at a price of $25.00 per share, for net proceeds of approximately $74.7 million. Dividends are payable on the Series D Preferred Shares at the rate of 7.95% per annum of the stated liquidation preference of $25.00 per share. Seaspan will use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include making vessel acquisitions or investments.
During the quarter ended December 31, 2012, three 4250 TEU vessels were re-delivered to Seaspan. Two of the vessels are expected to commence short-term charters in late March, while the other vessel remains currently off-charter.
Open Market Share Repurchase Plan
In February 2012, Seaspan's board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $50.0 million of Seaspan's Class A common shares. During the quarter ended December 31, 2012, Seaspan repurchased 31,600 Class A common shares under an open market share repurchase plan for an aggregate of $0.5 million, or an average of $14.93 per share. An additional $47.8 million is authorized under the plan.
Amended and Restated Employment Agreement with CEO Gerry Wang
In December 2012, Seaspan entered into amended and restated employment and transaction services agreements with its chief executive officer, Gerry Wang, which supersede the agreements entered into with Mr. Wang in March 2011 in connection with Seaspan's investment in the Greater China Intermodal Investments LLC ("GCI"), an investment vehicle established by Seaspan, an affiliate of global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group, and Blue Water Commerce LLC.