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Interpool to Sell Bulk of Container Ops Lease Assets

A new subsidiary of a Swiss-based investor group plans to buy a large chunk of the Princeton-based firm’s lease portfolio of cargo containers.A wholly owned subsidiary of Interpool (NYSE: IPX) in Princeton plans to sell the bulk of its lease portfolio of dry marine cargo containers to a subsidiary of a Switzerland-based investor group for about $515 million. Interpool Containers Limited (ICL) has inked a deal with the unnamed purchaser to sell about 273,000 dry marine cargo containers, along with its rights under existing lease agreements for the assets.

Following the sale, Interpool, a supplier of equipment and services to the transportation industry, and its 50%-owned subsidiary, Container Applications International (CAI), will continue to manage the containers on behalf of the purchaser. Interpool and CAI will provide billing, collection, lease renewal and other operational services for a management fee.

The sale is expected to result in an after-tax gain for Interpool of some $58 million to $62 million during the first quarter. The deal, which is subject to closing adjustments and final accounting review, is slated to close at the end of this month.

ICL intends to apply proceeds from the sale toward paring debt and for general corporate purposes. Interpool will continue to lease cargo containers and container chassis to its customers, including shipping lines.

Interpool shares surged $1.02, or 5.49%, to $19.51 in afternoon trading.

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