Form 20-F
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 20-F

 

 

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

OR

 

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: 1-33373

 

 

CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS L.P.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Republic of the Marshall Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

3 Iassonos Street, Piraeus, 18537 Greece

+30 210 458 4950

(Address and telephone number of principal executive offices and company contact person)

 

 

Gerasimos (Jerry) Kalogiratos, j.kalogiratos@capitalmaritime.com

(Name and email of company contact person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common units representing limited partnership interests   CPLP   Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None

 

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

18,178,100 Common Units

348,570 General Partner Units

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

YES                    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.

YES                    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.

YES                    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).

YES                   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 definitions of “accelerated filer,” “large accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer            Accelerated filer            Non-accelerated filer            Emerging growth company   

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.   ☐

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP   ☒

  

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued   ☐

by the International Accounting Standards Board

   Other  

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statements item the registrant has elected to follow.

ITEM 17                   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).

YES                    NO  

 

 

 


Table of Contents

CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS L.P.1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

    
Item 1.   Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors      4  
Item 2.   Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable      4  
Item 3.   Key Information      4  
Item 4.   Information on the Partnership      38  
Item 4A.   Unresolved Staff Comments      51  
Item 5.   Operating and Financial Review and Prospects      51  
Item 6.   Directors, Senior Management and Employees      66  
Item 7.   Major Unitholders and Related-Party Transactions      72  
Item 8.   Financial Information      80  
Item 9.   The Offer and Listing      87  
Item 10.   Additional Information      87  
Item 11.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk      96  
Item 12.   Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities      97  

PART II

    
Item 13.   Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies      98  
Item 14.   Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds      98  
Item 15.   Controls and Procedures      98  
Item 16A.   Audit Committee Financial Expert      100  
Item 16B.   Code of Ethics      100  
Item 16C.   Principal Accountant Fees and Services      100  
Item 16D.   Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees      100  
Item 16E.   Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers      101  
Item 16F.   Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant      101  
Item 16G.   Corporate Governance      101  
Item 16H.   Mine Safety Disclosure      101  

PART III

    
Item 17.   Financial Statements      102  
Item 18.   Financial Statements      102  
INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      102  
Item 19.   Exhibits      102  

SIGNATURES

    
INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      F-1  

 

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ABOUT THIS REPORT

This annual report on Form 20-F (this “Annual Report”) should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, the related consolidated statements of comprehensive (loss)/income, changes in partners’ capital, and cash flows, for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2019, and the related notes included herein (the “Financial Statements”).

In this Annual Report, unless the context otherwise requires:

 

   

the “Partnership,” “CPLP,” “we,” “us” or “our” refer to Capital Product Partners L.P. and, unless the context otherwise requires, its consolidated subsidiaries;

 

   

“Capital Maritime” or “CMTC” refer to Capital Maritime & Trading Corp., our sponsor;

 

   

“General Partner” refers to Capital GP L.L.C., our general partner;

 

   

“Capital Ship Management” and “Capital-Executive” refer to our managers, Capital Ship Management Corp. and Capital-Executive Ship Management Corp., respectively, or the “Managers”; and

 

   

“financing arrangements” refers to our debt financing arrangements as well as our sale-leaseback financing arrangements and “debt” includes indebtedness under such financing arrangements.

DSS TRANSACTION AND MARCH 2019 REVERSE SPLIT

On November 27, 2018, we entered into a definitive transaction agreement with DSS Holdings L.P. (“DSS”), pursuant to which we agreed to combine our crude and product tanker business (the “Tanker Business”) with DSS’s businesses and operations in a share-for-share transaction (the “DSS Transaction”). The DSS Transaction was completed on March 27, 2019.

In connection with the DSS Transaction, among other things:

 

   

DSS paid to us a total amount of $319.7 million;

 

   

we amended our existing 2017 credit facility, prepaid an amount of $89.3 million thereunder, and fully repaid and retired outstanding loans under bilateral facilities, all of which translated into an aggregate repayment of our debt of $146.5 million plus accrued interest and breakage costs;

 

   

we redeemed and retired all outstanding Class B Convertible Preferred Units (the “Class B Units”) at 100% of par value for an aggregate redemption price of $119.5 million which includes accrued dividends of $2.7 million;

 

   

we spun off Diamond S Shipping Inc. (“DSSI”), a newly formed wholly owned subsidiary to which we contributed all of our 25 crude and product tankers, by way of a pro rata distribution of DSSI’s common stock to the holders of our common and general partner units;

 

   

DSSI combined with DSS’s businesses and operations and issued additional shares of common stock to DSS’s limited partners; and

 

   

on March 27, 2019, we effected a one for seven reverse split of our common and general partner units, reducing the number of common units issued and outstanding from 127,246,692 to 18,178,100 common units and the number of general partner units issued and outstanding from 2,439,989 to 348,570 general partner units (the “March 2019 Reverse Split”).

As of the date of this Annual Report, we own a fleet of 14 vessels, consisting of 13 neo-panamax container vessels and one drybulk vessel.

One of our objectives in pursuing the DSS Transaction was to divest our older assets, realign our charter coverage towards medium- to long-term charters and create the foundation for engaging in growth transactions that aim to be accretive to our distributable cash flow across different shipping segments.

 

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In this Annual Report and the Financial Statements, results of operations of the Tanker Business we spun-off in the DSS Transaction are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Our disclosure and analysis in this Annual Report concerning our business, operations, cash flows, and financial position, including, among other things, the likelihood of our success in developing and expanding our business, include forward-looking statements. In addition, we and our representatives may from time to time make other oral or written statements which are also forward-looking statements. Such statements include, in particular, statements about our plans, strategies, business prospects, changes and trends in our business, financial condition and the markets in which we operate, and involve risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “may,” “might,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “likely,” “intend,” “forecast,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “propose,” “potential,” “continue,” “seek” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although these statements are based upon assumptions we believe to be reasonable based upon available information, including projections of revenues, operating margins, earnings, cash flows, working capital and capital expenditures, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” below. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this Annual Report and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this Annual Report and include statements with respect to, among other things:

 

 

expectations regarding our ability to make distributions on our common units;

 

 

our ability to increase our cash available for distribution over time;

 

 

future sales of our units in the public market;

 

 

global economic outlook and growth;

 

 

outcome of trade disputes and sanction regimes currently in place or that may come into effect in the future;

 

 

shipping conditions and fundamentals, including the balance of supply and demand, as well as trends and conditions in the newbuild markets and scrapping of older vessels;

 

 

industry trends such as charter rates and factors affecting the chartering of vessels and vessel values;

 

 

our ability to operate and compete in various new markets;

 

 

our current and future business and growth strategies and other plans and objectives for future operations;

 

 

anticipated future acquisitions of vessels from Capital Maritime or third parties;

 

 

our continued ability to enter into long-term, fixed-rate time charters with our charterers and to re-charter our vessels as their existing charters expire at attractive rates;

 

 

the relationships and reputation of our Managers and our General Partner in the shipping industry;

 

 

anticipated future chartering arrangements;

 

 

the ability of our charterers to meet their obligations under the terms of our charter agreements, including the timely payment of the hire rates under the agreements;

 

 

the financial condition, viability and sustainability of our charterers, including their ability to obtain liquidity and access the capital markets;

 

 

our ability to maximize the use of our vessels;

 

 

our ability to compete successfully for future chartering and newbuild opportunities;

 

 

our ability to access debt, credit and equity markets;

 

 

changes in the availability and costs of funding due to conditions in the bank market, capital markets and other factors;

 

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our ability to service, refinance or repay our financing under our financing arrangements (collectively our credit facilities and lease financing arrangements) under their current terms and settle any hedging arrangements we may have;

 

 

changes in interest rates;

 

 

changes in propulsion technology or propulsion fuel;

 

 

planned capital expenditures and availability of capital resources to fund capital expenditures;

 

 

the expected lifespan and condition of our vessels;

 

 

the changes to the regulatory requirements applicable to the shipping industry, including, without limitation, stricter requirements adopted by international organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization (also referred to as the “IMO”), a United Nations agency that issues international trade standards for shipping, and the European Union, or by individual countries or charterers and actions taken by regulatory authorities overseeing such areas as safety and environmental compliance;

 

 

the ability of the Partnership to successfully install and operate exhaust gas cleaning systems (“EGCS” or “scrubbers”) on certain or all of our vessels;

 

 

the expected cost of, and our ability to comply with, governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards, including new environmental regulations and standards, as well as standard regulations imposed by our charterers applicable to our business;

 

 

the impact of heightened regulations and the actions of regulators and other government authorities, including anti-corruption laws and regulations, as well as sanctions and other governmental actions;

 

 

our anticipated general and administrative expenses and our costs and expenses under the management agreements and the administrative services agreement with our Managers, and for reimbursement for fees and costs of our General Partner;

 

 

increases in costs and expenses, including but not limited to crew wages, insurance, provisions, spares, port expenses, lubricating oil, bunkers, repairs, maintenance and general and administrative expenses;

 

 

the adequacy of our insurance arrangements and our ability to obtain insurance and required certifications;

 

 

the impact of heightened environmental and quality concerns of insurance underwriters and charterers;

 

 

the anticipated taxation of our partnership and distributions to our common unitholders;

 

 

the ability of our General Partner to retain its officers and the ability of our Managers to retain key employees;

 

 

our General Partner’s and Managers’ track records, and past and future performance, in safety, environmental and regulatory matters;

 

 

potential liability and costs due to environmental, safety and other incidents involving our vessels;

 

 

expected financial flexibility to pursue acquisitions and other expansion opportunities; and

 

 

anticipated funds for liquidity needs and the sufficiency of cash flows.

These and other forward-looking statements are made based upon management’s current plans, expectations, estimates, assumptions and beliefs concerning future events impacting us and, therefore, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including those risks discussed in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” below. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions involve known and unknown risks and are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. We caution that forward-looking statements are not guarantees and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.

Unless required by law, we expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statement or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of these factors. Further, we cannot assess the impact of each such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to be materially different from those contained in any forward-looking statement. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures included in this Annual Report and in our other filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) that attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, prospects and results of operations.

 

 

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PART I

 

Item 1.

Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors.

Not Applicable.

 

Item 2.

Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable.

Not Applicable.

 

Item 3.

Key Information.

 

  A.

Selected Financial Data

We have derived the following selected historical financial data for the three years ended December 31, 2019, and as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, from our Financial Statements. The historical financial data presented for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 and as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 have been derived from audited financial statements not included in this Annual Report retroactively adjusted to present the results of operations and cash flows of the Tanker Business and assets and liabilities that were part of the DSS Transaction as discontinued, and are provided for comparison purposes only.

Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. A variety of factors affect our results of operations from time to time, including among other things, the average number of vessels in our fleet, prevailing charter rates, management and administrative services fees, as well as the financing arrangements we enter into from time to time.

The below table should be read together with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the Financial Statements. In addition, the below table should be read together with the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split” and the section entitled “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results.”

Our Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) as described in Note 2 (Significant Accounting Policies) to the Financial Statements. All numbers are in thousands of U.S. Dollars, except numbers of units and earnings per unit.

All unit and per unit amounts presented throughout this Annual Report have been retrospectively restated to reflect the March 2019 Reverse Split.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Income Statement Data from continuing operations:

          

Revenues

   $      108,374     $      116,894     $      106,696     $      104,337     $      88,986  

Revenues – related party

     —         701       9,976       9,344       12,199  

Total revenues

     108,374       117,595       116,672       113,681       101,185  

Expenses:

          

Voyage expenses (1)

     2,930       9,113       4,667       3,352       3,293  

Vessel operating expenses (2)

     26,632       26,427       27,398       28,311       24,328  

Vessel operating expenses – related party (2)

     3,917       4,221       4,466       4,330       3,598  

General and administrative expenses

     5,502       5,713       6,236       6,253       6,586  

Vessel depreciation and amortization

     29,261       32,813       35,979       35,082       27,555  

Impairment of vessel

     —         28,805       3,282       —         —    

Total operating expenses

     68,242       107,092       82,028       77,328       65,360  

Operating income

     40,132       10,503       34,644       36,353       35,825  

Interest expense and finance costs

     (17,036     (18,964     (19,963     (18,589     (15,657

Other income

     1,325       850       1,114       986       1,671  

 

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     Year ended December 31,  
     2019     2018     2017     2016     2015  

Partnership’s net income / (loss) from continuing operations

   $ 24,421     $ (7,611   $ 15,795     $ 18,750     $ 21,839  

Class B Unitholders’ interest in our net income from continuing operations (13)

     2,652       11,101       11,101       11,101       11,334  

Deemed dividend to Class B Unitholders (13)

     9,119       —         —         —         —    

General partner’s interest in our net income / (loss) from continuing operations

     236       (352     86       150       210  

Common unitholders’ interest in our net income / (loss) from continuing operations

     12,414       (18,360     4,608       7,499       10,295  

Net income / (loss) from continuing operations allocable to limited partner per:

          

Common unit basic and diluted

     0.68       (1.01     0.26       0.44       0.63  

Weighted–average units outstanding basic and diluted:

          

Common units

     18,178,144       18,100,455       17,692,192       17,114,761       16,432,983  

Balance Sheet Data (at end of the year):

          

Fixed assets (4)(5)(8)(11)

   $ 576,891     $ 586,100     $ 657,688     $ 723,906     $ 686,526  

Total assets from continuing operations(4)(5)(8)(11)

     703,462       707,079       844,281       938,478       893,807  

Total assets from discontinued operations(4)(5)(9)(10)(12)

     —         678,166       621,935       660,127       662,068  

Total long-term liabilities from continuing operations (3)(4)(5)(7)(8)(11)

     231,989       254,028       301,780       432,606       424,364  

Total long-term liabilities from discontinued operations (3)(4)(5)(7)(9)(10)(12)

     —         134,744       107,960       146,046       132,445  

Total partners’ capital (3)(4)(5)(6)(9)(10)(12)

     406,737       881,314       933,405       927,757       937,820  

Number of units

     18,526,670       31,510,003       31,510,003       30,773,993       30,533,254  

Common units

     18,178,100       18,178,100       18,178,100       17,442,090       17,201,351  

Class B units

     —         12,983,333       12,983,333       12,983,333       12,983,333  

General Partner units

     348,570       348,570       348,570       348,570       348,570  

Dividends declared per common unit

   $ 1.26     $ 2.24     $ 2.24     $ 3.24     $ 6.59  

Dividends declared / paid per class B unit

   $ 0.42     $ 0.86     $ 0.86     $ 0.86     $ 0.87  

Cash Flow Data:

          

Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations

     45,277       60,178       65,928       86,928       66,100  

Net cash (used in) / provided by investing activities of continuing operations

     (6,519     37,361       (1,679     (74,502     (147,344

Net cash (used in) / provided by financing activities of continuing operations

     (179,142     (107,955     (136,329     (51,013     3,586  

 

(1)

Voyage expenses primarily consist of commissions, port expenses, canal dues and bunkers.

(2)

Vessel operating expenses consist of management fees payable to our Managers and actual operating expenses, such as crewing, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, spares, lubricants and other operating expenses incurred in respect of our vessels.

(3)

In April 2015, we completed an equity offering of 2,079,286 common units, including 157,143 common units sold to Capital Maritime, at a net price of $66.71 per common unit, and received net proceeds before expenses of $133.3 million. The net proceeds were used to partially prepay outstanding loans and related fees and expenses and for general partnership purposes.

(4)

On March 31, June 10, June 30 and September 18, 2015, we acquired the shares of the companies owning four vessels, namely the M/T Active, the M/V Akadimos (renamed the “CMA CGM Amazon”), the M/T Amadeus and the M/V Adonis (renamed the “CMA CGM Uruguay”) for total consideration of $230.0 million, which was funded by bank loans for a total of $115.0 million and cash on hand. The M/T Active and M/T Amadeus were part of the Tanker Business spun-off in March 2019.

 

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(5)

On February 26, 2016, we acquired from Capital Maritime the shares of the company owning the M/V Anaxagoras (renamed the “CMA CGM Magdalena”). We funded the acquisition with the proceeds of bank loans and available cash. On October 24, 2016, we acquired from Capital Maritime the shares of the company owning the M/T Amor, an eco-type MR product tanker, for total consideration of $16.9 million consisting of $16.0 million in cash and the issuance of 40,528 new common units to Capital Maritime, reflecting the fair value of the vessel of $31.6 million and the fair value of the time charter attached to the vessel of $1.1 million, less the assumption of a $15.8 million term loan under a credit facility previously arranged by Capital Maritime with ING Bank N.V. (the “2015 credit facility”). The M/T Amor was part of the Tanker Business spun-off in March 2019.

(6)

In September 2016, we entered into an equity distribution agreement with UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) contemplating the offering from time to time, through UBS, as our sales agent, of new common units having an aggregate offering amount of up to $50.0 million (the “ATM offering”). During the period between the launch of the ATM offering and December 31, 2016, we issued 0.2 million new common units in total translating into net proceeds of $4.5 million after payment of sales agent commission but before offering expenses. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we issued 0.7 million new common units in total translating into net proceeds of $17.8 million after payment of sales agent commission but before offering expenses.

(7)

On September 6, 2017, we entered into a loan agreement for a new senior secured term loan facility (the “2017 credit facility”) for an aggregate principal amount of up to $460.0 million. On October 2, 2017, we repaid $14.0 million outstanding under a former credit facility through available cash. On October 4, 2017, we drew the full amount of $460.0 million under the 2017 credit facility and, together with available cash of $102.2 million, fully repaid total indebtedness of $562.2 million. In connection with the DSS Transaction, on March 27, 2019, we amended the 2017 credit facility and prepaid an amount of $89.3 million thereunder. See also “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings.”

(8)

On December 22, 2017, we entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with an unrelated party for the disposal of the M/T Aristotelis at a price of $29.4 million. In connection with the sale, we recognized an impairment charge of $3.3 million in the consolidated statement of comprehensive (loss)/income for the year ended December 31, 2017, reducing the vessel’s carrying value to $28.9 million. We delivered the vessel to its buyer on April 25, 2018 and prepaid $14.4 million under the 2017 credit facility.

(9)

On January 17, 2018, we entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with Capital Maritime for the purchase of the shares of the company owning the M/T Aristaios for total consideration of $52.5 million comprised of $24.2 million in cash and the assumption of a bank loan in the amount of $28.3 million. The M/T Aristaios was part of the Tanker Business spun-off in March 2019.

(10)

On May 4, 2018, we acquired the shares of the company owning the M/T Anikitos for total consideration of $31.5 million comprised of $15.9 million in cash and the assumption of a bank loan in the amount of $15.6 million. The M/T Anikitos was part of the Tanker Business spun-off in March 2019.

(11)

On September 11, 2018, we entered into an agreement with an unaffiliated third party for the disposal of the M/T Amore Mio II at a price of $11.2 million. In this connection, we recognized an impairment charge of $28.8 million in the consolidated statement of comprehensive (loss)/income for the year ended December 31, 2018, reducing the vessel’s carrying value to $10.9 million. We delivered the vessel to its buyer on October 15, 2018 and prepaid $5.9 million under the 2017 credit facility.

(12)

On March 27, 2019, we completed the DSS Transaction, pursuant to which we completed the sale of our Tanker Business to DSS for a total consideration of $319.7 million. In connection with the DSS Transaction, we repaid an aggregate of $146.5 million of our debt, plus accrued interest and breakage costs. In addition, we redeemed and retired all outstanding Class B Units at 100% par value for an aggregate redemption price of $119.5 million which includes accrued dividends of $2.7 million. See “The DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split.”

(13)

On March 27, 2019, we redeemed and retired the Class B Units at 100% of par value for an aggregate redemption price of $119.5. The redemption price includes $107.7 million representing the book value of the Class B Units redeemed net of issuance costs, $9.1 million representing the difference between the book value of the Class B Units redeemed net of issuance costs and the par value (the “deemed divided”) and $2.7 million representing dividends accrued and payable to Class B unitholders as of the redemption date.

 

  B.

Capitalization and Indebtedness.

Not applicable.

 

  C.

Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds.

Not applicable.

 

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  D.

Risk Factors

An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk.

Some of the risks described below relate to the industry and the countries in which we operate as of the date of this Annual Report. Please read the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split” and “Item 4. Information on the Partnership” for information on the current scope of our operations. While we currently own 14 vessels consisting of 13 neo-panamax container vessels and one drybulk vessel, we may in the future re-enter the tanker market or enter into new markets. If that happens, we will be exposed to additional risks.

Furthermore, we are organized as limited partnership under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Although many of the risks relating to our business and operations are comparable to those a corporation engaged in a similar business would face, limited partner interests are inherently different from the capital stock of a corporation and involve additional risks.

If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flow could be materially adversely affected. If that happens, we might not be able to pay distributions on our common units, the trading price of our common units could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.

The risks described below include forward-looking statements and our actual results may differ substantially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements. For more information, please read “Forward Looking Statements” above.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDUSTRY

We are exposed to various risks in the ocean-going container and drybulk shipping industries, which are cyclical and volatile.

The ocean-going container shipping industry is both cyclical and volatile in terms of charter rates and profitability and demand for our vessels depends on a range of factors, including demand for the shipment of cargoes in containers. While containership charter rates peaked in 2005, they have not fully recovered from the negative demand shock in the years 2008 and 2009. During 2018 and 2019, charter rates for container vessels partially recovered with most of the improvement in the neo-panamax segment.

Since the second half of 2011, liner companies have experienced a substantial downturn in container shipping activity, resulting in depressed average freight rates, which has caused financial distress at a number of liner companies, including our charterers, and which could further impact them. In a number of instances, charterers have not performed under, or have requested modifications of, existing time charters.

Containership charter rates depend upon a range of factors, including changes in the supply and demand for ship capacity and changes in the supply and demand for major products transported by containerships. During 2019, demand growth in global trade has slowed down. In 2018, growth stood at 4.3%, while in 2019 growth decreased to 1.8%. The percentage of the worldwide fleet remaining idle reached 7.0% at the end of 2016 and gradually reduced to 2.0% as of the end of 2017. As of the end of 2019, the percentage of the container fleet remaining idle has increased to 6%.

Furthermore, the decline in the containership market has adversely affected the value of container vessels, which follow the trends of freight rates and containership charter rates, and resulted in a less active secondhand market for the sale of vessels.

The drybulk shipping industry is cyclical with attendant volatility in charter rates, vessel values and profitability, with wide disparities across different classes of drybulk carriers.

After reaching historical highs in mid-2008, charter hire rates for drybulk carriers, such as our vessel the M/V Cape Agamemnon, have declined significantly and reached historically low levels in 2016. Capesize charter rates remained below historical averages in 2019. The M/V Cape Agamemnon is currently deployed on a period time charter until June 2020. In the future, we may be forced to re-charter the M/V Cape Agamemnon under short-term time charters, and may be exposed to changes in the spot market and short-term charter rates for capesize drybulk carriers, all of which may affect our earnings and the value of the M/V Cape Agamemnon.

The factors affecting the supply and demand for products shipped in containers and for containerships and/or drybulk vessels are outside our control and the nature, timing, direction and degree of changes in industry conditions are difficult to predict. Some of the factors that influence demand for containerships and/or drybulk vessels include:

 

   

supply and demand, including consumer demand, for products suitable for shipping in containers and/or drybulk products;

 

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changes in global production of products transported by containerships and/or drybulk vessels;

 

   

seaborne and other transportation patterns, including the distances over which container and/or drybulk cargoes are transported and changes in such patterns and distances;

 

   

the globalization of manufacturing;

 

   

developments in international trade and in the market for exports of containerized goods from emerging markets, including China;

 

   

global and regional economic and political conditions;

 

   

developments in international trade including threats and/or imposition of trade tariffs, including as a result of recent events such as the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union;

 

   

economic growth in China, India and other emerging markets, including trends in the market for imports of raw materials to such markets;

 

   

the relocation of regional and global manufacturing facilities from Asian and emerging markets to developed economies in Europe and the United States;

 

   

environmental and other regulatory developments;

 

   

currency exchange rates;

 

   

weather; and

 

   

cost of bunkers.

Some of the factors that influence the supply of containerships and/or vessel capacity for drybulk carriers include the following:

 

   

the number of newbuild orders and deliveries, which among other factors depend upon the ability of shipyards to meet contracted delivery dates and the ability of purchasers to finance such new acquisition;

 

   

the extent of newbuild vessel deferrals;

 

   

the scrapping rate of containerships and/or drybulk vessels;

 

   

newbuild prices and containership owner access to capital to finance the construction of newbuilds;

 

   

charter rates and the price of steel and other raw materials;

 

   

changes in environmental and other regulations and standards that may limit the profitability, operations or useful life of vessels;

 

   

the number of containerships that are slow-steaming or extra slow-steaming to conserve fuel;

 

   

the number of containerships and/or drybulk vessels that are off-charter, including the number of vessels that are being retrofitted with scrubbers and the number of vessels otherwise not in service (for example, as a result of vessel casualties);

 

   

port and canal congestion and closures; and

 

   

demand for fleet renewal.

If the charter market is depressed when time charters for our containerships expire, we may be forced to re-charter our containerships at reduced or even unprofitable rates, or we may not be able to re-charter them at all, which may reduce or eliminate our earnings or make our earnings volatile and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

We currently anticipate that the future demand for the M/V Cape Agamemnon following completion of its charter and, in turn, drybulk charter rates, will be dependent, among other things, upon the rate of economic growth in the global economy, including the world’s developing economies, such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, seasonal and regional changes in demand, changes in the

 

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capacity of the global drybulk vessel fleet and the sources and supply of drybulk cargo to be transported by sea. A decline in demand for commodities transported in drybulk vessels or an increase in supply of drybulk vessels could cause a significant decline in charter rates, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or repay our debt.

An oversupply of containership capacity may prolong or depress current charter rates and adversely affect our ability to re-charter our existing containerships at profitable rates or at all.

From 2005 through the first quarter of 2010, the size of the containership order-book was at historically high levels. Although the container order-book declined compared to previous years, it still represented 10.6% of the existing worldwide fleet as at the end of January 2020. Deliveries of vessels ordered will significantly increase the size of the container fleet over the next two to three years.

An oversupply of newbuild vessels or re-chartered or idle containership capacity entering the market, combined with any decline in the demand for containerships, may depress charter rates and may decrease our ability to re-charter our containerships other than for reduced rates or unprofitable rates or to re-charter our containerships at all, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

A decrease in the level of export and import of goods, in particular from and to Asia, as a result of trade protectionism, economic sanctions or other factors affecting global markets, could affect demand for shipping, resulting in a material adverse impact on our charterers’ business and, in turn, a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Our operations expose us to the risk that increased trade protectionism, trade embargoes or other economic sanctions or other factors affecting global markets 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.

The United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union on January 31, 2020, could affect the demand for global shipping. The relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union going forward remains uncertain, as the United Kingdom and the European Union have entered into a transition period, ending December 31, 2020, to provide time for them to negotiate the details of their future relationship. There continues to be significant uncertainty about the terms under which the United Kingdom will continue to trade with the European Union after the end of the transition period and how such terms will affect international trade. In particular, there is currently no clarity on the trading arrangements with the European Union and other countries that will apply with respect to the United Kingdom after the transition period. If the transition period terminates without a trade agreement in place, the United Kingdom will lose access to trade agreements with the European Union and other countries, which will require the United Kingdom to negotiate new trade agreements with countries all around the world and may result in the imposition of tariffs on trade between the United Kingdom and other countries until such agreements are negotiated.

In the United States, the current administration has created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United States and other exporting countries, including with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs. The current U.S. administration has stated that it is seeking more favorable terms in its dealings with its trade partners and that it may resort to aggressive tactics, such as the imposition of punitive tariffs, in order to achieve these goals. In addition, the announcement of unilateral tariffs on imported products by the United States has triggered retaliatory actions from certain foreign governments and may trigger retaliatory actions by others, potentially resulting in a “trade war.”

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.

Increasing trade protectionism may cause an increase in (i) the cost of goods exported from regions globally, particularly the Asia-Pacific region, (ii) the length of time required to transport goods and (iii) the risks associated with exporting goods. Such increases may further reduce the quantity of goods to be shipped, shipping time schedules, voyage costs and other associated costs which may adversely affect the business of our charterers. 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, which may in turn affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us.

 

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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.

Recently, China is experiencing the outbreak of a coronavirus which has already infected thousands of people, based on the latest report of the World Health Organization. No fully effective vaccines or treatments have been developed yet and effective vaccines or treatments may not be discovered in time to protect against a further spread of the virus in China, Asia or worldwide. As a result of the spread of the coronavirus, several countries have imposed quarantine checks on arriving vessels, which have caused delays in loading and delivery of cargoes and it has been reported that several charterers have invoked force majeure clauses as a result. In addition, the measures taken by the Chinese government in response to the outbreak, which included numerous factory closures and restrictions on travel, as well as potential labor shortages resulting from the outbreak, are expected to slow down production in China and in other regions relying on Chinese production or raw materials, and decrease the level of export and import of goods from such regions. The outbreak of the coronavirus has also caused shortages of labor at Chinese shipyards as well as delays in shipments of spares, and limited the ability of service engineers to attend vessels currently docked or berthed at Chinese shipyards. As a result, the outbreak might severely delay the completion of works of vessels in such shipyards including our two vessels currently passing their special survey and/or retrofitting scrubbers at shipyards in the region. Overall, it is too early to assess the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global markets, and particularly on the shipping industry. However the spread of the coronavirus has already added, and could continue to add pressure to shipping freight rates and, as a result, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

The business of our charterers could also be harmed by trade embargoes or other economic sanctions by the United States or other countries against countries in the Middle East, Asia, Russia or elsewhere as a result of terrorist attacks, hostilities or diplomatic or political pressures that limit trading activities with those countries.

Any new or increased trade barriers, trade embargoes 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 flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Containership values have been volatile over the last five years. The market values of drybulk vessels have declined. Containership values may decrease and over time may fluctuate substantially and drybulk vessel values may further decline, which may cause us to recognize losses if we sell our container vessels or the M/V Cape Agamemnon, or record impairments and affect our ability to comply with our loan covenants or refinance our debt.

The market values of drybulk vessels have generally experienced high volatility. Containership and drybulk vessel values can fluctuate substantially over time due to a number of different factors, including:

 

   

prevailing economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry;

 

   

reduced demand for vessels, including as a result of a substantial or extended decline in world trade;

 

   

supply of vessels and capacity;

 

   

types, sizes and ages of vessels;

 

   

prevailing charter rates, the need to upgrade vessels as a result of charterer requirements and the cost of retrofitting or modifying existing ships to respond to technological advances in vessel design or equipment;

 

   

changes in applicable environmental or other regulations or standards, including regulations or standards which relate to the reduction of greenhouse emissions;

 

   

prevailing newbuild prices for similar vessels;

 

   

prevailing demolition prices for similar vessels;

 

   

availability of capital for investment in vessels, including ship finance and public equity;

 

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supply of containerships in the market for sale, including mass disposals of containerships controlled by financing institutions, “fire sales” of vessels by some of our competitors or other fleet-owners that may be in distress, or commercial banks foreclosing on collateral from time to time; and

 

   

competition from other shipping companies and the availability of other modes of transportation.

If the market values of our vessels deteriorate, we may be required to record an impairment charge in our financial statements. Furthermore, if a charter expires or is terminated, we may be unable to re-charter the vessel at an acceptable rate and, rather than continue to incur costs to maintain the vessel, we may seek to dispose of it. Our inability to dispose of one or more of our vessels at a reasonable price however could result in a loss. A decline in the market value of our vessels could also lead to a default under our financing arrangements and limit our ability to obtain additional financing and service or refinance our debt. If any of these circumstances were to happen, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make distributions may be materially and adversely affected.

Our growth and our ability to re-charter our containerships depend on, among other things, our ability to expand relationships with existing charterers and develop relationships with new charterers, for which we will face substantial competition.

The process of obtaining new long-term time charters on containerships is highly competitive, generally involves an intensive screening process and competitive bids, and often extends for several months.

Containership charters are awarded based upon a variety of factors related to the vessel owner, including, among other things:

 

   

shipping industry relationships and reputation for charterer service and safety;

 

   

container shipping experience and quality of vessel operations, including cost effectiveness;

 

   

quality and experience of seafaring crew;

 

   

the ability to finance containerships at competitive rates and the vessel owner’s financial stability generally;

 

   

relationships with shipyards and the ability to get suitable berths;

 

   

construction management experience, including the ability to obtain on-time delivery of new vessels according to charterers’ specifications;

 

   

willingness to accept operational risks under the charter, such as allowing termination of the charter for force majeure events; and

 

   

competitiveness of the bid in terms of overall price.

Competition for providing containerships for chartering purposes comes from a number of experienced shipping companies, including direct competition from other independent vessel owners and indirect competition from state-sponsored and other major entities with their own fleets. Some of our competitors have significantly greater financial resources than we do and can operate larger fleets and may be able to offer better charter rates. An increasing number of marine transportation companies have entered the containership sector, including many with strong reputations and extensive resources and experience in the marine transportation industry. This increased competition may cause greater price competition for time charters. As a result of these factors, we may be unable to expand our relationships with existing charterers or to develop relationships with new charterers on a profitable basis, if at all, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and to service or refinance our debt.

If a more active short-term or spot containership market develops, we may have more difficulty entering into medium- to long-term, fixed-rate time charters and our existing charterers may begin to pressure us to reduce our charter rates.

One of our principal strategies is to enter into medium- to long-term, fixed-rate time charters. As more containerships become available for the short-term or spot market, we may have difficulty entering into additional medium- to long-term, fixed-rate time charters for our vessels due to the increased supply of vessels and possibly lower rates in the spot market. As a result, our cash flows may be subject to instability in the long term. Currently, three of our container vessels are chartered for less than two years. A more active short-term or spot containership market may require us to enter into charters based on changing market prices, as opposed to contracts based on a fixed rate, which could result in a decrease in our cash flows in periods when the market price for vessels is depressed or us having insufficient funds to cover our financing costs for related vessels. In addition, the development of an active short-term or spot containership market could affect rates under our existing time charters as our current charterers may begin to pressure us to reduce our rates.

 

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A negative change in the economic conditions in Asia, especially in China, Japan or India, could reduce drybulk trade and demand, which would affect charter rates and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distribution and service or refinance our debt.

A significant number of the port calls made by Capesize bulk carriers involve the loading or discharging of raw materials in ports in Asia, particularly China, Japan and India. In past years, China and India have had two of the world’s fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product and have been the main force driving demand for drybulk vessels. If economic growth declines in China, Japan, India and other countries in Asia, we may face decreases in drybulk trade and demand. Moreover, slowdowns in the United States or the economies of the European Union, as occurred following the financial crisis, may adversely affect economic growth in China, Japan, India and other Asian countries. A negative change in economic conditions in any Asian country, particularly China, Japan or India, could reduce demand for Capesize bulk carriers and, as a result, charter rates, and affect our ability to re-charter the M/V Cape Agamemnon at a profitable rate or at all and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distribution and service or refinance our debt.

An oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity may lead to reductions in charter rates and profitability.

The number of drybulk vessels on order as of the start of February 2020 was estimated by market sources to be approximately 9.9% of the then-existing global drybulk fleet in dwt terms, with deliveries expected mainly during the next 24 months, although available data with regard to cancellations of existing newbuild orders or delays in newbuild deliveries are not always accurate or may not be readily available.

An oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity will likely result in protracted weakness in drybulk charter hire rates. Upon the expiration of the current charter period in June 2020, if we cannot enter into a new period time charter for the M/V Cape Agamemnon on acceptable terms, we may have to secure charters in the spot market, where charter rates are more volatile and revenues are, therefore, less predictable, or we may not be able to charter the vessel at all.

The international drybulk shipping industry is highly competitive, and with only one drybulk vessel in our fleet, we may not be able to compete successfully for charters with established companies with greater resources. As a result, we may not be able to successfully operate the vessel.

We employ the M/V Cape Agamemnon in the highly competitive drybulk market, which is capital intensive and highly fragmented. Competition arises primarily from other vessel owners, some of which have substantially larger fleets of drybulk vessels or greater resources than we currently have or will have in the future. Competition for the transportation of drybulk cargo by sea is intense and depends on price, charterer relationships, operating expertise, professional reputation and size, age, location and condition of the vessel. In this highly fragmented market, companies operating larger fleets, as well as competitors with greater resources, may be able to offer lower charter rates than ours, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to charter out the M/V Cape Agamemnon and, accordingly, its profitability.

The operation of drybulk vessels has certain unique operational risks, and failure to adequately maintain the M/V Cape Agamemnon could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make distributions and service or refinance our debt.

With a drybulk vessel, the cargo itself and its interaction with the vessel may create operational risks. By their nature, drybulk cargoes are often heavy, dense and easily shifted, and they may react badly to water exposure. In addition, drybulk vessels are often subjected to battering treatment during unloading operations with grabs, jackhammers (to pry encrusted cargoes out of the hold) and small bulldozers. This treatment may cause damage to the vessel. Vessels damaged due to treatment during unloading procedures may be more susceptible to breach while at sea. Breaches of a drybulk vessel’s hull may lead to the flooding of the vessel’s holds. If a drybulk vessel suffers flooding in its forward holds, the bulk cargo may become so dense and waterlogged that its pressure may buckle the vessel’s bulkheads, leading to the loss of a vessel. If we or Capital Ship Management do not adequately maintain the M/V Cape Agamemnon, we may be unable to prevent these events. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS

We may not be able to grow, or to effectively manage our growth.

We spun-off a significant part of our operations as part of the DSS Transaction, and our success depends on our ability to grow our business.

The growth of our business depends upon a variety of factors, some of which we cannot control. These factors include, among other things, our ability to:

 

   

capitalize on opportunities in the markets in which we operate by fixing period charters for our vessels at attractive rates;

 

   

obtain required financing and access to capital markets for new and existing operations;

 

   

identify additional new markets;

 

   

identify vessels and/or shipping companies for acquisitions;

 

   

complete accretive transactions;

 

   

integrate any acquired businesses or vessels successfully with existing operations;

 

   

hire, train and retain qualified personnel to manage, maintain and operate our business and fleet;

 

   

comply with existing and new regulations, such as those imposed by the IMO 2020 and the Ballast Water Management Convention; and

 

   

maintain our commercial and technical management agreements with our Managers or other competent managers.

We may not be able to acquire newly built or secondhand vessels on favorable terms, which could impede our growth and negatively impact our financial condition and ability to pay cash distributions. We may not be able to contract for newbuilds or locate suitable vessels or negotiate acceptable construction or purchase contracts with shipyards and owners, or obtain financing for such acquisitions on economically acceptable terms, or at all.

In view of the relative small size of our current operations, failure to effectively identify, purchase, develop, employ and integrate any vessels or businesses could negatively affect our competitiveness, business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Certain of our vessels are under time charters at rates that are at a substantial premium to the spot and period markets, and our charterers’ failure to perform under these time charters could result in a significant loss of expected future revenues and cash flows.

Our container vessels that are chartered to Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd. (“HMM”), Mediterranean Shipping Co. S,A. (“MSC”), Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft (“Hapag-Lloyd”) and CMA CGM are each currently employed under medium-to-long-term time charters. Similarly, the M/V Cape Agamemnon is currently under a time charter to COSCO Bulk Carrier Co. Ltd. (“COSCO”), a member of China COSCO Shipping (Group) Company (“COSCO Group”), which commenced in July 2010 with earliest expiry date of June 2020.

Given that the rates we charge to these charterers are in certain cases significantly higher than the current period rates, failure to perform by any of them could result in a significant loss of revenues, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operation, cash flows and our ability to maintain cash distributions and service or refinance our debt. We could lose these charterers or the benefits of the charters if, among other things:

 

   

the charterer is unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the charters, including the payment of the agreed rates in a timely manner;

 

   

the charterer faces, or continues to face, financial difficulties forcing it to declare bankruptcy, restructure its operations or default under the charters;

 

   

the charterer fails to make charter payments because of its financial inability or its inability to trade our and other vessels profitably or due to the occurrence of losses due to the weaker charter markets;

 

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the charterer fails to make charter payments due to distress, disagreements with us or otherwise;

 

   

the charterer seeks to renegotiate the terms of the charter agreements due to prevailing economic and market conditions or due to its continued poor performance;

 

   

the charterer exercises certain rights to terminate the charters;

 

   

the charterer terminates the charters because we fail to comply with the terms of the charters, the vessels are lost or damaged beyond repair, there are serious deficiencies in the vessels or prolonged periods of off-hire, or we default under the charters;

 

   

a prolonged force majeure event affecting the charterer, including war or political unrest, prevents us from performing services for that charterer; or

 

   

the charterer terminates the charters because we fail to comply with the safety and regulatory criteria of the charterer or the rules and regulations of various maritime organizations and bodies.

In the event we lose the benefit of the charters with HMM, CMA CGM,MSC, Hapag-Lloyd or COSCO prior to their respective expiration date, we would have to re-charter the vessels at the then prevailing charter rates. In such event, we may not be able to obtain competitive or profitable rates for these vessels or we may not be able to re-charter these vessels at all and our business, financial condition, results of operation, cash flows and ability to make distribution and service or refinance our debt may be materially and adversely affected.

If our charterers do not fulfill their obligations to us, or if they are unable to honor their obligations, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be adversely affected.

Many charterers, including liner companies, are highly leveraged. In recent years, a combination of factors, including, among other things, unavailability of credit, volatility in financial markets, overcapacity, competitive pressure, declines in world trade and depressed freight rates, have severely affected the financial condition of charterers, including liner companies, and their ability to make charter payments, which has resulted in a material increase in the credit and counterparty risks to which we are exposed and our ability to re-charter our vessels at competitive rates.

Furthermore, the surplus of vessels available at lower charter rates and lack of demand for our charterers’ services could negatively impact our charterers’ willingness to perform their obligations under our time charters that provide for charter rates above current market rates.

For example, HMM, the charterer of five of our container vessels, completed a financial restructuring in July 2016. In connection with this restructuring, we agreed a reduction of the charter rate payable to us of 20% to $23,480 per day (from a gross daily rate of $29,350) for a three and a half year period ended in December 2019. Furthermore, CMA-CGM, the charterer of three of our container vessels, was under financial stress in 2016, in part following its acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) and reported a $427.4 million net loss for the year ended December 31, 2016, and COSCO has faced financial difficulties in the past, and could face further financial strains in the future.

If one of our charterers defaults on our time charters for any reason, we may be unable to redeploy the vessel previously employed by such charterer on similarly favorable or competitive terms or at all. Also, we will incur expenses to maintain and insure the vessel but will not receive any revenue if a vessel remains idle before being re-chartered.

A number of our charterers are private companies and we may have limited access to their financial affairs, which may result in us having limited information on their financial strength and ability to meet their financial obligations.

A failure of our charterers to comply with the terms of their respective charters, and our inability to replace such charters at minimum charter rates and maintain minimum financial ratios may result in an event of default under our financing arrangements. The loss of our charterers or a decline in payments under our time charters could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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We currently derive all of our revenues from a limited number of charterers and the loss of any charterer or charter or vessel could result in a significant loss of revenues and cash flows.

We have derived, and expect that we will continue to derive, all of our revenues and cash flows from a limited number of charterers. For the year ended December 31, 2019, after giving effect to the DSS Transaction, our charterers who individually accounted for more than 10% of total revenues were HMM and CMA CGM, who accounted for 40% and 39% of our revenues, respectively.

We could lose a charterer, including charterers who individually account for more than 10% of our total revenues or the benefits of some or all of our charters, including in circumstances described in “—Our vessels are under time charters at rates that are at a substantial premium to the spot and period markets, and our charterers’ failure to perform under our time charters could result in a significant loss of expected future revenues and cash flows.

We depend on our Managers, which are privately held companies for the commercial and technical management of our fleet. If, for any reason, our Managers are unable to provide us with the necessary level of services to support and expand our business or qualify for long-term charters, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

Our Managers, Capital Ship Management and Capital-Executive are privately held companies. Neither Capital Ship Management nor Capital-Executive is part of the group of companies controlled by Capital Maritime and, accordingly, neither benefits from the financial and operational support of Capital Maritime as parent company.

Under the arrangements we have with our Managers, they provide us with significant commercial and technical management services, including the commercial and technical management for all our vessels, class certifications, vessel maintenance, crewing, procurement, insurance and shipyard supervision, as well as administrative, financial and other support services. Please read “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Our Management Agreements.” Accordingly, our operational success and ability to execute our growth strategy depend significantly upon our Managers’ satisfactory performance of these services.

Furthermore, our success in securing new charters and expanding our relationships with charterers depend largely on our Managers’ reputation, relationships in the shipping industry and ability to qualify for long-term business with major charterers.

If our Managers’ reputation or industry relationships are harmed, justifiably or not, or if our Managers do not perform satisfactorily under our management agreements, our ability to renew existing charters upon their expiration, obtain new charters, successfully interact with shipyards during periods of shipyard construction constraints, obtain financing on commercially acceptable terms, access capital markets, or maintain satisfactory relationships with suppliers and other third parties may be materially affected.

If any of the above risks were to happen, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

The fees and expenses we pay to our Managers for services provided to us are substantial, fluctuate, cannot be easily predicted and may reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

In the light of the floating fee structure of our management agreements, any increase in the costs and expenses associated with the provision of our Managers’ services, by reason, for example, of the condition and age of our vessels, costs of crews for our time chartered vessels and insurance, will be borne by us.

Expenses incurred to manage our fleet depend upon a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our or our Managers’ control. Some of these costs, primarily relating to crewing, insurance and enhanced security measures, have increased in the past and may continue to increase in the future. Rises in any of these costs, to the extent charged to us, will reduce our earnings, cash flows and the amount of cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

Fees charged by our Managers and compensation for expenses and liabilities incurred on our behalf, as well as the costs associated with future drydockings or intermediate surveys on our vessels, can be significant. Accordingly, these fees and expenses may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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We depend on our General Partner, a private company under the ownership of Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, for the day-to-day management of our affairs. The change of ownership of our General Partner may affect the way we and our operations are managed and our relationships with our charterers and other counterparties.

Our General Partner, Capital GP L.L.C., is a privately held company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime. In April 2019, Capital Maritime transferred all membership interests in our General Partner to Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis. Please read “—Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us—The control of our General Partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.” Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, born in 1999, is the son of Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis. Although not engaged in day-to-day management, Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis holds and oversees certain shipping interests on behalf of the Marinakis family.

To date, our board of directors has not exercised its power to appoint officers of the Partnership. As a result, we rely, and expect to continue to rely, solely on the officers of our General Partner. Please read “—Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us—We currently do not have any officers and rely, and expect to continue to rely, solely on officers of our General Partner, who face conflicts in the allocation of their time to our business.” Accordingly, the proper management of our business depends significantly upon our General Partner.

There can be no assurance that the change of ownership will not affect the way we and our operations are managed. In addition, if the reputation, industry relationships or standing in the market of the General Partner and, in turn, the Partnership are harmed, justifiably or not, or if our General Partner fails to properly manage our affairs, our ability to secure new charters, interact with counterparties, obtain financing on commercially acceptable terms, access capital markets, or maintain satisfactory relationships with suppliers and other third parties may be materially affected.

If any of the above risks were to happen, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

Our vessels’ present and future employment could be adversely affected by an inability to clear charterers’ risk assessment process.

Shipping has been, and will remain, heavily regulated. Concerns for the environment have led charterers to develop and implement a strict ongoing due diligence process when selecting their commercial partners. This vetting process has evolved into a sophisticated and comprehensive risk assessment of both the vessel operator and the vessel, including physical ship inspections, completion of vessel inspection questionnaires performed by accredited inspectors and the production of comprehensive risk assessment reports. In the case of term charter relationships, in addition to factors discussed under “—Our growth and our ability to re-charter our containerships depend on, among other things, our ability to expand relationships with existing charterers and develop relationships with new charterers, for which we will face substantial competition the following factors may be considered when awarding such contracts, including:

 

   

office assessments and audits of the vessel operator;

 

   

the operator’s environmental, health and safety record;

 

   

compliance with the standards of the International Maritime Organization;

 

   

compliance with heightened industry standards;

 

   

shipping industry relationships, reputation for customer service, technical and operating expertise; and

 

   

compliance with the charterer’s codes of conduct, policies and guidelines, including transparency, anti-bribery and ethical conduct requirements and relationships with third parties.

Should either Capital Maritime or our Managers not continue to successfully clear major charterers’ risk assessment processes on an ongoing basis, our vessels’ present and future employment, as well as our relationship with our existing charterers and our ability to obtain new charterers, whether medium- or long-term, could be adversely affected. Such a situation may lead to major charterers’ terminating existing charters and refusing to use our vessels in the future, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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As our vessels come up for their scheduled drydockings or for the installation of ballast water treatment systems (“BWTS”) or scrubbers, the number of off-hire days of our fleet will increase and we will incur expenses related to the drydockings and, as a result, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders may decrease.

As of the date of this Annual Report, five of our vessels have been retrofitted with scrubbers, one has been retrofitted with a BWTS, while one is currently being retrofitted with a scrubber and one is being retrofitted with both a scrubber and a BWTS. We expect that one additional vessel will be retrofitted with a BWTS during 2020. We may decide to retrofit the rest of our fleet with scrubbers and BWTS in 2020 and/or 2021, subject to market developments and shipyard availability. In particular, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, delays in installation works as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreak. The installation of scrubber equipment requires the vessel to be drydocked and incur off-hire days. We estimate that the installation of a scrubber (without any unforeseen delays such as those caused by the coronavirus outbreak) requires 40 to 75 off-hire days per vessel. Certain of our charters, such as those with HMM, may limit the maximum amount of off-hire days per vessel for scrubber installation irrespective of the actual retrofit period.

In addition to the installation of scrubbers or other equipment, such as BWTS, we may decide to put a vessel into drydock before the scheduled drydocking date in anticipation of regulatory changes, opportunities in the charter market or if we deem that, due to the location of the vessel, it will be less costly to put the vessel into drydock at the time.

Once one of our vessels is drydocked, it is automatically considered to be off-hire for the duration of the special or intermediate survey or drydocking, which means that for such period of time that vessel will not be earning any revenues. During that period, we however may incur, or may be required to reimburse our applicable Manager for, on-going operating expenses or other expenses related to the drydock. Accordingly, drydocking may materially affect our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

If our vessels suffer damage due to the inherent operational risks of the shipping industry, we may experience unexpected drydocking costs and delays or total loss of our vessels, which may adversely affect our business and financial condition.

Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as marine disasters, bad weather, business interruptions caused by mechanical failures, grounding, fire, explosions and collisions, human error, war, terrorism, piracy and other circumstances or events.

If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs are unpredictable and may be substantial. We may have to pay drydocking costs that our insurance does not cover in full. The loss of earnings while these vessels are being repaired and repositioned, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, may adversely affect our business and financial condition. In addition, space at drydocking facilities is sometimes limited and not all drydocking facilities are conveniently located. We may be unable to find space at a suitable drydocking facility or our vessels may be forced to travel to a drydocking facility that is not conveniently located to our vessels’ positions. The loss of earnings while these vessels are forced to wait for space or to travel to more distant drydocking facilities may adversely affect our business and financial condition. In cases, where the unexpected off-hire period exceeds the maximum allowed under the respective charter party, the charterer may elect to terminate the charter party. Furthermore, the total loss of any of our vessels could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator. If we are unable to adequately maintain or safeguard our vessels, we may be unable to prevent any such damage, costs or loss, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

As our fleet ages, the risks associated with older vessels could adversely affect our ability to obtain profitable charters, comply with debt covenants or raise financing. In addition, if we purchase and operate second hand vessels, we will be exposed to increased operating costs, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

Our fleet of 14 vessels (including the three neo-panamax container vessels acquired in January 2020) had an average age of approximately 7.8 years as at January 31, 2020, although two of our container vessels were built in 2006 and 2007 and our drybulk vessel was built in 2010. See “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Our Fleet.”

In general, the costs of maintaining a vessel in good operating condition increase with the age of the vessel. Older vessels are typically less fuel efficient than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. In addition, cargo insurance rates increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers. Older vessels might also require higher capital expenditure to comply with regulations that came into force after their construction and their values might depreciate faster than more modern vessels. As a result, an ageing fleet might affect our ability to remain in compliance with debt covenants and/or raise financing.

In particular, six of our vessels are not “eco-type” designs. Recent orders of container and drybulk vessels are based on new designs purporting to offer material bunker savings compared to older designs and greater carrying capacity. Such savings could result in a substantial reduction of bunker cost for charterers on a per unit basis. As the supply of “eco-type” vessels increases, if

 

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charterers prefer such vessels over our vessels that are not classified as such, this may reduce demand for our non-“eco-type” vessels, impair our ability to re-charter such vessels at competitive rates or at all. This could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service our debt.

If we purchase secondhand vessels, we will not have the same knowledge about their condition as the knowledge we have about the condition of the vessels that were built for and operated solely by us. Generally, we will not receive the benefit of warranties from the builder for any secondhand vessel that we may acquire.

Marine transportation is inherently risky, and an incident involving significant loss of, or environmental contamination by, any of our vessels could harm our reputation and business.

Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as:

 

   

marine disasters;

 

   

bad weather;

 

   

mechanical failures;

 

   

grounding, fire, explosions and collisions;

 

   

piracy;

 

   

human error; and

 

   

war and terrorism.

An accident involving any of our vessels could result in any of the following:

 

   

environmental damage;

 

   

death or injury to persons, or loss of property;

 

   

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 results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and ability to make cash distributions and to service or refinance our debt.

Our insurance may be insufficient to cover losses that may occur to our property or result from our commercial operations.

The operation of ocean-going vessels in international trade is inherently risky. Not all risks can be adequately insured against, and any particular claim upon our insurance may not be paid for any number of reasons. We do not currently maintain off-hire insurance covering loss of revenue during extended vessel off-hire periods such as may occur while a vessel is under repair. Accordingly, any extended vessel off-hire due to an accident or otherwise could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and ability to make cash distributions and to service or refinance our debt. Claims covered by insurance are subject to deductibles and since it is possible that a large number of claims may arise, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material.

We may be unable to procure adequate insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates in the future. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have led in the past to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. A catastrophic marine disaster could exceed our insurance coverage. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt. In addition, our insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain of our actions, such as our ships failing to maintain certification with applicable maritime self-regulatory organizations.

 

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Changes in the insurance markets attributable to terrorist attacks may also make certain types of insurance more difficult for us to obtain. In addition, the insurance that may be available to us may be significantly more expensive than our existing coverage.

We will be subject to funding calls by our protection and indemnity associations, and our associations may not have enough resources to cover claims made against them, resulting in potential unbudgeted supplementary liability to fund claims made upon them and unbudgeted cash-calls made upon us by the associations.

Cover for third party liability incurred in consequence of commercial operations is provided through membership in P&I Associations. P&I Associations are mutual insurance associations whose members must contribute proportionately to cover losses sustained by all the association’s members who remain subject to calls for additional funds if the aggregate premiums are insufficient to cover claims submitted to the association. Claims submitted to the associations include those incurred by its members but also claims submitted by other P&I Associations under claims pooling agreements. The P&I Associations to which we belong may not remain viable, and we may become subject to additional funding calls which could adversely affect us.

The crew employment agreements that manning agents enter into on behalf of our Managers, may not prevent labor interruptions, and the failure to renegotiate these agreements or to successfully attract and retain qualified personnel in the future may disrupt our operations and adversely affect our cash flows.

The collective bargaining agreement between our Managers and the Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation, effective August 1, 2019, expires on July 31, 2020. This collective bargaining agreement may not prevent labor interruptions and it is subject to renegotiation in the future. Although we believe that our relations with our employees are satisfactory, no assurance can be given that we will be able to successfully extend or renegotiate our collective bargaining agreement when it expires. If we fail to extend or renegotiate our collective bargaining agreement, if disputes with our union arise, or if our unionized workers engage in a strike or other work stoppage or interruption, we could experience a significant disruption of our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Also, our success depends in part on our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel. In crewing our vessels, we employ certain employees with specialized training who can perform physically demanding work. Competition to attract and retain qualified crew members is intense. If we are not able to attract and retain qualified personnel, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Arrests of our vessels by maritime claimants could cause a significant loss of earnings for the related off-hire period.

Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against a vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In certain cases, maritime claimants may be entitled to a maritime lien against a vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages of its manager. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lienholder may enforce its lien by “arresting” or “attaching” a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. In addition, in jurisdictions where the “sister ship” theory of liability applies, a claimant may arrest 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. In countries with “sister ship” liability laws, claims might be asserted against us or any of our vessels for liabilities of other vessels that we own. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could result in significant costs of discharging the maritime lien, loss of earnings for the related off-hire period and other expenses and negatively affect our reputation, which could negatively affect the market for our common units and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, resulting in loss of earnings.

The government of a vessel’s registry could requisition for title or seize our vessels. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes the owner. A government could also requisition our vessels for hire. Requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel 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 could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels have continued and 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, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and the Red Sea. Although the frequency of sea piracy worldwide has decreased in recent years, sea piracy incidents continue to occur, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and increasingly in the Gulf of Guinea.

If these piracy attacks result in regions in which our vessels are deployed being characterized by insurers as “war risk” zones or “listed areas”, premiums payable for insurance coverage for our vessels could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, crew costs, including costs which may be incurred due to the deployment of onboard security guards, could increase in such circumstances. While the use of security guards is intended to deter and prevent the hijacking of our vessels, it could also increase our risk of liability for death or injury to persons or damage to personal property. Although we believe we are adequately insured to cover loss attributable to such incidents, there is still a risk that they result in significant unrecoverable loss which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Political and government instability can affect the industries in which we operate, which may adversely affect our business.

We conduct most of our operations outside of the United States, and our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be adversely affected by the effects of political instability, terrorist or other attacks, war or international hostilities. Terrorist attacks and the continuing response of countries to these attacks, as well as other current and future conflicts, contribute to world economic instability and uncertainty in global financial markets. Terrorist attacks and political instability could result in increased volatility of the financial markets in the United States and globally, and could negatively impact the U.S. and world economy, potentially leading to an economic recession. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us or at all.

In the past, political instability has also resulted in attacks on vessels, such as the attack on the M/T Limburg in October 2002, mining of waterways and other efforts to disrupt international shipping, particularly in the Arabian Gulf region. Acts of terrorism and piracy have also affected vessels trading in regions such as the South China Sea and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Any such attacks could lead to, among other things, bodily injury or loss of life, vessel or other property damage and increased vessel operational costs, including insurance costs.

Furthermore, our operations may be adversely affected by changing or adverse political and governmental conditions in the countries where our vessels are flagged or registered and in the regions where we otherwise engage in business. Our operations may also be adversely affected by expropriation of vessels, taxes, regulation, tariffs, trade embargoes, economic sanctions or a disruption of, or limit to trading activities, or other adverse events or circumstances in or affecting the countries and regions where we operate or where we may operate in the future.

Increases in fuel prices could adversely affect our profits.

When our vessels are trading on period charters, our charterers are responsible for the cost of fuel in the form of bunkers. However if we trade our vessels in the spot market or they are off-hire or during the vessels’ drydocking, we are responsible for the cost of bunkers consumed, which can be a significant vessel expense. Spot charter arrangements generally provide that the vessel owner, or pool operator where relevant, bear the cost of fuel. Because we do not, and do not intend to, hedge our fuel costs, an increase in the price of fuel beyond our expectations may adversely affect our profitability, cash flows and ability to pay cash distributions and service or refinance our debt. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates as a result of events outside our control, including geo-political developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (also known as OPEC) and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and environmental concerns and regulations. Changes in the actual price of fuel at the time the charter is to be performed could result in the charter being performed at a significantly greater cost than originally anticipated and may result in losses or diminished profits.

In addition, a global 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuels imposed by the International Maritime Organization came into force on January 1, 2020, as stipulated in 2008 amendments to Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships (“MARPOL”). See “—Regulatory Risks—The maritime transportation industry is subject to substantial environmental and other regulations and international standards, which have become stricter over time and which may significantly limit our operations, result in substantial penalties or increase our expenditures.” A potential shortage of low sulphur marine fuels could drive prices upwards, which could adversely affect our profit margins if our vessels are being chartered on the spot market or are off-hire or the profit margins of our charterers.

 

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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. Determining a vessel’s efficiency includes considering its speed and fuel economy, while flexibility considerations include the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. A vessel’s physical life is related to the original design and construction, maintenance and the impact of the stress of its operations. If new ship designs currently promoted by shipyards as being more fuel efficient perform as promoted, or if new vessels are built in the future that are more efficient, or flexible, have increased capacity, or have longer physical lives than our current vessels, competition from these more technologically advanced vessels could adversely affect our ability to re-charter our vessels, the amount of charter-hire payments that we receive for our vessels once their current charters expire and the resale value of our vessels. This could adversely affect our ability to service our debt or make cash distributions.

We rely on information systems to conduct our business, and failure to protect these systems against security breaches could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

The efficient operation of our business is dependent on information technology systems and networks, which are provided by our Managers. Our operations could be targeted by individuals or groups seeking to sabotage or disrupt our information technology systems and networks, or to steal data. A successful cyber-attack could materially disrupt our operations, including the safety or operation of our vessels, or lead to unauthorized release of information or alteration of information on our systems. Any such attack or other breach of our information technology systems could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Since 2011, our board of directors has elected not to deduct cash reserves for estimated replacement capital expenditures from our operating surplus. If this practice continues, our asset base and the income generating capacity of our fleet may be significantly affected.

Our partnership agreement provides that our board of directors shall deduct from operating surplus cash reserves that it determines are necessary to fund our future operating expenditures, including estimated maintenance capital expenditures. The amount of estimated maintenance capital expenditures deducted from operating surplus is subject to review and change by our board of directors, provided that any change must be approved by our conflicts committee.

Replacement capital expenditures are made in order to maintain our asset base and the income generating capacity of our fleet. We have in the past incurred substantial replacement capital expenditures. Replacement capital expenditures may vary over time as a result of a range of factors, including changes in:

 

   

the value of the vessels in our fleet;

 

   

the cost of our labor and materials;

 

   

the cost and replacement life of suitable replacement vessels;

 

   

customer/market requirements;

 

   

the age of the vessels in our fleet;

 

   

charter rates in the market; and

 

   

governmental regulations, industry and maritime self-regulatory organization standards relating to safety, security or the environment.

Since 2011, our board of directors has elected not to deduct any cash reserves for estimated replacement capital expenditures from our operating surplus. We account for maintenance capital expenditures required to maintain the operating capacity of our vessels, including any amortization of drydocking costs associated with scheduled drydockings, as part of our operating costs, which are reflected in our operating income.

As a result of this practice, we have become significantly more reliant on our ability to obtain required financing and access the financial markets to fund our replacement capital expenditures from time to time. If this practice continues and external funding is not available to us for any reason, our ability to acquire new vessels or replace a vessel in our fleet to maintain our asset base and our income generating capacity may be significantly impaired, which would negatively affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

 

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If we finance the purchase of any additional vessels or businesses we acquire in the future through cash from operations, by increasing our indebtedness or by issuing debt or equity securities, our ability to make or increase our cash distributions may be diminished, our financial leverage could increase or our unitholders could be diluted. In addition, if we expand the size of our fleet by directly contracting newbuilds in the future, we will generally be required to make significant installment payments for such acquisitions prior to their delivery and generation of any revenue.

The actual cost of a new vessel varies significantly depending on the market price charged by shipyards, the size and specifications of the vessel, whether a charter is attached to the vessel and the terms of such charter, governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards. The total cost of a vessel will be higher and include financing, construction supervision, vessel start-up and other costs.

If we enter into contracts for newbuilds directly with shipyards, we generally will be required to make installment payments prior to their delivery. We typically must pay between 5% and 25% of the purchase price of a vessel upon signing the purchase contract, even though delivery of the completed vessel will not occur until much later (approximately 18–36 months later for current orders), which could reduce cash available for distributions to unitholders.

To fund the acquisition of a vessel or a business or other related capital expenditures, we will be required to use cash from operations or incur borrowings or raise capital through the sale of debt or additional equity securities. Use of cash from operations will reduce cash available for distributions to unitholders. Even if we are successful in obtaining necessary funds, the terms of such financings could limit our ability to pay cash distributions to unitholders. Incurring additional debt may significantly increase our interest expense and financial leverage, and issuing additional equity securities may result in significant unitholder dilution and would increase the aggregate amount of cash required to fund our quarterly distributions to unitholders, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to increase or make cash distributions.

We are in the process of retrofitting scrubbers and ballast water treatment systems on a number of our vessels. Failure of the scrubber or ballast water treatment equipment to operate effectively could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

As of the date of this Annual Report, five of our vessels have been retrofitted with scrubbers, one has been retrofitted with a BWTS, while one is currently being retrofitted with a scrubber and one is being retrofitted with both a scrubber and a BWTS. We expect that one additional vessel will be retrofitted with a BWTS during 2020. We may decide to retrofit the rest of our fleet with scrubbers and BWTS in 2020 and/or 2021, subject to market developments and yard availability. Marine scrubber technology, and to a certain extent BWTS technology, is relatively untested and failure of the equipment to operate effectively after installation might affect our ability to comply with regulatory requirements and/or our charter party agreements, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

RISKS RELATED TO FINANCING ACTIVITIES

We are reliant on our ability to obtain required financing and access the financial markets. Therefore, we may be harmed by any limitation in the availability of external funding, as a result of a contraction or volatility in bank debt or financial markets or for any other reason. If we are unable to obtain required financing or access the capital markets, we may be unable to grow or maintain our asset base, pursue other potential growth opportunities or refinance our existing indebtedness.

We are reliant on our ability to obtain required financing and access the financial markets to operate and grow our business.

However, asset impairments, financial stress, enforcement actions and credit rating pressures experienced in recent years by financial institutions, in particular in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, combined with a general decline in the willingness of financial institutions to extend credit to the shipping industry due to depressed shipping rates and the deterioration of asset values that have led to losses in many banks’ shipping portfolios, as well as changes in overall banking regulations (including, for example, Basel III) have severely constrained the availability of credit supply for shipping companies such as us. For example, following heavy losses in its shipping portfolio and at the EU Commission’s behest, one of our main lenders, state-backed Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (“HCOB”), was mandatorily privatized.

In addition, our ability to obtain financing or access capital markets to issue debt or equity securities may be limited by (i) our financial condition at the time of any such financing or issuance, (ii) adverse market conditions affecting the shipping industry, including weaker demand for, or increased supply of, drybulk and container vessels, whether as a result of general economic conditions or the financial condition of charterers and operators of vessels, (iii) weaknesses in the financial markets, (iv) restrictions imposed by our credit facilities, such as collateral maintenance requirements, which could limit our ability to incur additional secured financing and (v) other contingencies and uncertainties, which may be beyond our control. Continued access to external financing and the capital markets is not assured.

 

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As a result, our ability to obtain financing to fund capital expenditures, acquire new vessels or refinance our existing indebtedness is and may continue to be limited. If we are unable to obtain additional financing or issue further equity or debt securities, our ability to fund current and future obligations may be impaired. In addition, restrictions in the availability of credit supply may result in higher interest costs, which would reduce our available cash for distributions. Any failure to obtain funds for necessary future capital expenditures, to grow our asset base or, in time, to refinance our existing indebtedness on terms that are commercially acceptable could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt, and could cause the market price of our common units to decline.

We have incurred significant indebtedness, which could adversely affect our ability to finance our operations, refinance our existing indebtedness, pursue desirable business opportunities, successfully run our business or make cash distributions.

As of December 31, 2019, our total debt was $262.4 million under the 2017 credit facility. Following the acquisition of the three neopanamax vessels M/Vs Athos, Aristomenis and Athenian through a combination of cash from operations and issuance of debt in January 2020, as well as the intended refinancing of the 2017 credit facility in March 2020 our total debt is expected to be $405.6 million. Please also refer to “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings.”

Our leverage and amounts required to service our debt and leasing obligations could have a significant impact on our operations, including the following:

 

   

principal amortization under our financing arrangements may restrict our ability to pay cash distributions to our unitholders, to manage ongoing business activities and to pursue new acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures;

 

   

our indebtedness will have the general effect of reducing our flexibility to react to changing business and economic conditions and, therefore, may pose substantial risks to our business and our unitholders;

 

   

in the event that we are liquidated, our creditors (senior or, if any, subordinated) and creditors (senior or, if any, subordinated) of our subsidiaries will be entitled to payment in full prior to any distributions to our unitholders; and

 

   

our ability to secure additional financing, or to refinance our existing financing arrangements, may be substantially restricted by the existing level of our indebtedness and the restrictions contained in them.

While our leverage is significant, if future cash flows are insufficient to fund capital expenditures and other expenses or investments, we may need to incur further indebtedness. See “—Risks Related to Our Business and Operations—Since 2011, our board of directors has elected not to deduct cash reserves for estimated replacement capital expenditures from our operating surplus. If this practice continues, our asset base and the income generating capacity of our fleet may be significantly affected.

Our financing arrangements contain, and we expect that any new or amended credit facilities or other financing arrangements we may enter into in the future will contain, restrictive covenants, which may limit our business and financing activities, including our ability to make cash distributions.

Operating and financial restrictions and covenants under our existing financing arrangements and any new financing arrangements we may enter into in the future could adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage, expand or pursue our business activities. For example, our current financing arrangements require the consent of our lenders to, or limit our ability to, among other things:

 

   

incur or guarantee indebtedness;

 

   

mortgage, charge, pledge or allow our vessels to be encumbered by any maritime or other lien or any other security interest of any kind except in the ordinary course of business;

 

   

change the flag, class, management or ownership of our vessels;

 

   

change the commercial and technical management of our vessels;

 

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sell or change the beneficial ownership or control of our vessels; and

 

   

subordinate our obligations thereunder to any general and administrative costs relating to our vessels, including fees payable under our management agreement.

Our existing financing arrangements also require us to comply with the International Safety Management Code and to maintain valid safety management certificates and documents of compliance at all times. Our financing arrangements require us to comply with certain financial covenants:

 

   

to maintain minimum free consolidated liquidity of at least $500,000 per collateralized vessel;

 

   

to maintain a ratio of EBITDA (as defined in each credit facility) to net interest expense of at least 2.00 to 1.00 on a trailing four quarter basis; and

 

   

not to exceed a specified maximum leverage ratio in the form of a ratio of total net indebtedness to (fair value adjusted) total assets of 0.75.

In addition, our financing arrangements require that we maintain a minimum security coverage ratio, usually defined as the ratio of the market value of the collateralized vessels or vessel and net realizable value of additional acceptable security to our outstanding liabilities of 125% or, under our financing arrangement with CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd, 120%.

Our financing arrangements prohibit the payment of distributions are not in compliance with certain of these financial covenants or security coverage ratios or upon the occurrence of any other event of default.

Our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions contained in our financing arrangements may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions, interest rate developments, changes in the funding costs of our financing institutions and changes in vessel earnings and asset valuations. If market or other economic conditions deteriorate, our ability to comply with these covenants may be impaired. If we are in breach of any of the restrictions, covenants, ratios or tests in our financing arrangements, or if we trigger a cross-default currently contained in our financing arrangements, we may be forced to suspend our distributions, a significant portion of our obligations may become immediately due and payable, and our lenders’ commitment (if any) to make further loans to us may terminate. We may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient funds to make these accelerated payments. In addition, obligations under certain of our financing arrangements are secured by our vessels or through the ownership of the vessels, and if we are unable to repay, or otherwise default on, our obligations under our financing arrangements, the lenders could seek to take control of these assets.

Furthermore, any contemplated vessel acquisitions will have to be at levels that do not impair the required ratios described above. The global economic downturn that occurred within the past several years, depressed shipping markets, lack of capital in the industry and prolonged overcapacity had an adverse effect on vessel values. If the estimated asset values of our vessels decrease, we may be obligated to prepay part of our outstanding debt in order to remain in compliance with the relevant covenants in our financing arrangements, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

If we are in breach of any of the terms of our financing arrangements, a significant portion of our obligations may become immediately due and payable. This could affect our ability to execute our business strategy or make cash distributions.

A default under our financing arrangements could result in foreclosure on any of our vessels and other assets secured under the 2017 credit facility or a loss of our rights as lessee under our lease financing arrangements.

To the extent that cash flows are insufficient to make required service payments under our credit facilities or lease payments under our lease financing arrangements or asset cover is inadequate due to a deterioration in vessel values, we will need to refinance some or all of the principal outstanding under our credit facilities or our leasing liabilities, replace it with alternate credit arrangements or provide additional security. We may not be able to refinance or replace our bank debt or provide additional security at the time they become due.

In the event we default under our financing arrangements or we are not able to refinance our existing loan and leasing obligations with new financing arrangements on commercially acceptable terms, or if our operating results are not sufficient to service current or future indebtedness, or to make relevant principal or lease repayments if necessary, we may be forced to take actions such as reducing or eliminating distributions, reducing or delaying business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing debt and leasing obligations, or seeking additional equity capital or bankruptcy protection. In addition, the terms of any refinancing or alternate financing arrangement may restrict our financial and operating flexibility and our ability to make cash distributions.

 

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We may not be able to reach agreement with our financiers to amend the terms of the then existing financing arrangements or waive any breaches and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient funds to make any accelerated payments, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make cash distributions.

Events of default under our financing arrangements include:

 

   

failure to pay principal or interest when due;

 

   

breach of certain undertakings, negative covenants and financial covenants contained in the financing arrangements, any related security document or guarantee or the interest rate swap agreements (if any), including failure to maintain unencumbered title to any of the vessel-owning subsidiaries or any of the assets of the vessel-owning subsidiaries and failure to maintain proper insurance;

 

   

any breach of the financing arrangements, any related security document or guarantee or the interest rate swap agreements (if any) (other than breaches described in the preceding two bullet points) if, in the opinion of the lenders or lessors under our lease financing arrangements, such default is capable of remedy and continues unremedied following prior written notice of the lenders for a period of 14 days;

 

   

any breach of representation, warranty or statement made by us in the credit facilities or lease financing arrangements or related security document or guarantee or the interest rate swap agreements (if any);

 

   

a cross-default of our other indebtedness of $5.0 million or greater;

 

   

our inability, in the reasonable opinion of the lenders or lessors under our lease financing arrangements, to pay our debts when due;

 

   

any form of execution, attachment, arrest, sequestration or distress in respect of a sum of $5.0 million or more that is not discharged within 10 business days;

 

   

an event of insolvency or bankruptcy;

 

   

cessation or suspension of our business or of a material part thereof;

 

   

unlawfulness, non-effectiveness or repudiation of any material provision of our credit facilities or lease financing arrangements, of any of the related finance and guarantee documents or of our interest rate swap agreements;

 

   

failure of effectiveness of security documents or guarantee;

 

   

delisting of our common units from the Nasdaq Global Select Market or on any other recognized securities exchange;

 

   

any breach under any provisions contained in our interest rate swap agreements, if we decide to enter into such agreements in the future;

 

   

termination of any interest rate swap agreements or an event of default thereunder that is not timely remedied, if we decide to enter into such agreements in the future;

 

   

invalidity of a security document in any material respect or if any security document ceases to provide a perfected first priority security interest;

 

   

failure by key charter parties, such as HMM and Hapag- Lloyd, or other charterers we may have from time to time, to comply with the terms of their charters to the extent that we are unable to replace the charter in a manner that meets our obligations under the financing arrangements; or

 

   

any other event that occurs or circumstance that arises in light of which our financiers under our financing arrangements reasonably consider that there is a significant risk that we will be unable to discharge our liabilities under our financing arrangements, related security and guarantee documents or interest rate swap agreements.

Certain dealings in connection with sanctioned countries could also trigger a mandatory prepayment event. See “—Regulatory Risks—Our vessels may be chartered or sub-chartered to parties, or call on ports, located in countries that are subject to restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.”

 

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We anticipate that any subsequent refinancing of our debt could have similar or more onerous restrictions. Please see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings—Our Financing Arrangements” for further information on our existing facilities.

The phase-out of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), or the replacement of LIBOR with a different benchmark rate, may adversely affect interest rates and our cost of capital.

On July 27, 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority announced that it would phase-out LIBOR by the end of 2021. Changes in the method of calculating LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative rate or benchmark, may adversely affect interest rates. As our debt typically consists of floating rate bank loans, changes in interest rates may result in higher borrowing costs for us and materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.

We cannot predict the effect of the potential changes to LIBOR or the establishment and use of alternative rates or benchmarks. Our existing financing arrangements provide for the use of replacement rates if LIBOR is discontinued. We are in the process of evaluating the impact of LIBOR discontinuation on us. Such replacement rates could be higher or more volatile than LIBOR prior to its discontinuation. The full impact of the expected transition away from LIBOR and the potential discontinuation of LIBOR after 2021 is unclear, but these changes could adversely affect our cash flow, financial condition and results of operations. We may need to renegotiate our financing arrangements or incur indebtedness to refinance our debt, all of which may materially and adversely affect our financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.

REGULATORY RISKS

Our vessels may be chartered or sub-chartered to parties, or call on ports, located in countries that are subject to restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.

Certain countries (including the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria), entities and persons are targeted by economic sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and a number of those countries, currently North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Syria, have been identified as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State. Such economic sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application with regard to countries, entities or persons and the scope of activities they subject to sanctions. These sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be strengthened, relaxed or otherwise modified over time.

With regard to Iran, on August 6, 2018, President Trump issued Executive Order 13846, which reinstates provisions of certain Executive Orders that had been revoked in January 2016 to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) agreed to by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, Iran and the European Union. As of November 5, 2018, following the conclusion of the 90- and 180-day “wind-down” periods for activities permitted under or consistent with the JCPOA, all U.S. sanctions (both primary and secondary) that had been waived or lifted under the JCPOA were re-imposed and fully effective.

We are mindful of the restrictions contained in the various economic sanctions programs and embargo laws administered by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions that limit the ability of companies and persons from doing business or trading with targeted countries and persons and entities. We believe that we are currently in compliance with all applicable economic sanctions laws and regulations. We generally do not do business in sanctions-targeted jurisdictions unless an activity is authorized by the appropriate governmental or other sanctions authority. We and our general partner and its affiliates have not entered into agreements or other arrangements with the governments or any governmental entities of sanctioned countries, and we and our general partner and its affiliates do not have any direct business dealings with officials or representatives of any sanctioned governments or entities. In addition, our charter agreements include provisions that restrict trades of our vessels to countries or to sub-charterers targeted by economic sanctions unless such trades involving sanctioned countries or persons are permitted under applicable economic sanctions and embargo regimes. Although we have various policies and controls designed to help ensure our compliance with these economic sanctions and embargo laws, it is nevertheless possible that third-party charterers of our vessels, or their sub-charterers, may arrange for vessels in our fleet to call on ports located in one or more sanctioned countries. In order to help maintain our compliance with applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, we monitor and review the movement of our vessels, as well as the cargo being transported by our vessels, on a continuing basis. In 2019, none of the vessels in our fleet made any port calls in Crimea, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Sudan or Syria.

Notwithstanding the above, it is possible that new, or changes to existing, sanctions-related legislation or agreements may impact our business. In addition, it is possible that the charterers of our vessels may violate applicable sanctions, laws and regulations, using our vessels or otherwise, and the applicable authorities may seek to review our activities as the vessel owner. Moreover, although we believe that we are in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain

 

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such compliance, the scope of certain laws may be unclear, may be subject to changing interpretations or may be strengthened or otherwise amended. Any violation of sanctions or engagement in sanctionable conduct could result in fines, sanctions or other penalties, and could negatively affect our reputation and result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in our common units. Finally, future expansion of sanctions or the imposition of sanctions on other jurisdictions could prevent our vessels from making any calls at certain ports, which potentially could have a negative impact on our business and results of operations.

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and anti-corruption laws in other applicable jurisdictions.

As an international shipping company, we may operate in countries known to have a reputation for corruption. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (the “FCPA”) and other anti-corruption laws and regulations in applicable jurisdictions generally prohibit companies registered with the SEC and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Under the FCPA, companies registered with the SEC may be held liable for some actions taken by strategic or local partners or representatives. Legislation in other countries includes the U.K. Bribery Act, which became effective on July 1, 2011. The U.K. Bribery Act is broader in scope than the FCPA because it does not contain an exception for facilitating payments (i.e., payments to secure or expedite the performance of a “routine governmental action”) and covers bribes and payments to private businesses as well as foreign public officials. We and our charterers may be subject to these and similar anti-corruption laws in other applicable jurisdictions. Failure to comply with such legal requirements could expose us to civil and/or criminal penalties, including fines, prosecution and significant reputational damage, all of which could materially and adversely affect our business, including our relationships with our charterers, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt. Compliance with the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other applicable anti-corruption laws and related regulations and policies imposes potentially significant costs and operational burdens. Moreover, the compliance and monitoring mechanisms that we have in place, including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which incorporates our anti-bribery and corruption policy, may not adequately prevent or detect possible violations under applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation.

We have incurred, and may continue to incur significant costs in complying with the requirements of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. If management is unable to continue to provide reports as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting or our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to continue to provide us with unqualified attestation reports as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which could result in a decrease in the value of our common units. We anticipate that we will continue to incur incremental general and administrative expenses as a publicly traded limited partnership taxed as a corporation.

As a publicly traded limited partnership, we are required to comply with the SEC’s reporting requirements and with corporate governance and related requirements of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC and the Nasdaq Global Select Market, on which our common units are listed. Section 404 of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX 404”) requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting on an annual basis and include in our reports filed with the SEC our management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and a related attestation of our independent registered public accounting firm. Capital Ship Management provides substantially all of our financial reporting and we depend on the procedures they have in place. If, in such future annual reports on Form 20-F, our management cannot provide a report as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting or our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to provide us with an unqualified attestation report as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as required by SOX 404, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which could result in a decrease in the value of our common units.

We have and expect we will continue to have to dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements of SOX 404. We will continue to work with our legal, accounting and financial advisors to identify any areas in which changes should be made to our financial and management control systems to manage our growth and our obligations as a public company. However, these and other measures we may take may not be sufficient to allow us to satisfy our obligations as a public company on a timely and reliable basis. If we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we may not detect errors on a timely basis and our financial statements may be materially misstated. We have incurred and will continue to incur legal, accounting and other expenses in complying with these and other applicable regulations.

We anticipate that our incremental general and administrative expenses as a publicly traded limited partnership taxed as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes will include costs associated with annual reports to unitholders, tax returns, investor relations, registrar and transfer agent’s fees, incremental director and officer liability insurance costs and director compensation.

 

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The maritime transportation industry is subject to substantial environmental and other regulations and international standards, which have become stricter over time and which may significantly limit our operations, result in substantial penalties or increase our expenditures.

Our operations are affected by extensive and increasingly stringent international, national and local environmental protection laws, regulations, treaties, conventions and standards in force in international waters, the jurisdictional waters of the countries in which our vessels operate, as well as the countries of our vessels’ registration. Many of these requirements are designed to reduce the risk of oil spills, limit air emissions and other pollution, and to reduce potential negative environmental effects associated with the maritime industry in general. Further legislation, or amendments to existing legislation, applicable to international and national maritime trade is expected over the coming years relating to environmental matters. See “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Regulation” for more information on regulation applicable to our business.

These requirements can affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels, increase operational costs, require a reduction in cargo capacity, ship modifications or operational changes or restrictions, decrease profitability, lead to decreased availability of insurance coverage for environmental risks or result in the denial of access to certain jurisdictional waters or ports, or detention in certain ports. Significant expenditures for the installation of additional equipment or new systems on board our vessels may be required in order to comply with existing or future environmental regulations. In addition we may incur significant additional costs in meeting new maintenance, training and inspection requirements, in developing contingency arrangements for potential spills and in obtaining insurance coverage. Government regulation of vessels, particularly in the areas of safety and environmental requirements, can be expected to become stricter in the future and require us to incur significant capital expenditure on our vessels to keep them in compliance, or even to scrap or sell certain vessels altogether.

Under local, national and foreign laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including clean up obligations and natural resource damages, in the event that there is a release of petroleum or other hazardous substances from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our operations. We could also become subject to personal injury and property damage claims and natural resource damages relating to the release of, or exposure to, hazardous materials associated with our current or historic operations. Violations of or liabilities under environmental requirements also can result in substantial penalties, fines and other sanctions including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels.

Furthermore, as a result of marine accidents, we believe that regulation of the shipping industry will continue to become more stringent and more expensive for us and our competitors. Future incidents may result in the adoption of even stricter laws and regulations, which could limit our operations or our ability to do business and which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and ability to make cash distributions and to service or refinance our debt and leasing liabilities.

Compliance with safety and other vessel requirements imposed by classification societies may be costly and could reduce our net cash flows and net income.

The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be certified as being “in class” 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.

A vessel must undergo annual surveys, intermediate surveys and special surveys. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel’s machinery may be placed on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a five-year period. We expect our vessels to be on special survey cycles for hull inspection and continuous survey cycles for machinery inspection. Every vessel is also required to have its underwater parts inspected by class every two to three years, but for vessels subject to enhanced survey requirements and above 15 years of age, its underwater parts must be inspected in drydock.

If any vessel does not maintain its class or fails any annual, intermediate or special survey, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions and to service or refinance our debt.

Increased inspection procedures and tighter import and export controls could increase costs and disrupt our business.

International shipping is subject to various security and customs inspection and related procedures in countries of origin and destination and trans-shipment points. Inspection procedures may result in the seizure of contents of our vessels, delays in the loading, offloading, trans-shipment or delivery and the levying of customs duties, fines or other penalties against us.

It is possible that changes to inspection procedures could impose additional financial and legal obligations on us. Changes

 

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to inspection procedures could also impose additional costs and obligations on our charterers and may, in certain cases, render the shipment of certain types of cargo uneconomical or impractical. Any such changes or developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

The smuggling of drugs or other contraband onto our vessels may lead to governmental claims against us.

Our vessels call in ports throughout the world, and smugglers may attempt to hide drugs and other contraband on our 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 vessels, 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, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make distributions and service or refinance our debt.

RISKS INHERENT IN AN INVESTMENT IN US

We cannot assure you that we will pay any distributions on our units.

Our board of directors determines our cash distribution policy and the level of our cash distributions. Generally, our board of directors seeks to maintain a balance between the level of reserves it makes to protect our financial position and liquidity against the desirability of maintaining distributions on our limited partnership interests. We intend to review our distributions from time to time in the light of a range of factors, including our ability to obtain required financing and access financial markets, the repayment or refinancing of our external debt, the level of our capital expenditures, our ability to pursue accretive transactions, our financial condition, results of operations, prospects and applicable provisions of Marshall Islands law.

We may not have sufficient cash available each quarter to pay a minimum quarterly distribution on our common units following the payment of fees and expenses and the establishment by our board of directors of cash reserves. In April 2016, in the face of severely depressed trading prices for master limited partnerships, including us, a significant increase in our cost of capital and potential loss of revenue, our board of directors took the decision to protect our liquidity position by creating a capital reserve and setting distributions on our common units at a level that our board of directors believed to be sustainable and consistent with the proper conduct of our business. We have paid significantly less than the minimum quarterly distribution on our common units since the first quarter of 2016. The minimum quarterly distribution is a target set in our limited partnership agreement. There is no requirement that we make a distribution in this amount.

Our distribution policy from time to time will depend on, among other things, shipping market developments and the charter rates we are able to negotiate when we re-charter our vessels, our cash earnings, financial condition and cash requirements, and could be affected by a variety of factors, including increased or unanticipated expenses, the loss of a vessel, required capital expenditures, reserves established by our board of directors, refinancing or repayment of indebtedness, additional borrowings, compliance with the covenants in our financing arrangements, our anticipated future cost of capital, access to financing and equity and debt capital markets, including for the purposes of refinancing or repaying existing indebtedness, and asset valuations. Our distribution policy may be changed at any time, and from time to time, by our board of directors.

Our ability to make cash distributions is also limited under Marshall Islands law. A Marshall Islands limited partnership cannot make a cash distribution to a partner to the extent that at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, all liabilities of the limited partnership (other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specified property of the limited partnership) exceed the fair value of its assets. For purposes of this test, the fair value of property that is subject to a liability for which the recourse of creditors is limited shall be included in the assets of the limited partnership only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds such liability.

The amount of cash we generate from our operations may differ materially from our profit or loss for the period, which will be affected by non-cash items. As a result, we may not make cash distributions in certain periods even if we were to record a positive net income in those periods. Conversely, we may make cash distributions during periods when we record losses.

In light of the factors described above and elsewhere in this Annual Report, there can be no assurance that we will pay any distributions on our units.

Completion of the DSS Transaction may impact your investment in us.

Before completion of the DSS Transaction, we owned a diversified fleet of 36 vessels across the crude and product tanker, container and drybulk markets. As part of the DSS Transaction, we spun off all of our 25 crude and product tankers. We now own a fleet consisting of 13 neo-panamax container carrier vessels, following the acquisition of three neo-panamax container vessels in January 2020, and one capesize bulk carrier. Accordingly, our market capitalization has decreased significantly.

 

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The significant reduction of the number of vessels in our fleet has resulted in a reduced asset base and a reduction in the amount of cash distributions that our common unitholders would have otherwise received if we had not completed the DSS Transaction. We also expect that our general and administrative expenses will have proportionally a greater impact on our results from operations.

We are exposed to risks associated with a reduced asset base and smaller market capitalization. For example, we may be exposed to increased cash flow variability due to a smaller and less-diverse fleet and a more concentrated customer base in comparison to our fleet and customer base before the completion of the DSS Transaction. This may affect our cash flow and ability to make distributions to you. In addition, in light of our smaller size and market value relative to our competitors, the trading liquidity of our common units and our access to capital markets may be affected, which may have a material adverse impact on the trading price of your common units.

Negative media coverage and public and judicial scrutiny relating to Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis may adversely affect our reputation and operations, investor confidence and the trading price of our common units.

Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis is the chairman of Capital Maritime, our sponsor. In addition, as of the date of this Annual Report, the Marinakis family, including Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis, may be deemed to beneficially own an 18.4% interest in us, through its beneficial ownership of, among other entities, Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments Corp. (“Crude Carriers Investments”). Furthermore, Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis’s son, is the owner of Capital GP L.L.C., our General Partner.

Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis holds significant other interests in Greece and abroad. Among other things, Mr. Marinakis is the principal owner of Olympiacos, a Greek professional football team, and the Nottingham Forest football club in England. Mr. Marinakis also owns the Greek media company Alter Ego Media S.A. Furthermore, Mr. Marinakis is a member of the Piraeus city council.

Mr. Marinakis has been the subject of intense and at times negative media scrutiny in Greece, and has been and still is the subject of criminal investigations by the Greek authorities. In addition, in November 2017, Mr. Marinakis was indicted, together with 27 other individuals, for the charge of match-fixing in respect of two soccer matches, as well as, together with seven other individuals, for the attendant charge of joint criminal enterprise. The trial on this matter is currently underway and is expected to conclude in the coming months. Mr. Marinakis has advised us that he does not believe that the pending investigations and proceedings will result in any penalties affecting any of his shipping businesses.

Given the relationships of Mr. Marinakis and certain members of his family with Capital Maritime and us described above, any past or future negative media coverage, public and judicial scrutiny or criminal proceedings in relation to Mr. Marinakis, regardless of the factual basis for the assertions being made or the final outcome of any investigation or proceeding, may affect the reputation and operations of Capital Maritime, as well as our reputation and operations. Such coverage, scrutiny and proceedings may also adversely impact investor confidence and the trading price of our common units.

The control of our General Partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.

Our General Partner is a limited liability company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime as sole member. In April 2019, Capital Maritime transferred all membership interests in our General Partner to Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis.

Our partnership agreement does not restrict the ability of the member or members from time to time of our General Partner from transferring control of our General Partner or its assets to a third party, whether in a merger, sale of all membership interests or sale of all or substantially all of its assets, without the consent of our unitholders.

Any such change in control of our General Partner may affect the way we and our operations are managed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Please read “—Risks Related to our Business and Operations—We depend on our General Partner, a private company under the ownership of Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, for the day-to-day management of our affairs. The change of ownership of our General Partner may affect the way we and our operations are managed and our relationships with our charterers and other counterparties.”

 

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Our General Partner, which may have conflicts of interest, has limited fiduciary and contractual duties, which may permit it to favor its own interests or the interest of its affiliates or related persons to the detriment of other unitholders.

Our General Partner is in charge of our day-to-day affairs consistent with policies and procedures adopted by, and subject to the direction of, our board of directors.

Our General Partner and our directors have a fiduciary duty to manage us in a manner beneficial to us and our unitholders. However, this duty is limited under our partnership agreement. Please see “—Our partnership agreement limits our General Partner’s and our directors’ fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner or our directors.” In addition, all three officers of our General Partner and one of our directors are officers or directors of Capital Maritime and its affiliates, and as such they have fiduciary duties to Capital Maritime that may cause them to pursue business strategies that disproportionately benefit Capital Maritime or which otherwise are not in the best interests of us or our unitholders. Conflicts of interest may arise between Capital Maritime, our General Partner and their affiliates, on the one hand, and us and our unitholders, on the other hand. As a result of these conflicts, the officers of our General Partner and Capital Maritime may favor their own interests over the interests of our unitholders.

These conflicts include, among others, the following situations:

 

   

neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires our General Partner or its affiliates to pursue a business strategy that favors us or utilizes our assets, and Capital Maritime’s officers and directors in their capacity as such have a fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interests of the shareholders of Capital Maritime, which may be contrary to our interests;

 

   

our General Partner and our directors have limited their liabilities and restricted their fiduciary duties under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, while also restricting the remedies available to our unitholders, and, as a result of purchasing our units, unitholders are treated as having agreed to the modified standard of fiduciary duties and to certain actions that may be taken by our General Partner and our directors, all as set forth in the partnership agreement;

 

   

our General Partner and our board of directors will be involved in determining the amount and timing of our asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, and issuances of additional partnership securities and reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution to our unitholders;

 

   

our General Partner may have substantial influence over our board of directors’ decision to cause us to borrow funds in order to permit the payment of cash distributions, even if the purpose or effect of the borrowing is to make incentive distributions;

 

   

our General Partner is entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable costs incurred by it and its affiliates for our benefit;

 

   

our partnership agreement does not restrict us from paying our General Partner or its affiliates for any services rendered to us on terms that are fair and reasonable or entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf; and

 

   

our General Partner may exercise its right to call and purchase our outstanding units if it and its affiliates own more than 90% of our common units.

Although a majority of our directors are elected by common unitholders, our General Partner has a substantial influence on decisions made by our board of directors. Please read “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees.”

Affiliates of our General Partner may favor their own interests in any vote by our unitholders.

Under the terms of our partnership agreement, the affirmative vote of a majority of common units is required in order to reach certain decisions or actions, including:

 

   

amendments to the definition of available cash, operating surplus and adjusted operating surplus;

 

   

elimination of the obligation to hold an annual general meeting;

 

   

removal of any appointed director for cause;

 

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the ability of the board of directors to cause us to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets;

 

   

withdrawal of the General Partner;

 

   

removal of the General Partner;

 

   

dissolution of the partnership;

 

   

change to the quorum requirements;

 

   

approval of merger or consolidation; and

 

   

any other amendment to the partnership agreement, except for certain amendments related to the day-to-day management of the Partnership and amendments necessary or appropriate to carrying out our business consistent with historical practice, including any change that our board of directors determines to be necessary or appropriate to qualify or continue our qualification as a limited partnership, or any amendment that our board of directors, and, if required, our General Partner, determines to be necessary or appropriate in connection with the authorization and issuance of any class or series of our securities.

Capital Maritime and its affiliates are not subject to the limitations on voting rights imposed on our other limited partners and would be attributed their pro rata share of any voting rights reallocated as a result of such limitations.

Accordingly, Capital Maritime and its affiliates may favor their own interests or the interests of our General Partner in any vote by our unitholders. These considerations may significantly impact any vote under the terms of our partnership agreement and may significantly affect your rights under our partnership agreement.

Please also read “—Unitholders have limited voting rights and our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders owning 5% or more of our units ” for information on additional restrictions imposed by our partnership agreement.

Capital Maritime and its affiliates may engage in competition with us.

The omnibus agreement that we and Capital Maritime have entered into imposes certain mutual restrictions on the acquisition, ownership and operations, and provides for certain rights of first refusal in respect, of product and crude oil tankers. The omnibus agreement however contains significant exceptions. It also does not apply to container and drybulk vessels and other shipping markets. Accordingly, Capital Maritime and its controlled affiliates have significant ability to compete with us, which could harm our business. Please read “Item 7. Major Unitholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related-Party Transactions” for further information.

Our Managers may provide management services to other shipping companies and may face conflicts between our interests and the interests of such other shipping companies.

Capital Ship Management and Capital Executive may provide management services to shipping companies other than us. In particular, Capital Ship Management will continue to assume the commercial and technical management of the Tanker Business we contributed to DSSI for a period of five years following completion of the DSS Transaction under separate arrangements that Capital Ship Management entered into with DSSI.

The ability of our Managers to serve other shipping companies may raise conflicts of interest. For example, if we were to acquire crude or product tanker vessels, our interest in securing new charters or extending existing charters may conflict with those of DSSI. Capital Ship Management could be inclined to allocate charters in a manner that increases the compensation that it may receive rather than based on our best interests. If that were to happen, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

We currently do not have any officers and rely, and expect to continue to rely, solely on officers of our General Partner, who face conflicts in the allocation of their time to our business.

Our board of directors has not exercised its power to appoint officers of the Partnership to date, and, as a result, we rely, and expect to continue to rely, solely on the officers of our General Partner, who are not required to work full-time on our affairs and who also work for Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management and/or their respective affiliates.

 

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For example, our General Partner’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer are also executive officers or employees of Capital Maritime. Capital Maritime and our Managers each conduct substantial businesses and activities of their own in which we have no economic interest.

As a result, there could be material competition for the time and effort of the officers of our General Partner who also provide services to Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management and/or their respective affiliates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt.

Our partnership agreement limits our General Partner’s and our directors’ fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner or our directors.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that restrict the standards and fiduciary duties to which our General Partner and directors may otherwise be held by or owed to you pursuant to Marshall Islands law. For example, our partnership agreement:

 

   

permits our General Partner to make a number of decisions in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our General Partner. Where our partnership agreement permits, our General Partner may consider only the interests and factors that it desires, and in such cases, it has no duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interest of, or factors affecting, us, our affiliates or our unitholders. Specifically, pursuant to our partnership agreement, our General Partner will be considered to be acting in its individual capacity if it exercises its right to call and purchase limited partner interests, including common units, preemptive rights or registration rights, consents or withholds consent to any merger or consolidation of the partnership, appoints any directors or votes for the election of any director, votes or refrains from voting on amendments to our partnership agreement that require a vote of the outstanding units, voluntarily withdraws from the partnership, transfers (to the extent permitted under our partnership agreement) or refrains from transferring its units, General Partner interest or IDRs, or votes upon the dissolution of the partnership;

 

   

provides that our General Partner and our directors are entitled to make other decisions in “good faith” if they reasonably believe that the decision is in our best interests;

 

   

generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not approved by the conflicts committee of our board of directors and not involving a vote of unitholders must be on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or be “fair and reasonable” to us and that, in determining whether a transaction or resolution is “fair and reasonable,” our board of directors may consider the totality of the relationships between the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly advantageous or beneficial to us; and

 

   

provides that neither our General Partner and its officers nor our directors will be liable for monetary damages to us, our limited partners or assignees for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that our General Partner or directors or its officers or directors or those other persons engaged in actual fraud or willful misconduct.

In order to become a limited partner of our partnership, a unitholder is required to agree to be bound by the provisions in the partnership agreement, including the provisions discussed above. Please read “7.B: Related-Party Transactions—Conflicts of Interest and Fiduciary Duties.”

Unitholders have limited voting rights and our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders owning 5% or more of our units.

Holders of units have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business.

We hold a meeting of the limited partners every year to elect one or more members of our board of directors and to vote on any other matters that are properly brought before the meeting. Common unitholders (excluding Capital Maritime and its affiliates) elect five of the eight members of our board of directors. Currently our board has seven members, of which five were elected by common unitholders. The elected directors are elected on a staggered basis and serve for three-year terms. Our General Partner in its sole discretion has the right to appoint the remaining three directors, who also serve for three-year terms. Any and all elected directors may be removed with cause only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the other elected directors or at a properly called meeting of the common unitholders by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding common units.

 

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The partnership agreement contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders’ ability to influence the manner or direction of management. Unitholders have no right to elect our General Partner, and our General Partner may not be removed except by a vote of the holders of at least two thirds of the outstanding units, including any units owned by our General Partner and its affiliates, and a majority vote of our board of directors. Currently, 15,486,174 common units representing 83.2% of our common units are owned by public unitholders.

Our partnership agreement further restricts unitholders’ voting rights by providing that if any person or group, other than our General Partner, its affiliates, their transferees and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of our board of directors, beneficially owns 5% or more of any class of units then outstanding, any such units owned by that person or group in excess of 4.9% may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of unitholders, calculating required votes, except for purposes of nominating a person for election to our board, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes, unless required by law. The voting rights of any such unitholders in excess of 4.9% will be redistributed pro rata among the other unitholders of the same class holding less than 4.9% of the voting power of that class. As affiliates of our General Partner, Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments are not subject to such limitation and will be attributed their pro rata share of any units reallocated as a result of such limitation. Further, this limitation does not apply to unitholders who acquire more than 5% of any class of units then outstanding with the prior approval of our board of directors.

As of the date of this Annual Report, based on 18,971,670 units issued and outstanding (including 348,570 general partner units), the Marinakis family, including Evangelos M. Marinakis, the chairman of Capital Maritime, may be deemed to beneficially own an 18.4% interest in us, through Capital Maritime, which may be deemed to beneficially own 2,667,753 common units representing a 14.1% interest in us, our General Partner, which may be deemed to beneficially own 348,570 general partner units representing a 1.8% interest in us, and Crude Carriers Investments, which may be deemed to beneficially own 469,173 common units, representing a 2.5% interest in us.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a person or group from attempting to remove our current management or our General Partner.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a person or group from attempting to remove our current management or our General Partner:

 

   

the unitholders will be unable to remove our General Partner without its consent so long as our General Partner and its affiliates or related persons own sufficient units to be able to prevent such removal. The vote of the holders of at least two thirds of all outstanding units voting together as a single class and a majority vote of our board of directors is required to remove the General Partner. As of the date of this Annual Report, based on a total of 18,971,670 units issued and outstanding (including 348,570 general partner units), the Marinakis family, including Evangelos M. Marinakis, the chairman of Capital Maritime, may be deemed to beneficially own an 18.4% interest in us.

 

   

common unitholders elect five of the eight members of our board of directors. Our General Partner in its sole discretion has the right to appoint the remaining three directors.

 

   

election of the five directors elected by common unitholders is staggered, meaning that the members of only one of three classes of our elected directors are selected each year. In addition, the directors appointed by our General Partner will serve for terms determined by our General Partner.

 

   

our partnership agreement contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings of unitholders, to nominate directors and to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders’ ability to influence the manner or direction of management.

 

   

Unitholders have limited voting rights, as described under “—Unitholders have limited voting rights and our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders owning 5% or more of our units.

 

   

we have substantial latitude in issuing equity securities without unitholder approval.

One effect of these provisions may be to diminish the price at which our units will trade.

 

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Our General Partner has a limited call right that may require unitholders to sell your units at an undesirable time or price.

If at any time our General Partner and its affiliates own more than 90% of the units of a class, our General Partner will have the right, which it may assign to any of its affiliates or to us, but not the obligation, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the units of such class held by unaffiliated persons at a price not less than their then-current market price. As a result, unitholders may be required to sell your units at an undesirable time or price and may not receive any return on their investment. Unitholders may also incur a tax liability upon a sale of their units.

Our common units are equity securities and are subordinated to our existing and future indebtedness and will be subject to prior distribution and liquidation rights of any preferred units we may issue in the future.

Our common units are equity interests and do not constitute indebtedness. Our common units rank junior to all indebtedness and other non-equity claims on us with respect to the assets available to satisfy claims, including in a liquidation of the Partnership. Additionally, holders of our common units are subject to the prior distribution and liquidation rights of any preferred units we may issue in the future. Our board of directors is authorized to issue additional classes or series of preferred units without the approval or consent of the holders of our common units. Any actual or possible reduction in the amount of distributions made on our common units could materially and adversely affect the market price of the common units.

Future sales of our common units, or the issuance of preferred units, debt securities or warrants, could cause the market price of our common units to decline.

The market price of our common units could decline due to sales of a large number of units, or the issuance of debt securities or warrants, in the market, or the perception that these sales could occur. These sales could also make it more difficult or impossible for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate to raise funds through future offerings of such equity securities.

Since our initial public offering, we conducted a number of issuances of common and preferred units, and we may engage in additional such issuances in the future.

The issuance by us of additional units or other equity securities of equal or senior rank may have the following effects:

 

   

our unitholders’ proportionate ownership interest in us will decrease;

 

   

the amount of cash available for distribution on each unit may decrease;

 

   

the relative voting power of each previously outstanding unit may be diminished; and

 

   

the market price of the units may decline.

You may not have limited liability if a court finds that unitholder action constitutes control of our business.

As a limited partner in a partnership organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, you could be held liable for our obligations to the same extent as a General Partner if a court determines that you “participated in the control” of our business (and the person who transacts business with us reasonably believes, based on the limited partner’s conduct, that the limited partner is a general partner). Our General Partner generally has unlimited liability for the obligations of the Partnership, such as its debts and environmental liabilities. In addition, the limitations on the liability of holders of limited partner interests for the obligations of a limited partnership have not been clearly established in some jurisdictions in which we do business. Please read “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association—The Partnership Agreement—Limited Liability” for a more detailed discussion of the implications of the limitations on liability to a unitholder.

We can borrow money to pay distributions or buy back our units, which would reduce the amount of credit available to operate our business.

Our partnership agreement allows us to make working capital borrowings to pay distributions. Accordingly, we can make distributions on all our units even though cash generated by our operations may not be sufficient to pay such distributions. Any working capital borrowings by us to make distributions will reduce the amount of working capital borrowings we can make for operating our business. For more information, please read “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings.”

 

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Increases in interest rates may cause the market price of our units to decline.

An increase in interest rates may cause a corresponding decline in demand for equity investments in general, and in particular, for yield-based equity investments such as our units. Any such increase in interest rates or reduction in demand for our units resulting from other relatively more attractive investment opportunities may cause the trading price or the market value of our units to decline.

Unitholders may have liability to repay distributions.

Under some circumstances, unitholders may have to repay amounts wrongfully returned or distributed to them. Under the Marshall Islands Limited Partnership Act (the “MILPA”), we may not make a distribution if the distribution would cause our liabilities (other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interest and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specified property of ours) to exceed the fair value of our assets, except that the fair value of property that is subject to a liability for which the recourse of creditors is limited shall be included in our assets only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds that liability. The MILPA provides that for a period of three years from the date of the impermissible distribution, limited partners who received the distribution and who knew at the time of the distribution that it violated the MILPA will be liable to the limited partnership for the distribution amount. Assignees who become substituted limited partners are liable for the obligations of the assignor to make contributions to the partnership that are known to the assignee at the time it became a limited partner and for unknown obligations if the liabilities could be determined from the partnership agreement.

Our organization as a limited partnership under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands may limit the ability of our unitholders to protect their interests.

Our affairs are governed by our partnership agreement and the MILPA. The provisions of the MILPA resemble provisions of the limited partnership laws of a number of states in the United States, most notably Delaware. The MILPA also provides that, as it relates to nonresident limited partnerships, such as us, it is to be applied and construed to make the laws of the Marshall Islands, with respect to the subject matter of the MILPA, uniform with the laws of the State of Delaware and, so long as it does not conflict with the MILPA or decisions of the High and Supreme Courts of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the non-statutory law (or case law) of the State of Delaware is adopted as the law of the Marshall Islands. However, there have been few, if any, judicial cases in the Republic of the Marshall Islands interpreting the MILPA. For example, the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under the laws 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. Although the MILPA does specifically incorporate the non-statutory law, or judicial case law, of the State of Delaware, our public unitholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by management, directors or controlling unitholders than would shareholders of a limited partnership organized in a U.S. jurisdiction.

It may not be possible for investors to enforce U.S. judgments against us.

We are organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, as is our General Partner and most of our subsidiaries. Most of our directors and the directors and officers of our General Partner and those of our subsidiaries are residents of countries other than the United States. Substantially all of our assets and those of our subsidiaries are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for U.S. investors to serve process within the United States upon us or to enforce judgment upon us for civil liabilities in U.S. courts. In addition, you should not assume that courts in the countries in which we or our subsidiaries are incorporated or organized or where our assets or the assets of our subsidiaries are located (1) would enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained in actions against us or our subsidiaries based upon the civil liability provisions of applicable U.S. federal and state securities laws or (2) would impose, in original actions, liabilities against us or our subsidiaries based upon these laws.

TAX RISKS

In addition to the following risk factors, you should read “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation” below for a more complete discussion of the expected material U.S. federal and non-U.S. income tax considerations relating to us and the ownership and disposition of our units.

U.S. tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. unitholders.

A foreign entity taxed as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes will be treated as a “passive foreign investment company” (a “PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes if (x) at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of “passive income,” or (y) at least 50% of the average value of the entity’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, gains from

 

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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.” U.S. persons who own shares of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous U.S. federal income tax regime with respect to the income derived by the PFIC, 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.

Based on our current and projected method of operation, we believe that we are not currently a PFIC and we do not expect to become a PFIC in the future. We intend to treat our income from spot and time chartering activities as non-passive income, and the vessels engaged in those activities as non-passive assets, for PFIC purposes. However, no assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) or a United States court will accept this position, and there is accordingly a risk that the IRS or a United States court could determine that we are a PFIC. Moreover, no assurance can be given that we would not constitute a PFIC for any future taxable year if there were to be changes in our assets, income or operations. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—U.S. Federal Income Taxation of U.S. Holders—PFIC Status and Significant Tax Consequences.”

We may have to pay tax on United States source income, which would reduce our earnings.

Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), 50% of the gross shipping income of a vessel owning or chartering corporation that is attributable to transportation that either begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States is characterized as U.S. source shipping income and such income generally 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. We believe that we and each of our subsidiaries will qualify for this statutory tax exemption, and we will take this position for U.S. federal income tax return reporting purposes. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Taxation—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—The Section 883 Exemption.” However, there are factual circumstances, including some that may be beyond our control, which could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption. In addition, our conclusion that we currently qualify for this exemption is based upon legal authorities that do not expressly contemplate an organizational structure such as ours. Although we have elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, for corporate law purposes we are organized as a limited partnership under Marshall Islands law. Our General Partner will be responsible for managing our business and affairs and has been granted certain veto rights over decisions of our board of directors. Therefore, we can give no assurances that the IRS will not take a different position regarding our qualification, or the qualification of any of our subsidiaries, for this tax exemption.

If we or our subsidiaries are not entitled to this exemption under Section 883 of the Code for any taxable year, we or our subsidiaries generally would be subject for those years to a 4% U.S. federal gross income tax on our 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 unitholders.

You may be subject to income tax in one or more non-U.S. countries, including Greece, as a result of owning our units if, under the laws of any such country, we are considered to be carrying on business there. Such laws may require you to file a tax return with and pay taxes to those countries.

We intend that our affairs and the business of each of our subsidiaries will be conducted and operated in a manner that minimizes income taxes imposed upon us and these subsidiaries or which may be imposed upon you as a result of owning our units. However, because we are organized as a partnership, there is a risk in some jurisdictions that our activities and the activities of our subsidiaries may be attributed to our unitholders for tax purposes and, thus, that you will be subject to tax in one or more non-U.S. countries, including Greece, as a result of owning our units if, under the laws of any such country, we are considered to be carrying on business there. If you are subject to tax in any such country, you may be required to file a tax return with and pay tax in that country based on your allocable share of our income. We may be required to reduce distributions to you on account of any withholding obligations imposed upon us by that country in respect of such allocation to you. The United States may not allow a tax credit for any foreign income taxes that you directly or indirectly incur.

We believe we can conduct our activities in a manner so that our unitholders should not be considered to be carrying on business in Greece solely as a consequence of acquiring, holding, disposing of or participating in the redemption of our units. However, the question of whether either we or any of our subsidiaries will be treated as carrying on business in any country, including Greece, will largely be a question of fact determined through an analysis of contractual arrangements, including the management and the administrative services agreements we have entered into with our Managers, and the way we conduct business or operations, all of which may change over time. The laws of Greece or any other foreign country may also change, which could cause the country’s taxing authorities to determine that we are carrying on business in such country and are subject to its taxation laws. Any foreign taxes imposed on us or any subsidiaries or the increase of any tonnage tax will reduce our cash available for distribution.

 

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Item 4.

Information on the Partnership.

 

  A.

History and Development of the Partnership

We are a master limited partnership organized as Capital Product Partners L.P. under the laws of the Marshall Islands on January 16, 2007. We completed our initial public offering in April 2007. We maintain our principal executive headquarters at 3 Iassonos Street, Piraeus, 18537 Greece and our telephone number is +30 210 4584 950. Our registered address in the Marshall Islands is Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Marshall Islands MH96960. The name of our registered agent at such address is The Trust Company of the Marshall Islands, Inc. Our website address is www.capitalpplp.com. The SEC maintains an internet website at www.sec.gov that contains reports and other information regarding issuers, including us, that file electronically with the SEC. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through these websites is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report.

Recent Developments

Acquisition of vessels

In January 2020 the Partnership completed the acquisition of the three 10,000 TEU sister container vessels, namely the M/V Athos, the M/V Aristomenis and the M/V Athenian built in 2011 at Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd S. Korea, for a total consideration of $162.6 million from Capital Maritime. The vessels are employed under long-term time charters with Hapag-Lloyd which will expire in April 2024. The gross charter rate for each vessel currently amounts to $27,000 per day, increasing to $28,000 per day for the M/V Aristomenis from October 2020, and from July 2021 onwards for the M/V Athos and the M/V Athenian. Each of these time charters includes two one-year options at $32,500 and $33,500 gross per day.

Issuance of long-term debt

On January 17, 2020 the Partnership entered into a new term loan facility with Hamburg Commercial Bank A.G. (the “HCOB Facility”) of up to $38.5 million for the purpose of partially financing the acquisition of M/V Athenian. The full amount of the facility was drawn on January 22, 2020 and is payable in 20 consecutive quarterly installments of $0.9 million beginning three months after the drawdown date plus a balloon payment of $21.3 million payable together with the last quarterly installment due in January 2025. The loan facility bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.55%.

Sale and lease back transactions (financing arrangements)

On January 20, 2020 we entered into an agreement for the sale and lease back of the vessels M/V Athos and M/V Aristomenis with CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd, (“CMBFL”) for $38.5 million each. The lease agreement has a duration of five years, bears an interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.55% and includes a purchase option for us to acquire each vessel on expiration of the lease at the predetermined price of $22.5 million, and requires us to pay the amount of $7.5 million to CMBFL if the option is not exercised. In addition, we have various purchase options commencing from the first year anniversary of the lease. The full amounts were drawn on January 23, 2020.

In December 2019 we entered into a non-binding term sheet with ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (“ICBCFL”) for the sale and lease back of three vessels currently mortgaged under the 2017 credit facility, namely the CMA CGM Amazon, the CMA CGM Uruguay and the CMA CGM Magdalena, for a total amount of $155.4 million. The lease has a duration of seven years after drawdown, bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.60% and includes mandatory purchase obligations for us to repurchase the vessels on expiration of the agreement, at the predetermined price of $77.7 million. In addition, we have various purchase options commencing from the first year anniversary of the lease. The estimated amount required to be repaid to release these three vessels under the 2017 credit facility (based on the current principal amount outstanding under our 2017 credit facility and vessel charter free fair market values as of December 31, 2019) is $119.9 million. We expect the agreement to be finalized during March 2020.

2019 Developments

Completion of the DSS Transaction

On November 27, 2018, we entered into a definitive transaction agreement with DSS, pursuant to which we agreed to spin off the Tanker Business into a separate publicly listed company, DSSI, which would then combine with DSS’s businesses and operations in a share-for-share transaction. The DSS Transaction was completed on March 27, 2019. Please read the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split” for more information.

 

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Scrubber installation update

As of the date of this annual report, we completed the installation of scrubbers on five vessels, four of which are 5,000 TEU container vessels, and commenced the process of installing scrubbers on one additional 5,000 TEU container vessel. In October 2018, we entered into a series of agreements with HMM to increase the daily charter rate under each of the five charters for these vessels we have with HMM by $4,900 in light of the expenditure we will incur in connection with the installation of scrubbers. This increase is effective from January 1, 2020, or, if later, the installation date of the scrubbers. Accordingly, the four vessels on which scrubbers have been installed are earning the increased daily rate. Under previous charter restructuring arrangements with HMM, on January 1, 2020, the daily charter rate under each of the five charters we have with HMM reverted to the original daily gross rate of $29,350. Accordingly, the daily charter rate for these four vessels increased to $34,250.

Change of Manager

In August 2019, we completed the process of changing the manager of our container vessels from Capital Ship Management to Capital-Executive, a privately held company ultimately controlled by Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis. The agreement with Capital-Executive has the same terms and conditions of our floating fee management agreement with Capital Ship Management. M/V Cape Agamemnon remains under the management of Capital Ship Management under our floating fee management agreement with Capital Ship Management.

Adoption of an amended and restated omnibus incentive compensation plan

As of December 31, 2018, all restricted units issuable under our Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan (the “Plan”) had been issued. In July 2019, our board of directors adopted an amended and restated Plan, so as to reserve for issuance a maximum number of 740,000 restricted common units.

Change of Ownership of our General Partner

Our General Partner is a limited liability company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime as sole member. In April 2019, Capital Maritime transferred all membership interests in our General Partner to Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Business and Operations—We depend on our General Partner, a private company under the ownership of Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, for the day-to-day management of our affairs. The change of ownership of our General Partner may affect the way we and our operations are managed and our relationships with our charterers and other counterparties.

2018 Developments

Management Buy-Out of our Manager

Capital Ship Management is a privately held company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime. In 2018, Capital Ship Management conducted a management buy-out led by its senior management. Since then, Capital Ship Management is no longer part of the group of companies controlled by Capital Maritime.

Some members of the senior management of Capital Ship Management are also current directors or officers of Capital Maritime.

In addition, Mr. Gerasimos Ventouris, an officer of Capital Ship Management and director and officer of Capital Maritime, serves as the chief operating officer of our General Partner and Mr. Gurpal Grewal, a technical director of Capital Ship Management, serves as one of our directors appointed by our General Partner.

Please read “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Operations—We depend on our Managers, which are privately held companies, for the commercial and technical management of our fleet. If, for any reason, our Managers are unable to provide us with the necessary level of services to support and expand our business or qualify for long-term charters, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

Scrubber Agreements with HMM

In October 2018, we entered into a series of agreements with HMM as described above under “—2019 Developments—Scrubber installation update.”

 

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Sale and Acquisition of Vessels

On September 11, 2018, we entered into a memorandum of agreement for the sale of the M/T Amore Mio II (159,982 dwt, Crude Oil Carrier, built 2001, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, South Korea) to an unaffiliated third party for the amount of $11.2 million. We delivered the vessel on October 15, 2018. In connection with the sale, we recorded an impairment charge of $28.8 million and made a mandatory prepayment of $5.9 million under our 2017 credit facility.

In May 2018, we acquired from Capital Maritime the shares of the company owning the eco-type MR product tanker M/T Anikitos (50,082 dwt IMO II/III chemical product tanker built in 2016, Samsung Heavy Industries (Ningbo) Co., Ltd.) for total consideration of approximately $31.5 million. In January 2018, we acquired from Capital Maritime the shares of the company owning the eco-type M/T Aristaios, a crude tanker (113,689 dwt, Ice Class 1C, built in 2017, Daehan Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., South Korea), for total consideration of $52.5 million. The M/T Anikitos and M/T Aristaios were part of the Tanker Business that we spun-off in connection with the DSS Transaction.

2017 Developments

Sale of the M/T Aristotelis

On December 22, 2017, we entered into a memorandum of agreement for the sale of the M/T Aristotelis (51,604 dwt IMO II/III chemical product tanker built in 2013, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Ltd., South Korea) to an unaffiliated third party for the amount of $29.4 million. We delivered the vessel on April 25, 2018. In connection with the sale, we recorded an impairment charge of $3.3 million and prepaid $14.4 million under our 2017 credit facility.

Refinancing of External Debt

On September 6, 2017, we entered into a $460.0 million credit facility with a syndicate of lenders led by HCOB and ING Bank N.V. (“ING”), as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, and BNP Paribas and National Bank of Greece S.A., as arrangers.

On October 4, 2017, we drew the full amount of $460.0 million and, together with available cash of $102.2 million, fully repaid total indebtedness of $562.2 million. Please see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings—Our Credit Facilities” for further information on our 2017 credit facility.

At-the-market Offering

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we issued a total of 0.7 million new common units translating into net proceeds of $17.8 million after payment of sales agent commission (before offering expenses).

 

  B.

Business Overview

We are an international owner of ocean-going vessels. Following the spin-off of our Tanker Business in March 2019, and the acquisition of the three 10,000 TEU container vessels in January 2020, our fleet consists of 13 neo-panamax container carrier vessels (1.2 million dwt and total TEU capacity of 99,373, with an average age as at January 31, 2020, of approximately 7.7 years) and one capesize bulk carrier (0.2 million dwt, age as at January 31, 2020, 9.5 years), with an average age of approximately 7.8 years as at January 31, 2020, although two of our container vessels were built in 2006 and 2007 and our drybulk vessel was built in 2010.

All of our vessels are currently chartered under medium- to long-term charters (with remaining revenue-weighted charter of approximately 4.5 years as of January 31, 2020) to reputable charterers, such as CMA CGM, MSC, HMM, Hapag-Lloyd and COSCO. Our fleet is managed by our managers, Capital-Executive and Capital Ship Management, both private companies.

For information on the spin-off of our Tanker Business, please read the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split.”

Business Strategies

Our primary business objective is to increase cash available for distributions to our unitholders, while maintaining a strong financial position. We aim to realize our business objectives through the following strategies:

 

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Maintain medium- to long-term fixed charters. We seek to enter into medium- to long-term, fixed-rate charters for a majority of our fleet in an effort to provide visibility of revenues and cash flows. As our vessels come up for re-chartering, we aim to redeploy them under period contracts that reflect our expectations of prevailing market conditions. In the pursuit of our strategies, we evaluate growth opportunities across all shipping sectors. We believe that the average age of our fleet of approximately 7.8 years as at January 31, 2020, compared to an industry average of 12.4 years (adjusted for the composition of our fleet) and the high specifications of our vessels, position us favorably to continue to secure medium- to long-term charters for our vessels.

 

   

Expand our fleet through accretive acquisitions. Subject to available required financing, we intend to evaluate potential acquisitions of both newbuilds and second-hand vessels across the shipping markets. We also intend to take advantage of opportunities afforded to us by our relationship with our sponsor, Capital Maritime. In January 2020, we acquired three 10,000 TEU container vessels, the M/V Athos, M/V Aristomenis and M/V Athenian, from our sponsor for a total consideration of $162.6 million. Following this acquisition, Capital Maritime and its affiliates controlled a total of 28 vessels in the water. For future acquisitions, we may consider increases in our overall leverage, provided that we are able to maintain low breakeven rates and deliver stable distributions to our unitholders. In addition, we may pursue opportunities for acquisitions of, or combinations with, other shipping businesses.

 

   

Maintain and build on our ability to meet rigorous industry and regulatory safety standards. We believe that in order for us to be successful in growing our business, we need to maintain our vessel safety record and further build on our high level of customer service and support. We believe that our Managers, Capital-Executive and Capital Ship Management, have strong records of vessel safety and compliance with rigorous health, safety and environmental protection standards, and are committed to providing our charterers with a high level of customer service and support.

Competitive Strengths

We believe that we are well-positioned to execute our business strategies on the basis of the following competitive strengths:

 

   

Well-established relationships with our charterers. Our customers seek shipping partners that have a reputation for high standards of performance, reliability and safety. We believe that our Managers have well-established reputations within the shipping industry and strong safety and environmental track records. We also believe that our Managers have solid track records of long-standing relationships with a number of major charterers, which positions us favorably to further develop medium- to long-term charter relationships with leading charterers in the shipping industry.

 

   

Revenue and cash flow visibility and stability. As all of our vessels are chartered under medium- and long-term contracts, we benefit from revenue and cash flow visibility. As our vessels come up for re-chartering, we seek to redeploy them under contracts that reflect our expectations of prevailing market conditions.

 

   

High specification fleet. Our vessels were primarily constructed by reputable South Korean shipyards to high specifications and had an average age of 7.8 years as at January 31, 2020. In addition, eight of our existing container vessels are “eco, wide beam” type and have an increased cargo intake and reduced bunker consumption as compared to older vessel designs, and are able to transit the new Panama Canal locks. We believe that these characteristics make our containerships more attractive to charterers.

 

   

Strong balance sheet, cost efficient operations and acquisition funding. We believe that we have maintained a strong balance sheet and that, subject to market conditions, our financial strength positions us favorably to continue to make opportunistic acquisitions and grow our business with charterers as they seek financially sound counterparties for long-term contracts. We also believe that we have a long history of cost efficient ship management with consistent cost performance below industry benchmarks due to our outsourcing of our vessel management and operations to our Managers.

 

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Our Customers

We provide marine transportation services under medium- to long-term time charters with a range of counterparties:

 

   

CMA CGM, a French container transportation and shipping company.

 

   

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd, an integrated logistics company, operating around 130 vessels. HMM has worldwide global service networks and diverse logistics facilities.

 

   

Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. is part of the Cargo Division of the MSC Group shipping conglomerate, a global business engaged in the shipping and logistics sector.

 

   

COSCO Bulk Carrier Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (COSCO Group), which is one of the largest drybulk and container owners and operators globally.

 

   

Hapag Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft, is a German international shipping and container transportation company. It is currently the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity.

The loss of any significant customer or a substantial decline in the amount of services requested by a significant customer could harm our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Operations—We currently derive all of our revenues from a limited number of charterers and the loss of any charterer or charter or vessel could result in a significant loss of revenues and cash flows.

Our Management Agreements

Under our management agreements with Capital Executive and Capital Ship Management:

 

   

we pay our applicable Manager a daily technical management fee per vessel, which is revised annually based on the United States Consumer Price Index;

 

   

we indemnify our applicable Manager for expenses and liabilities it incurs on our behalf in the provision of the contracted for services, including, for example, crew, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, spares, lubricants and other operating costs; and

 

   

we bear all costs and expenses associated with a vessel’s drydocking.

We expect that vessels acquired in the future will be managed under similar floating fee management arrangements.

Our Fleet

At the time of our initial public offering in 2007, our fleet consisted of eight vessels. As of December 31, 2018, our fleet consisted of 36 vessels with an average age of approximately 8.5 years and average remaining term under our charters of approximately 4.6 years. We completed the spin-off of our Tanker Business on March 27, 2019, and during January 2020 we completed the acquisition of three neo-panamax container vessels from Capital Maritime. We currently own 13 neo-panamax container carrier vessels (1.2 million dwt) with an average age as at January 31, 2020, of approximately 7.7 years, although two of our container vessels were built in 2006 and 2007, and one capesize bulk carrier (0.2 million dwt; age as at January 31, 2020 of 9.5 years).

We intend, subject to prevailing shipping, charter and financing market conditions, to make strategic acquisitions in a prudent manner that is accretive to our unitholders and to long-term distribution growth. In addition, we may pursue opportunities for acquisitions of, or combinations with, other shipping businesses.

The table below provides summary information about the vessels in our current fleet, as well as their delivery date or expected delivery date to us and their employment, including earliest possible redelivery dates of the vessels and relevant charter rates. Sister vessels, which are vessels of similar specifications and size typically built at the same shipyard, are denoted by the same letter in the table. We believe that ownership of sister vessels provides a number of efficiency advantages in the management of our fleet.

All of the vessels in our fleet are or were designed, constructed, inspected and tested in accordance with the rules and regulations of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (“Lloyd’s”), Bureau Veritas (“BV”) or the American Bureau of Shipping (“ABS”) and were under time charters from the time of their delivery.

 

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VESSELS IN OUR FLEET

 

Vessel name

 

Sister

Vessels
(1)

  Year
built
    DWT –
TEU (8)
    OPEX
(per
day) (2)
    Management
Agreement
Expiration
    Charter
Duration/
Type (3)
    Expiry of
Charter
(4)
    Daily
Charter
Rate (Net)
    Charterer    

Description

DRYBULK VESSEL

                   

Cape Agamemnon

  A     2010       179,221       Floating       Jun 2021       10-yr TC       Jun 2020     $ 40,090       COSCO     Cape Size Dry Cargo

CONTAINER CARRIER VESSELS

                   

Archimidis (6)

  B     2006       108,892–8,266 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       4-yr TC       Feb 2024     $ 21,850       MSC     Container Carrier

Agamemnon

  B     2007       108,892–8,266 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       4.5-yr TC       Feb 2024     $ 21,850       MSC     Container Carrier

Hyundai Prestige (5)

  C     2013       63,010–5,023 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       12-yr TC       Dec 2024     $ 23,010       HMM    

Eco Wide Beam

Container Carrier

Hyundai Premium (5)

  C     2013       63,010–5,023 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       12-yr TC       Jan 2025     $ 23,010       HMM     Eco Wide Beam Container Carrier

Hyundai Paramount (5)

  C     2013       63,010–5,023 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       12-yr TC       Feb 2025     $ 23,010       HMM     Eco Wide Beam Container Carrier

Hyundai Privilege (5)

  C     2013       63,010–5,023 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       12-yr TC       Mar 2025     $ 23,010       HMM     Eco Wide Beam Container Carrier

Hyundai Platinum (5)

  C     2013       63,010–5,023 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       12-yr TC       Apr 2025     $ 23,010       HMM     Eco Wide Beam Container Carrier

CMA CGM Amazon

  D     2015       115,534–9,288 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       5-yr TC       May 2020     $ 38,759       CMACGM     Eco-Flex, Wide Beam Container

CMA CGM Uruguay

  D     2015       115,639–9,288 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       5-yr TC       Aug 2020     $ 38,759       CMACGM     Eco-Flex, Wide Beam Container

CMA CGM Magdalena

  D     2016       115,639–9,288 TEU       Floating       Aug 2024       5-yr TC       Jan 2021     $ 38,759       CMA CGM     Eco-Flex, Wide Beam Container

Athos (7)

  E     2011       118,888-9,954 TEU       Floating       Jan 2025       4.8-yr TC       Apr 2024     $ 26,325       Hapag-Lloyd     Container Carrier

Aristomenis (7)

  E     2011       118,712-9,954 TEU       Floating       Jan 2025       5.5-yr TC       Apr 2024     $ 26,325       Hapag-Lloyd     Container Carrier

Athenian (7)

  E     2011       118,834-9,954 TEU       Floating       Jan 2025       4.8-yr TC       Apr 2024     $ 26,325       Hapag-Lloyd     Container Carrier
   

 

 

               

TOTAL FLEET DWT:

      1,415,301–99,373 TEU                
   

 

 

               

 

(1)

Sister vessels and shipyards of origin are denoted in the tables by the following letters: (A) this vessel was built by Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., South Korea; (B): these vessels were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. LTD. South Korea; (C): these vessels were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd, South Korea; (D): these vessels were built by Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A; (E): these vessels were built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.

(2)

These vessels are managed under a floating fee management agreement entered into with one of our Managers. For additional details regarding our management agreements, please see “—Our Management Agreements” above.

(3)

TC: Time Charter.

(4)

Earliest possible redelivery date.

(5)

As owner of the M/V Hyundai Prestige, the M/V Hyundai Paramount, the M/V Hyundai Premium, the M/V Hyundai Privilege and the M/V Hyundai Platinum, we entered into a charter restructuring agreement with HMM on July 15, 2016. Under that agreement, we agreed to reduce the charter rate payable under each charter by 20% to a net daily rate of $23,010 (from a net daily rate of $28,616) for a three and a half year period starting on July 18, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2019. The charter restructuring agreement further provided that at the end of the charter reduction period, the charter rate under the respective charter parties would revert to the original net daily rate of $28,763 until the expiry of each charter. In October 2018, we entered into a series of agreements with HMM to increase the daily charter rate under each of the five charters we have with HMM by $4,851 in light of the expenditure we incurred in connection with the installation of scrubbers. Accordingly, the daily charter rate for the four vessels on which scrubbers were installed further increased to $33,614.

(6)

The charter is expected to commence upon the completion of the vessel’s special survey and scrubbers installation in March 2020. The net charter rate is $21,850 and will expire in February 2024.

(7)

The vessels are under long-term time charters with Hapag-Lloyd which will expire in April 2024. The net charter rate for each vessel currently amounts to $26,325 per day, increasing to $27,300 per day for the M/V Aristomenis from October 2020, and from July 2021 onwards for the M/V Athos and the M/V Athenian. Each of these time charters includes two one-year options at $31,688 and $32,663 net per day. The acquisition of the vessels was completed during January 2020.

(8)

DWT: Dead Weight Ton. TEU: Twenty-foot Equivalent Units.

 

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Our Charters

All of our vessels are currently chartered under medium- to long-term charters (with remaining revenue-weighted charter duration of approximately 4.5 years as of January 31, 2020). Under certain circumstances, we may operate our vessels in the spot market or certain of our vessels may remain idle until they are fixed under appropriate medium- to long-term charters. As our vessels come up for re-chartering, depending on the prevailing market rates, we may not be able to re-charter them at levels similar to their current charters, or at all, which may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and ability to make distributions and service or refinance our debt. Please read “—Our Fleet” for more information on our time charters, including counterparties, expected expiration dates of the charters and daily charter rates.

Time Charters

A time charter is a contract for the use of a vessel for a fixed period of time at a specified daily rate. Under a time charter, the vessel’s owner provides crewing and other services related to the vessel’s operation, the cost of which is included in the daily rates and the charterer is responsible for substantially all vessel voyage costs except for commissions which are assumed by the owner. The basic hire rate payable under the charters is a previously agreed daily rate, as specified in the charter, payable at the beginning of the month in U.S. Dollars.

Bareboat Charters

A bareboat charter is a contract pursuant to which the vessel owner provides the vessel to the customer for a fixed period of time at a specified daily rate, and the customer provides for all of the vessel’s expenses (including any commissions) and generally assumes all risk of operation. The customer undertakes to maintain the vessel in a good state of repair and efficient operating condition and drydock the vessel during this period at its cost and as per the classification society requirements. None of our vessels are currently under bareboat charters.

Spot Charters

A spot charter generally refers to a voyage charter or a trip charter or a short-term time charter.

Voyage / Trip Charter

A voyage charter involves the carriage of a specific amount and type of cargo on a “load port-to-discharge port” basis, subject to various cargo handling terms. Under a typical voyage charter, the shipowner is paid on the basis of moving cargo from a loading port to a discharge port. In voyage charters the shipowner generally is responsible for paying both vessel operating costs and voyage expenses, and the charterer generally is responsible for any delay at the loading or discharging ports. Under a typical trip charter or short-term time charter, the shipowner is paid on the basis of moving cargo from a loading port to a discharge port at a set daily rate. The charterer is responsible for paying bunkers and other voyage expenses, while the shipowner is responsible for paying vessel operating expenses.

Seasonality

Our vessels operate under medium- to long-term charters and are not generally subject to the effect of seasonable variations in demand.

Management of Ship Operations, Administration and Safety

Our objective is to run our operations in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. To that end, our Managers, Capital-Executive and Capital Ship Management, provide expertise in various functions critical to our operations. Specifically, pursuant to the management and administrative services agreements we have entered into with them, our Managers grant us access to human resources, financial and other administrative services, including bookkeeping, audit and accounting services, administrative and clerical services, banking and financial services, client, investor relations, information technology and technical management services, including commercial management of the vessels, vessel maintenance and crewing (not required for vessels subject to bareboat charters), procurement, insurance and shipyard supervision.

Capital-Executive, is a privately held company ultimately controlled by Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis. Capital Ship Management is a privately held company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime. In 2018, Capital Ship Management conducted a management buy-out led by its senior management. Since then, Capital Ship Management is no longer part of the group of companies controlled by Capital Maritime. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Operations—We depend on our Managers, which are privately held companies for the commercial and technical management of our fleet. If, for any reason, our Manager is unable to provide us with the necessary level of services to support and expand our business or qualify for long-term charters, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and our ability to make cash distributions and service or refinance our debt may be materially affected.

 

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Historically, we had three separate technical and commercial management agreements for the management of our fleet: (i) the fixed fee management agreement, (ii) the floating fee management agreement and (iii), with respect to the vessels acquired as part of the merger with Crude Carriers, the Crude Carriers management agreement. The aggregate management fees paid for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $3.9 million, $4.2 million and $4.5 million, respectively. Following the spin-off of our Tanker Business, all our vessels were managed under one of our floating fee management agreements with our Managers. Please see “—Our Management Agreements” and “Item 7. Major Unitholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related-Party Transactions—Administrative and executive services agreements with Capital Ship Management.”

In compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s ISM code, our Managers operate under a safety management system certified by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (“LRS”). Our Managers’ management systems also comply with the Quality Standard ISO 9001, the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001, the Occupational Health & Safety Management System 18001 and the Energy Management Standard 50001, all of which are certified by LRS. In addition, our Managers have implemented an “Integrated Management System Approach” verified by the LRS and adopted “Business Continuity Management” principles in cooperation with LRS.

One of the key strategies of our Managers is the implementation of a regime of responsible, safe and clean shipping in an effort to operate our vessels in a manner intended to protect the safety and health of our Managers’ employees, the general public and the environment. Our Managers’ senior management teams aim to actively manage the risks inherent in our business and are committed to eliminating incidents that threaten safety, such as groundings, fires, collisions and spills, as well as reducing emissions and waste generation.

Capital Executive currently outsources the technical management and crewing of three of our vessels, the M/V Athenian, the M/V Athos and the M/V Aristomenis, to a third party.

From time to time, our Managers provide management services to shipping companies other than us. In particular, Capital Ship Management will continue to assume the commercial and technical management of the Tanker Business we contributed to DSSI for a period of five years following completion of the DSS Transaction under separate arrangements that Capital Ship Management entered into with DSSI. Please read “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us—Our Managers may provide management services to other shipping companies and may face conflicts between our interests and the interests of such other shipping companies.”

Crewing and Staff

Capital-Executive and Capital Ship Management, through a Capital Ship Management subsidiary in Romania and crewing offices in Romania, Russia and the Philippines, recruit senior officers and crews for our vessels. Our vessels are currently manned primarily by Romanian, Russian and Filipino crew members. We believe that both Capital-Executive and Capital Ship Management have significant experience in operating vessels in this configuration and have access to a pool of certified and experienced crew members whom it can recruit to man our vessels.

Classification, Inspection and Maintenance

Every oceangoing vessel must be “classed” and certified by a classification society. The classification society is responsible for verifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the classification society and ship’s country of registry, as well as the international conventions of which that country has accepted and signed. 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 or port authority. These surveys are subject to agreements made in each individual case and/or to the regulations of the country concerned.

For the maintenance of the class certificate, 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, which are conducted for the hull and the machinery at intervals of 12 months (or up to 15 months) from the date of commencement of the class period indicated on the certificate.

 

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Intermediate surveys, which are extended annual surveys and are typically conducted each two and a half years (or up to three years) after completion of each class renewal survey. In the case of newbuilds or vessels of up to 15 years of age, the requirements of the intermediate survey can be met through an underwater inspection in lieu of drydocking the vessel. Intermediate surveys may be carried out on the occasion of the second or third annual survey.

 

   

Class renewal surveys (also known as special surveys) are carried out at the intervals indicated by the classification for the hull, which are usually at five-year intervals. During the special survey, the vessel is thoroughly examined, including Non-Destructive Inspections to determine the thickness of the steel structures. Should the thickness be found to be less than class requirements, the classification society will order steel renewals. The classification society may grant a three-month extension for completion of the special survey under certain conditions. 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 five years, a ship-owner or manager has the option, depending on the type of ship, 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.

These processes are referred to as Continuous Hull Survey (“CHS”) and Continuous Machinery Survey. However, the CHS notation is not valid for vessels that are subject to Enhanced Survey Program surveys, as required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”).

Occasional Surveys are carried out as a result of unexpected events (e.g., an accident or other circumstances requiring unscheduled attendance by the classification society for reconfirming that the vessel maintains its class) following such an unexpected event.

All areas subject to survey, as defined by the classification society, are required to be surveyed at least once per class period, unless shorter intervals between surveys are prescribed elsewhere.

Vessels above 15 year of age, subject to enhanced survey requirements are also drydocked every two and a half years for inspection of the underwater parts and any deficiencies identified during the inspections need to be rectified either during the inspection or at a later stage if that is found to be appropriate based on its class. The classification surveyor in this case 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, ABS and BV. All new and secondhand vessels that we may purchase must be certified prior to their delivery under our standard agreements. If any vessel we contract to purchase is not certified as “in class” on the date of closing, under our standard purchase agreements, we will have no obligation to take delivery of such vessel.

Risk Management and Insurance

The operation of any ocean-going vessel carries an inherent risk of catastrophic marine disasters, death or personal injury and property losses caused by adverse weather conditions, mechanical failures, human error, war, terrorism, piracy and other circumstances or events. The occurrence of any of these events may result in loss of revenues or increased costs or, in the case of marine disasters, catastrophic liabilities. Although we believe our current insurance program is usual and comprehensive in our industry, we cannot insure against all risks, and we cannot be certain that all covered risks are adequately insured against or that we will be able to achieve or maintain similar levels of coverage throughout a vessel’s useful life. Furthermore, there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid by the insurer or that it will always be possible to obtain insurance coverage at reasonable rates. More stringent environmental regulations have resulted in increased costs for, and may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against the risks of environmental damage or pollution. Any uninsured or under-insured loss could harm our business and financial condition or could materially impair or end our ability to trade or operate.

We believe our current insurance program is prudent. We currently carry the traditional range of marine and liability insurance coverage for each of our vessels to protect against most of the accident-related risks involved in the conduct of our business. Specifically we carry:

 

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Hull and machinery insurance, which covers loss of or damage to a vessel due to marine perils such as collisions, grounding and heavy weather. Coverage is usually to an agreed “insured value” which, as a matter of policy, is never less than the particular vessel’s fair market value. Cover is subject to policy deductibles which are always subject to change.

 

   

Increased value insurance, which enhances hull and machinery insurance cover by increasing the insured value of the vessels in the event of a total loss casualty.

 

   

Protection and indemnity insurance, which is the principal coverage for third-party liabilities and indemnifies against such liabilities incurred while operating vessels, including injury to the crew, third parties, cargo or third-party property loss (including oil pollution) for which the shipowner is responsible. We carry the current maximum available amount of coverage for oil pollution risks, $1.0 billion per vessel per incident.

 

   

War risks insurance, which covers such items as piracy and terrorism.

 

   

Freight, demurrage and defense cover, which is a form of legal costs insurance covering certain costs of prosecuting or defending commercial (usually uninsured operating) claims.

Not all risks are insured and not all risks are insurable. The principal insurable risks which nevertheless remain uninsured across our fleet are “loss of hire” and “strikes”.

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our insurance coverage as of December 31, 2019:

 

Type

   Aggregate Sum Insured for All Vessels in Our
Existing Fleet

Hull and Machinery

   $880.0 million

Increased Value (including Excess Liabilities)

   $210.0 million additional “total loss” coverage

Hull & Machinery (War Risks)

   $1.09 billion

Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Pollution Liability Claims

   Up to $1.0 billion per incident per vessel

Competition

We operate in a highly fragmented, highly diversified global market with many charterers, owners and operators of vessels.

Competition for charters can be intense. The ability to obtain favorable charters depends, in addition to price, on a variety of other factors, including the location, size, age, condition and acceptability of the vessel and its operator to the charterer. Although we believe that at the present time no single company has a dominant position in the markets in which we operate, that could change and we may face substantial competition for medium- to long-term charters from a number of experienced companies who may have greater resources or experience than we do when we try to re-charter our vessels. However, we believe our ability to comply better with the rigorous standards of major charterers relative to less qualified or experienced operators allows us to effectively compete for new charters.

Regulation

General

Our operations and our status as an operator and manager of ships are extensively regulated by international conventions, Class requirements, U.S. federal, state and local as well as non-U.S. health, safety and environmental protection laws and regulations, including, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the U.S. Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the U.S. Clean Air Act (“Clean Air Act”), the U.S. Clean Water Act, as well as regulations adopted by the International Maritime Organization and the European Union, air emission requirements, IMO/USCG/EPA pollution regulations and various SOLAS amendments, as well as insurance requirements and other regulations described below. In addition, various jurisdictions either have or are adopting ballast water management conventions to prevent the introduction of non-indigenous invasive species. Compliance with these laws, regulations and other requirements could entail additional expense, including vessel modifications and implementation of additional operating procedures.

 

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We are also required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies and international organizations to obtain permits, licenses and certificates for our vessels, depending upon such factors as the country of registry, the cargo transported, the trading area, the nationality of the vessel’s crew, the age and size of the vessel and our status as owner or charterer. Failure to maintain necessary permits, licenses or certificates could require us to incur substantial costs or temporarily suspend the operation of one or more of our vessels.

We believe that the heightened environmental and quality concerns of insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers will impose greater inspection, training and safety requirements on all types of vessels in the shipping industry. In addition to inspections by us, our vessels are subject to both scheduled and unscheduled inspections by a variety of governmental and private entities, each of which may have unique requirements. These entities include the local port authorities (such as USCG, harbor master or equivalent), classification societies, flag state administration P&I Clubs, charterers, and particularly terminal operators which conduct frequent vessel inspections.

It is our policy to operate our vessels in full compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. However, regulatory programs are complex, frequently change and may impose increasingly strict requirements, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of complying with these and any future requirements, or their impact on the resale value or useful life of our vessels.

United States Requirements

The United States regulates the shipping industry with extensive environmental protection requirements and a liability regime addressing violations and the cleanup of oil spills, primarily through the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”), CERCLA and certain coastal state laws.

CERCLA applies to the discharges of hazardous substances (other than oil) whether on land or at sea, and contains a liability regime that provides for cleanup, removal and natural resource damages. Liability under CERCLA is limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $5.0 million for vessels carrying any hazardous substances as cargo, or $0.5 million for any other vessel, per release of or incident involving hazardous substances. These limits of liability do not apply if the incident is caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct, or a violation of certain regulations, in which case, liability is unlimited. We believe that we are in material compliance with OPA 90, CERCLA and all applicable state and local regulations in U.S. ports where our vessels call.

The Clean Water Act requires owners and operators of vessels to adopt contingency plans for reporting and responding to oil spill scenarios up to a “worst case” scenario and to identify and ensure, through contracts or other approved means, the availability of necessary private response resources to respond to a “worst case discharge.” In addition, periodic training programs, drills for shore and response personnel, and for vessels and their crews, are required. Our vessel response plans have been approved by the USCG. The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in U.S. navigable waters and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for unauthorized discharges. The Clean Water Act also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations govern the discharge into U.S. waters of ballast water and other substances incidental to the normal operation of vessels. Under EPA regulations, commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length are required to obtain coverage under the EPA 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”) by submitting a Notice of Intent. The VGP incorporates current USCG requirements for ballast water management as well as supplemental ballast water requirements, and includes technology-based and water-quality based limits for other discharges, such as deck runoff, bilge water and gray water. USCG regulations will phase in stricter VGP ballast management requirements in the future.

Administrative obligations, such as monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements also apply. Implementation of the water treatment standards adopted by the USCG/EPA is required earlier than the implementation of equivalent standards agreed by the International Maritime Organization. For trading in the U.S. waters, vessels are to be fitted with ballast water treatment systems approved by the USCG at the first bottom survey after January 1, 2016. A number of BWTS technologies have Alternate Management System (“AMS”) extension approvals and a number of other systems have recently received a USCG type BWTS approval. We have obtained extensions for the majority of our vessels with due date of docking up to and including 2018 to carry out installation of BWTS at the next docking survey occurring after December 31, 2018. Although future extensions may still be granted, obtaining an extension due to lack of type approved systems will now be more difficult because owners must prove that none of the recently approved systems are suitable for their vessels. Compliance with these requirements may impose substantial costs for retrofitting our vessels with BWTS or otherwise restrict our vessels from performing certain operations in U.S. waters that involve the discharge of ballast water.

 

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The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to promulgate standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants and other air contaminants. The Clean Air Act also requires states to draft State Implementation Plans (“SIPs”) designed to attain national health-based air quality standards, which have significant regulatory impacts in major metropolitan and/or industrial areas. Several SIPs regulate emissions resulting from vessel loading and unloading operations by requiring the installation of vapor control equipment. Individual states, including California, also regulate vessel emissions within state waters. California also has adopted fuel content regulations that will apply to all vessels sailing within 24 miles of the California coastline or whose itineraries call for them to enter any California ports, terminal facilities, or internal or estuarine waters. In addition, the International Maritime Organization designates areas extending 200 miles from the U.S. territorial sea baseline adjacent to the Atlantic/Gulf and Pacific coasts and the eight main Hawaiian Islands as Sulphur Emission Control Areas under amendments to the Annex VI of MARPOL (discussed below). In addition, regulatory initiatives to require cold-ironing (shore-based power while docked) or alternative emission reduction measures are under consideration or in the process of adoption in a number of jurisdictions to reduce air emissions from docked ships. Compliance with these regulations entails significant capital expenditures or otherwise increases the costs of our operations.

International Requirements

In September 1997, the International Maritime Organization adopted Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships to address air pollution from ships. Annex VI sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons. Annex VI also includes a global cap on the sulphur content of fuel oil and allows for special sulphur emission control areas to be established with more stringent controls on sulphur emissions (“SECA areas”).

Amendments to Annex VI to the MARPOL address particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions. The revised Annex VI reduces air pollution from vessels by, among other things (i) implementing a progressive reduction of sulphur oxide emissions from ships, and (ii) establishing new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their date of installation. A global 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuels came into force on January 1, 2020, as agreed in amendments adopted in 2008 for Annex VI to the MARPOL. Annex VI sets progressively stricter regulations to control sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions from ships, which present both environmental and health risks. The 0.5% sulphur cap marks a significant reduction from the prior global sulphur cap of 3.5%, which came into effect on January 1, 2012.

Shipowners can meet the new requirements by continuing to use fuel types which exceed the 0.5% sulphur limit and retrofitting an approved Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (also known as scrubbers) to remove sulphur from exhaust, which would require a substantial capital expenditure and prolonged off-hire of the vessel during installation, or use petroleum fuels such as marine gasoil (MGO), which meet the 0.5% sulphur limit. According to Clarksons Shipping Intelligence Network, the premium of MGO over 380 CST 3.5% bunker fuel in Rotterdam has averaged $197/mt over the last five years and $257/mt in January 2020. Depending on the vessel type and size, this could mean a substantial increase in the cost of bunkers for the vessel. This cost could increase further if the refining sector is unable to cope with the higher distillate demand, resulting in a tight distillate market and wider spread between HSFOs and MGOs, or by retrofitting the vessel to handle alternative fuels, such as LNG, methanol, biofuels, LPG etc. Retrofitting vessels for the consumption of these type of alternative fuels would involve a substantial capital expenditure and might be uneconomical for most conventional vessel types given current technology and design challenges.

Additionally, as of January 1, 2015, more stringent sulphur emission standards apply in coastal areas designated as Sulphur Emission Control Areas. We incur additional costs to comply with these revised standards. A failure to comply with Annex VI requirements could result in a vessel not being able to operate. All of our vessels are subject to Annex VI regulations. We believe that our existing vessels meet relevant Annex VI requirements. Nevertheless, as most existing vessels are not designed to operate on ultra-low sulphur distillate fuel continuously, we are introducing mitigating measures and or modifications enabling vessels to operate continuously within SECA areas. These mitigation measures and modifications may increase our operating expenses.

In general, as our vessels are employed under time charter arrangements, our charterers are responsible for procuring compliant bunkers for our vessels and incur the cost of these bunkers.

The ISM code, promulgated by the International Maritime Organization, also requires the party with operational control of a vessel to develop an extensive safety management system that includes, among other things, the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for operating its vessels safely and describing procedures for responding to emergencies. The ISM code requires that vessel operators obtain a safety management certificate for each vessel they operate. No vessel can obtain a certificate unless its manager has been awarded a document of compliance, issued by each flag state, under the ISM code. All of our ocean-going vessels are ISM certified.

 

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Noncompliance with the ISM code and other IMO regulations may subject the shipowner or bareboat charterer to increased liability, may lead to increased premiums and decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to, or detention in, some ports.

Many countries have ratified and follow the liability plan adopted by the International Maritime Organization and set out in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969 (the “CLC”) (the United States, with its separate OPA 90 regime, is not a party to the CLC). Under this convention and depending on whether the country in which the damage results is a party to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, a vessel’s registered owner is strictly liable for pollution damage caused in the territorial waters of a contracting state by discharge of persistent oil, subject to certain defenses. Under the Protocol for vessels of 5,000 to 140,000 gross tons, liability is limited to approximately $7.1 million plus $989.2 for each additional gross ton over 5,000. For vessels of over 140,000 gross tons, liability is limited to approximately $140.7 million. As the convention calculates liability in terms of a basket of currencies, these figures are based on currency exchange rates on December 31, 2010. The right to limit liability is forfeited under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage where the spill is caused by the owner’s actual fault and under the 1992 Protocol where the spill is caused by the owner’s intentional or reckless conduct. Vessels trading to states that are parties to these conventions must provide evidence of insurance covering the liability of the owner. In jurisdictions where the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage has not been adopted, various legislative schemes or common law regimes govern, and liability is imposed either on the basis of fault or in a manner similar to that convention. We believe that our P&I insurance will cover the liability coverage requirements under the plan adopted by the International Maritime Organization.

In 2001, the International Maritime Organization adopted the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (the “Bunker Convention”), which imposes strict liability on ship owners for pollution damage caused by discharges of bunker oil in jurisdictional waters of ratifying states. 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). Our fleet has been issued with a certificate attesting that insurance is in force in accordance with the insurance provisions of the convention.

As of the date of this Annual Report, five of our vessels have been retrofitted with scrubbers, one has been retrofitted with a BWTS, while one is currently being retrofitted with scrubbers and one is being retrofitted with both scrubbers and a BWTS. We expect that one additional vessel will be retrofitted with a BWTS during 2020. We may decide to retrofit the rest of our fleet with scrubbers and BWTS in 2020 and/or 2021, subject to market developments and yard availability.

Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Increasing concerns about climate change have resulted in a number of international, national and regional measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and additional stricter measures can be expected in the future.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or Kyoto Protocol, requires participating countries to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, generally referred to as greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. Currently, the emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol. However, new treaties may be adopted in the future that include restrictions on shipping emissions. The European Union also has indicated that it intends to propose an expansion of the existing European Union emissions trading scheme to include emissions of greenhouse gases from vessels. In addition, the EPA has begun regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act and climate change initiatives have been adopted by state and local jurisdictions and are being considered in the U.S. Congress. A consensus agreement reached at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and ratified in October 2016 commits participating nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of keeping global temperature increases well below two degrees Celsius, with regular five-year reviews of progress beginning in 2023. National and multilateral efforts to meet these goals could result in reductions in the use of carbon fuels generally, and stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions from ships in particular. Any passage of climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives by the International Maritime Organization, European Union, the U.S. or other countries where we operate that restrict emissions of greenhouse gases could have a financial impact on our operations that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. In addition, scientific studies have indicated that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can produce climate changes with significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and other severe weather events that could affect our operations. Increased concern over the effects of climate change may also affect energy strategies and consumption patterns which could adversely affect demand for the marine transport of petroleum products.

Disclosure of activities pursuant to Section 13(r) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934

During 2019, none of our vessels and no vessel owned or chartered by Capital Maritime made any port calls to Iran. As part of the voyage charter arrangements between us and third-party charterers or sub-charterers, we or our Managers may pay fees and expenses related to the port calls made in Iran through a private third-party agent in Iran appointed by the third-party charterer or sub-charterer. In 2019 none of our vessels were employed under voyage charter and no such port calls were made.

 

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C. Organizational Structure

The following diagram depicts our organizational structure as of December 31, 2019.

 

LOGO

Please also see Note 1 (Basis of Presentation and General Information) to our Financial Statements and Exhibit 8.1 to this Annual Report for a list of our significant subsidiaries as of December 31, 2019.

D. Property, Plants and Equipment

Other than our vessels, we do not have any material property. For further details regarding our vessels, including any environmental issues that may affect our utilization of these assets, please read “—B: Business Overview—Our Fleet” and “—Regulation.” Our obligations under our financing arrangements are secured by all our vessels. For further details regarding our financing arrangements, please read “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings.”

 

Item 4A.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

 

Item 5.

Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.

You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our Financial Statements. Among other things, the Financial Statements include more detailed information regarding the basis of presentation for the following information. The Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and are presented in thousands of U.S. Dollars.

For purposes of both the following discussion and the Financial Statements, results of operations of the Tanker Business we spun-off in the DSS Transaction are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented. The following discussion relates to results of operations from continuing operations.

 

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The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that are made based upon management’s current plans, expectations, estimates, assumptions and beliefs concerning future events impacting us and therefore involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including those risks and uncertainties discussed in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” These risks, uncertainties and assumptions involve known and unknown risks and are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.

 

A.

Operating Results

Overview

We are an international owner of ocean going vessels.

We were organized in January 2007 by Capital Maritime, an international shipping company with a long history of operating and investing in the shipping market.

Our primary business objective is to make distributions to our unitholders on a quarterly basis and increase the level of our distributions over time, subject to shipping and charter market developments and our ability to obtain required financing and access financial markets.

We seek to rely on medium- to long-term, fixed-rate period charters and our Managers’ cost-efficient management of our vessels to provide visibility of revenues, earnings and distributions in the medium- to long-term. As our vessels come up for re-chartering, we seek to redeploy them on terms that reflect our expectations of the market conditions prevailing at the time.

We intend to further evaluate potential opportunities to acquire both newly built and second-hand vessels from Capital Maritime or third parties (including, potentially, through the acquisition of, or combination with, other shipping businesses) in a prudent manner that is accretive to our unitholders and long-term distribution growth, subject to approval of our board of directors, overall market conditions and our ability to obtain required financing and access financial markets.

We generally rely on external financing sources, including bank borrowings and sale-leaseback arrangements and, depending on market conditions, the issuance of debt and equity securities, to fund the acquisition of new vessels. See “—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources” below.

As of December 31, 2019, the Marinakis family, including Evangelos M. Marinakis, the chairman of Capital Maritime, our sponsor, may be deemed to beneficially own a 18.8% interest in us through, among others, Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments.

The DSS Transaction

As of December 31, 2018, our fleet consisted of 36 high specification vessels with an average age of approximately 8.5 years, including three Suezmax crude oil tankers (0.5 million dwt), one Aframax crude/product oil tanker (0.1 million dwt), 21 medium range product tankers (0.9 million dwt), ten neo-Panamax container carrier vessels (0.9 million dwt) and one Capesize bulk carrier (0.2 million dwt).

Following the spin-off of our Tanker Business completed on March 27, 2019 and the acquisition of three neo-panamax container vessels in January 2020, we currently own a fleet consisting of 13 neo-Panamax container carrier vessels and one Capesize bulk carrier with an average age of approximately 7.8 years as at January 31, 2020.

The significant reduction in the number of our vessels has resulted in a reduced asset base, which has affect, and which we expect will continue to affect our results of operations in a number of respects, including the following:

 

   

We generate comparatively less revenue and incur less operating expenses than if the DSS Transaction had not occurred. See “—Factors to Consider When Evaluating Our Results.”

 

   

We may be exposed to increased earnings variability due to a smaller and less-diverse fleet and a more concentrated customer base in comparison to our fleet and customer base before the completion of the DSS Transaction.

 

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Our general and administrative expenses have proportionally a greater impact on our results from operations.

Our Charters

We generate revenues by charging our charterers for the use of our vessels.

Historically, our vessels were chartered under time or bareboat charter agreements. As of December 31, 2019, all of our vessels were trading in the period market.

Our vessels are currently under contracts with HMM, COSCO, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC.

The loss of, default by or restructuring of any significant charterer or a substantial decline in the amount of services requested by a significant charterer could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Please read “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Operations—We currently derive all of our revenues from a limited number of charterers and the loss of any charterer or charter or vessel could result in a significant loss of revenues and cash flows.”

HMM Restructuring and Scrubber Agreements

HMM, the charterer of five of our container vessels and one of our largest counterparties in terms of revenue, completed a financial restructuring in July 2016. We entered into a charter restructuring agreement with HMM on July 15, 2016. This agreement provided for the reduction of the charter rate payable under the respective charters by 20% to $23,480 per day (from a gross daily rate of $29,350) for a three and a half year period starting in July 2016 and ending in December 2019. The total charter rate reduction for the charter reduction period was approximately $37.0 million. The charter restructuring agreement further provided that at the end of the charter reduction period, the charter rate under the respective charters would revert to the original gross daily rate of $29,350 until the expiry of each charter in 2024 or 2025. As compensation for the charter rate reduction, we received approximately 4.4 million HMM common shares, which we sold on the Stock Market Division of the Korean Exchange for an aggregate consideration of $29.7 million in August 2016. On January 1, 2020, the charter rate reverted to the original gross daily rate of $29,350.

In October 2018, we entered into a series of agreements with HMM to increase the daily charter rate under each of the five charters we have with HMM by $4,900 in light of the expenditure we will incur in connection with the installation of scrubbers. This increase is effective from January 1, 2020, or, if later, the installation date of the scrubbers. As of the date of this Annual Report, scrubbers have been installed on four of the five vessels on charter to HMM and such vessels are earning the increased daily rate.

Factors Affecting Our Future Results of Operations

We believe that the principal factors affecting our future results of operations are the economic, regulatory, financial, credit, political and governmental conditions prevailing in the shipping industry generally and in the countries and markets in which our vessels are chartered.

As of the date of this Annual Report, we are exposed to the container market to a significant extent, as all but one of our vessels are container vessels. We expect that three of our time charters will expire in the coming 12 months.

The world economy has experienced significant economic and political upheavals in recent history. In addition, credit supply has been constrained and financial markets have been particularly turbulent for master limited partnerships such as us. Protectionist trends, global growth and demand for the seaborne transportation of goods, including dry and containerized goods, and overcapacity and deliveries of newly built vessels may affect the shipping industry in general and our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows in particular.

Some of the key factors that may affect our business, future financial condition, results of operations and cash flow include the following:

 

   

supply and demand for containerized goods and dry cargo;

 

   

supply and orderbook of vessels, including, container vessels and drybulk vessels;

 

   

the continuing demand for goods from China, India, Brazil and Russia and other emerging markets and developments in international trade including threats and/or imposition of trade tariffs;

 

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time charter hire levels and our ability to re-charter our vessels at competitive rates as their current charters expire;

 

   

our ability to comply with the covenants in our financing arrangements, including covenants relating to the maintenance of vessel value ratios;

 

   

developments in vessel values, which might affect our ability to comply with certain covenants under our financing arrangements and/or refinance our debt;

 

   

the relationships and reputation of our Managers, our General Partner and Capital Maritime in the shipping industry;

 

   

the effective and efficient technical management of our vessels;

 

   

the strength of and growth in the number of our customer relationships;

 

   

the prevailing spot market rates and the number of our vessels which we may operate in the spot market;

 

   

our level of debt and the related interest expense and amortization of principal;

 

   

the ability to increase the size of our fleet and make additional acquisitions that are accretive to our unitholders;

 

   

our access to debt and equity financing, and the cost of capital required to acquire additional vessels or to implement our business strategy;

 

   

our ability to comply with maritime regulations and standards, including new environmental regulations and standards, and the costs associated therewith; and

 

   

the costs associated with upcoming drydocking of our vessels.

Please read “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” for a discussion of certain risks inherent in our business.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Our Results

We believe it is important to consider the size of our fleet when evaluating our results of operations. As of December 31, 2019, we owned ten neo-Panamax container carrier vessels and one Capesize bulk carrier. As described above under “—Overview—The DSS Transaction,” we spun-off our Tanker Business in March 2019. In addition, during 2019, the weighted average number of our vessels decreased by 1.1 vessels compared to the year ended December 31, 2018, as we sold and delivered the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis on October 15, 2018 and April 25, 2018, respectively. These two tankers were not part of the Tanker Business that we spun-off in the DSS Transaction. As our fleet grows or as we dispose of our vessels, our results of operations reflect the contribution to revenue of, and the expenses associated with, a varying number of vessels over time, which may affect the comparability of our results year-on-year.

Results of operations of the Tanker Business we spun off in the DSS Transaction are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented. The following discussion relates to results of operations from continuing operations, which include for applicable periods revenues, expenses and cash flows arising from, in addition to our 11 vessels owned by us (prior to the January 2020 acquisition of three additional vessels), the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis, which we sold during the year ended December 31, 2018.

Results of Operations

Year Ended December 31, 2019 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2018

Our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 differ primarily due to:

 

   

the decrease in the weighted average number of our vessels by 1.1 vessels following the sale and delivery of the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis on October 15 and April 25, 2018, respectively;

 

   

the decrease in the number of days during which our vessels were employed under voyage charters in the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018;

 

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the impairment charge we recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 of $28.8 million in connection with the sale of the M/T Amore Mio II;

 

   

the increase in the number of vessels which underwent their special survey and the installation of scrubbers during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to none for the year ended December 31, 2018;

 

   

the increase in container charter rates during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the corresponding period in 2018, as two of our neo-panamax container vessels were re-chartered at higher rates; and

 

   

lower interest costs incurred as a result of a decrease in the average outstanding debt during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the corresponding period in 2018, partly offset by an increase in the LIBOR weighted average interest rate.

Total Revenues

Total revenues, consisting of time charter revenues, amounted to $108.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to $117.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

The decrease of $9.2 million was primarily attributable to the decrease in vessel operating days as the weighted average size of our fleet decreased by 1.1 vessels following the sale and delivery of the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis on October 15, 2018 and April 25, 2018, respectively, partially set off by the increase in the average charter rates earned by certain of our neo-panamax container vessels during 2019.

We had no related party revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $0.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, as the only vessel chartered by Capital Maritime was sold to a third party and delivered in April 2018.

Time and voyage charter revenues are mainly comprised of the charter hires received from unaffiliated third-party charterers and Capital Maritime, and are generally affected by the number of vessel operating days, the average number of vessels in our fleet and the charter rates.

For information on the risks arising from a concentration of counterparties, see “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in Our Operations—We currently derive all of our revenues from a limited number of charterers and the loss of any charterer or charter or vessel could result in a significant loss of revenues and cash flows.

Please read “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Our Fleet” and “—Our Charters” for information about the charters on our vessels, including daily charter rates.

Voyage Expenses

Total voyage expenses amounted to $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $9.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $6.2 million was primarily attributable to the decrease in the number of voyage charters, as none of our vessels were employed under voyage charter during the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to one in the year ended December 31, 2018.

Voyage expenses primarily consist of bunkers, port expenses, canal dues and commissions. Commissions are paid to shipbrokers for negotiating and arranging charter party agreements on our behalf. Voyage expenses incurred during time and bareboat charters are paid for by the charterer, except for commissions, which are paid for by us. Voyage expenses incurred during voyage charters are paid for by us. Please also refer to Note 11 (Voyage Expenses and Vessel Operating Expenses) to the Financial Statements for information on the composition of our voyage expenses.

Vessel Operating Expenses

For the year ended December 31, 2019, our total vessel operating expenses amounted to $30.5 million compared to $30.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease in total vessel operating expenses was primarily due to the decrease in the weighted average size of our fleet, almost fully offset by the costs incurred by certain vessels in connection with the passing of their special survey and costs and penalties incurred in relation to an oil record book violation by one of our neo-panamax container vessels, the M/V CMA CGM Amazon. For more information, please see “Item 8. Financial Information—Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Legal Proceedings.”

 

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Total vessel operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019 include expenses of $3.9 million incurred under the management agreements we have with our Managers, compared to $4.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2018.

See Note 11 (Voyage Expenses and Vessel Operating Expenses) to the Financial Statements for information on the composition of our vessel operating expenses.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses amounted to $5.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $5.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

General and administrative expenses include board of directors’ fees and expenses, audit and certain legal fees, and other fees related to the expenses of the publicly traded partnership.

Vessel Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization amounted to $29.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $32.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease was attributable to the decrease in the average number of vessels in our fleet, partly offset by the increase in the amortization of deferred charges in connection with certain vessels in our fleet passing their special survey during the year ended December 31, 2019.

Generally, depreciation is expected to decrease if the average number of vessels in our fleet decreases.

Impairment of vessels

During the year ended December 31, 2018 we recognized an impairment charge of $28.8 million representing the difference between the carrying value and the fair market value less associated sale costs of the M/T Amore Mio II, which we agreed to sell on September 11, 2018. Upon entering into the sale agreement, we classified the vessel as held for sale and wrote down its carrying value to its fair value less estimated sale costs. We did not recognize any impairment charge during the year ended December 31, 2019.

Please see Note 6 (Vessels, net) to our Financial Statements for more information on impairment charges.

Total Other Expense, Net

Total other expense, net for the year ended December 31, 2019 amounted to $15.7 million, compared to $18.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Total other expense, net includes interest expense and finance costs of $17.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to $19.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $2.0 million primarily reflects lower interest costs incurred mainly as a result of the decrease in the average outstanding debt during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the corresponding period in 2018, partly offset by the increase in the LIBOR weighted average interest rate.

Interest expense and finance costs include interest expense, amortization of financing charges, commitment fees and bank charges.

The weighted average interest rate on the loans outstanding under our credit facilities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was 5.7%, compared to 5.4% for the year ended December 31, 2018. Please also refer to Note 8 (Long Term Debt) to our Financial Statements.

Net Income / (Loss)

Net income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 amounted to $24.4 million compared to net loss from continuing operations of $7.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

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Year Ended December 31, 2018 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2017

Our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 differ primarily due to:

 

   

the decrease in the weighted average number of our vessels by 0.9 vessels following the sale and delivery of the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis on October 15, 2018 and April 25, 2018, respectively;

 

   

the increase in container charter rates during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017, as two of our neo-panamax container vessels were re-chartered at higher rates;

 

   

the increase in the number of days during which our vessels were employed under voyage charters in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017;

 

   

the impairment charge we recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 of $28.8 million in connection to the sale of the M/T Amore Mio II, compared to $3.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2017 in connection to the sale of M/T Aristotelis; and

 

   

lower interest costs incurred as a result of a decrease in the average outstanding debt during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017 partly offset by an increase in the LIBOR weighted average interest rate.

Total Revenues

Total revenues, consisting of time and voyage charter revenues, amounted to $117.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $116.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.

The increase of $0.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017 was primarily attributable to the increase in the charter rates earned by two of our neo-panamax container vessels partly offset, by the decrease in the weighted average number of our vessels by 0.9 vessels.

For the year ended December 31, 2018, related party revenues decreased to $0.7 million, compared to $10.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 as the average number of vessels chartered by Capital Maritime decreased by 1.5 vessels.

Time and voyage charter revenues are mainly comprised of the charter hires received from unaffiliated third-party charterers, and are generally affected by the number of vessel operating days, the average number of vessels in our fleet and the charter rates.

Voyage Expenses

Total voyage expenses amounted to $9.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $4.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase of $4.4 million was primarily attributable to the increase in the number of voyage charters under which certain of our vessels were employed during the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to the year 2017.

Voyage expenses primarily consist of bunkers, port expenses, canal dues and commissions. Commissions are paid to shipbrokers for negotiating and arranging charter party agreements on our behalf. Voyage expenses incurred during time charters are paid by the charterer, except for commissions, which are paid by us. Voyage expenses incurred during voyage charters are paid by us. Please also refer to Note 11 (Voyage Expenses and Vessel Operating Expenses) to the financial statements included herein for information on the composition of our voyage expenses.

Vessel Operating Expenses

For the year ended December 31, 2018, our total vessel operating expenses amounted to $30.6 million compared to $31.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The $1.3 million decrease in total vessel operating expenses primarily reflects the decrease in the average size of our fleet, following the sale and delivery of the M/T Amore Mio II and M/T Aristotelis in October and April 2018, respectively.

Total vessel operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2018 include expenses of $4.2 million incurred under the management agreements we have with Capital Ship Management, compared to $4.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2017.

See Note 11 (Voyage Expenses and Vessel Operating Expenses) to the financial statements included herein for information on the composition of our vessel operating expenses.

 

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General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses amounted to $5.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $6.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. General and administrative expenses include board of directors’ fees and expenses, audit and certain legal fees, and other fees related to the expenses of the publicly traded partnership.

Vessel Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization amounted to $32.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $36.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease was attributed to the decrease in the amortization of drydock and special survey deferred charges and to the decrease in the average size of our fleet, following the sale and delivery of the M/T Amore Mio II and M/T Aristotelis in October and April 2018, respectively.

Generally, depreciation is expected to increase or decrease if the average number of vessels in our fleet increases or decreases, respectively.

Impairment of vessels

Impairment of vessels amounted to $28.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $3.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 representing the difference between the carrying and the fair market value less associated sale costs of the M/T Amore Mio II and the M/T Aristotelis, which we agreed to sell on September 11, 2018 and December 22, 2017, respectively. Upon entering into the sale agreements, we classified the vessels as held for sale and wrote down their carrying value to their fair value less estimated sale costs. The fair value of the vessels was based on the transaction price, as the sale price for both vessels was agreed with an unaffiliated third party.

Please see Note 6 (Vessels, net) to our Financial Statements included herein for more information on impairment charges.

Total Other Expense, Net

Total other expense, net for the year ended December 31, 2018 amounted to $18.1 million, compared to $18.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. Total other expense, net includes interest expense and finance costs of $19.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $20.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease of $1.0 million reflects lower interest costs incurred mainly as a result of the decrease in the average outstanding debt during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017, partly offset by an increase in the LIBOR weighted average interest rate.

Interest expense and finance costs include interest expense, amortization of financing charges, commitment fees and bank charges.

The weighted average interest rate on the loans outstanding under our credit facility for the year ended December 31, 2018 was 5.4%, compared to 4.3% for the year ended December 31, 2017. Please also refer to Note 8 (Long-Term Debt) to the Financial Statements included herein.

Net (Loss) / Income

Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2018 amounted to $7.6 million compared to net income of $15.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.

 

  B.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2019, total cash and cash equivalents (including restricted cash) were $63.5 million. Restricted cash under our 2017 credit facility amounted to $5.5 million.

In connection with the DSS Transaction:

 

   

DSS paid to us a total amount of $319.7 million;

 

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we amended our existing 2017 credit facility, prepaid an amount of $89.3 million thereunder, and fully repaid and retired outstanding loans under bilateral facilities, all of which translated into an aggregate repayment of our debt of $146.5 million plus accrued interest and breakage costs; and

 

   

we redeemed and retired all outstanding Class B Units at 100% of par value for an aggregate redemption price of $119.5 million, including dividends on Class B Units accrued at the time.

We do not have any undrawn amounts under the terms of our 2017 credit facility. See also “—Borrowings” for information regarding our 2017 credit facility.

Generally, our primary sources of funds have been cash from operations, bank borrowings, sale-leaseback arrangements and securities offerings.

Cash from operations depends on our chartering activity. Depending on the prevailing market rates when our charters expire, we may not be able to re-charter our vessels at levels similar to their current charters, which may affect our future cash flows from operations. Cash flows from operations may be further affected by other factors described in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” We expect that three of our charters will expire in the coming 12 months.

Because we distribute all of our available cash (a contractually defined term, generally referring to cash on hand at the end of each quarter after provision for reserves), we generally rely upon external financing sources, including bank borrowings and securities offerings, to fund replacement, expansion and investment capital expenditures, and to refinance or repay outstanding indebtedness.

In particular, since 2011, our board of directors has elected not to provision cash reserves for estimated replacement capital expenditures. Accordingly, our ability to maintain and grow our asset base, including through further dropdown opportunities from Capital Maritime or acquisitions from third parties, and to pay or increase our distributions as well as to maintain a strong balance sheet depends on, among other things, our ability to obtain required financing, access financial markets and refinance part or all of our existing indebtedness on commercially acceptable terms.

In April 2016, in the face of severely depressed trading prices for master limited partnerships, including us, a significant deterioration in our cost of capital and potential loss of revenue, our board of directors took the decision to protect our liquidity position by creating a capital reserve. We used cash accumulated as a result of quarterly allocations to our capital reserve to partially prepay our indebtedness as part of our refinancing in October 2017. We expect to continue to reserve cash in amounts necessary to service our debt in the future, including to make quarterly amortization payments.

Subject to our ability to obtain required financing and access financial markets, we expect to continue to evaluate opportunities to acquire vessels and businesses.

As of the date of this Annual Report we have installed scrubbers on five of the seven vessels we have committed to retrofit with scrubbers, while the remaining two vessels are expected to complete retrofitting during the first quarter of 2020. The installation of scrubber equipment requires the vessel to be drydocked and incur off-hire days. We estimate that the installation of a scrubber (without any unforeseen delays such as those caused by the coronavirus outbreak) requires 40 to 75 off-hire days per vessel. In October 2018, we entered into a series of agreements with HMM. Among other things, we agreed that the maximum number of off-hire days that will be incurred by us will be 12 days irrespective of the actual period for the scrubbers to be installed on five vessels chartered to HMM. We have already installed scrubbers on four of the five vessels chartered to HMM. See also “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—A. History and Development of the Partnership—2019 Developments—Scrubber installation update.” We have contracted to procure scrubbers for our fleet with two third-party manufacturers. Currently, total estimated contracted capital expenditure in relation to the scrubbers to be retrofitted on our vessels amounts to $4.0 of which we have paid $1.4 million and expect to pay approximately $2.6 million in 2020.

As of December 31, 2019, total partners’ capital amounted to $406.7 million, a decrease of $474.6 million compared to $881.3 million (including discontinued operations) as of December 31, 2018. The decrease was primarily due to the completion of the DSS Transaction, distributions declared and paid in the total amount of $28.8 million during 2019 and the total net loss of $122.5 million for the period (including an impairment charge of $149.6 million relating to the DSS Transaction).

Subject to shipping, charter and financial market developments, we believe that our working capital will be sufficient to meet our existing liquidity needs for at least the next 12 months.

 

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Cash Flows

The following table summarizes our cash and cash equivalents provided by / (used in) operating, financing and investing activities for the years presented below, in millions.

 

     2019      2018      2017  

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities

   $ 45.3      $ 60.2      $ 65.9  

Net Cash (Used in)/Provided by Investing Activities

   $ (6.5    $ 37.4      $ (1.7

Net Cash Used in Financing Activities

   $ (179.1    $ (108.0    $ (136.3

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities was $45.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to $60.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $14.9 million was mainly attributable to an increase in the amounts we reimbursed our Managers for expenses paid on our behalf, an increase in payments for operating and other expenses partly offset by a decrease in our trade receivables due to increased collections.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $60.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $65.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease of $5.7 million was mainly attributable to (a) the decrease of $1.2 million in cash from operations, which was attributable mainly to an increase in our total expenses, including vessel voyage expenses, and (b) the negative effect of the changes in our operating assets and liabilities amounting to $4.6 million. Changes in our operating assets and liabilities were driven mainly by an increase in our trade receivables attributable to the increase in the number of voyage charters performed by our vessels, partly offset by a decrease in the amounts we reimbursed to Capital Ship Management for expenses paid on our behalf during the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to the year ended December 31, 2017 as well as to the decrease in the amounts paid for drydocking costs in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017.

Net Cash Used in/Provided by Investing Activities

Net cash used in / provided by investing activities refers primarily to cash used for vessel improvements, including installation of scrubbers and BWTS, and cash provided by proceeds from the sale of vessels. Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 amounted to $6.5 million compared to net cash provided by investing activities of $37.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $43.9 million in net cash flows from investing activities, was primarily attributable to (a) the net proceeds of $39.8 million from the sale of the vessels M/T Amore Mio II and M/T Aristotelis during the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 during which we did not dispose any vessel and (b) the cash used for vessel improvements including advances relating to the purchase of ballast water treatment systems and scrubbers equipment amounting to $6.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to $2.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Net cash provided by investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2018 of $37.4 million relates to the net proceeds of $39.8 million from the sale of the M/T Aristotelis and the M/T Amore Mio II, partially offset by cash consideration paid for vessel improvements of $0.3 million and the acquisition for scrubbers equipment of $2.1 million. Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $1.7 million relates to the consideration paid for vessel improvements during the year ended December 31, 2017.

Net Cash Used in Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019, was $179.1 million compared to $108.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase of $71.1 million in net cash used in financing activities was mainly attributable to the redemption of all outstanding Class B convertible preferred units for the amount of $116.9 million representing the par value of the Class B Units, following the DSS transaction in March 2019 partially offset by (a) the decrease in amortization payments of long-term debt by $22.6 million following, the prepayment of $89.3 million and the consequent amendment of the repayment schedule of our 2017 credit facility and (b) the reduction by $23.8 million in distributions paid to our unitholders during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018.

Net cash used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2018, was $108.0 million compared to $136.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease of $28.3 million in net cash used in financing activities was mainly attributable to a decrease of $43.2 million in payments of long-term debt, partially offset by a decrease of $17.8 million in net proceeds from the issuance of common units, during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in payments of long-term debt was primarily attributable to the fact that while our principal amortization increased in the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the year ended December 31, 2017 and we mandatorily prepaid the portion of the M/T Aristotelis and the M/T Amore Mio II in connection with their disposals in the year ended December 31, 2018, we prepaid a significant portion of our debt in connection with the October 2017 refinancing.

 

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Borrowings

Our long-term borrowings are reflected in our balance sheet as “Long-term debt, net” and in current liabilities as “Current portion of long-term debt, net”.

As of December 31, 2019, our total borrowings were $262.4 million, all outstanding under our 2017 credit facility. Upon the closing of the ICBCFL lease, we expect to repay approximately $119.9 million under the 2017 credit facility (based on the current principal amount outstanding under our 2017 credit facility and vessel charter free fair market values as of December 31, 2019).

As of December 31, 2018, our total borrowings (including discontinued operations) were $445.9 million and consisted of:

 

   

$387.4 million principal amount outstanding under our 2017 credit facility;

 

   

$31.0 million principal amount outstanding under the 2015 credit facility (including $15.4 million under the Amor tranche and $15.6 million under the Anikitos tranche); and

 

   

$27.4 million principal amount outstanding under the Aristaios credit facility.

In connection with the completion of the DSS Transaction on March 27, 2019, we amended our existing 2017 credit facility, prepaid an amount of $89.3 million thereunder, and fully repaid and retired all outstanding loans under the 2015 credit facility and the Aristaios credit facility, all of which translated into an aggregate repayment of our debt of $146.5 million plus accrued interest and breakage costs. Please also read the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split.”

The 2017 Credit Facility

On September 6, 2017, we entered into the 2017 credit facility with a syndicate of lenders led by HCB and ING, as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, and BNP Paribas and National Bank of Greece S.A., as arrangers. In October 2017, we drew $460.0 million thereunder.

The 2017 credit facility initially consisted of two tranches repayable in 24 equal quarterly instalments of $13.2 million in aggregate in addition to a balloon instalment of $143.0 million payable, together with the final quarterly instalment, in the fourth quarter of 2023. The loans drawn under the 2017 credit facility bear interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 3.25%.

In connection with the DSS Transaction, on March 27, 2019, we amended the 2017 credit facility and prepaid an amount of $89.3 million thereunder. The amended 2017 credit facility consists of a single tranche required to be repaid in 19 equal quarterly instalments of $7.7 million in addition to a balloon installment of $139.1 million payable, together with the final quarterly installment, in the fourth quarter of 2023. As discussed above, upon the closing of the ICBCFL lease, we expect to repay approximately $119.9 million required to release three vessels under the 2017 credit facility.

Our 2017 credit facility contains customary ship finance covenants, including restrictions as to changes in management and ownership of the mortgaged vessels, the incurrence of additional indebtedness and the mortgaging of vessels.

Our 2017 credit facility also contains financial covenants:

 

   

to maintain minimum free consolidated liquidity of at least $0.5 million per collateralized vessel;

 

   

to maintain a ratio of EBITDA (as defined therein) to net interest expense of at least 2.00 to 1.00 on a trailing four-quarter basis; and

 

   

not to exceed a ratio of total net indebtedness to (fair value adjusted) total assets of 0.75.

In addition, our 2017 credit facility requires that we maintain a minimum security coverage ratio, defined as the ratio of the market value of the collateralized vessels and net realizable value of additional acceptable security to outstanding loans, of 125%.

Under our 2017 credit facility, the vessel-owning subsidiaries may pay dividends or make distributions provided that no event of default has occurred and the payment of such dividend or distribution does not result in an event of default, including a breach of any of the financial covenants. Our 2017 credit facility requires the earnings, insurances and requisition compensation of the vessels to be assigned as collateral. It also requires additional security, including pledge and charge on current account, corporate guarantee from each of the vessel-owning subsidiaries and mortgage interest insurance.

 

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Our obligations under our 2017 credit facility are secured by first-priority mortgages over all our vessels and are guaranteed by each vessel-owning subsidiary.

Our 2017 credit facility also contains a “Market Disruption Clause,” which the lenders may unilaterally trigger, requiring us to compensate the lenders for any increases to their funding costs caused by disruptions to the market.

As of December 31, 2019, we were in compliance with all financial debt covenants under our 2017 credit facility.

Recent Developments

In January 2020, we entered into a new term loan facility of up to $38.5 million for the purpose of partially financing the acquisition of M/V Athenian and an agreement with CMBFL for the sale-leaseback of the vessels M/V Athos and M/V Aristomenis for a total amount of $77.0 million.

In December 2019, we entered into a non-binding term sheet with ICBCFL for the sale-leaseback of three vessels mortgaged under the 2017 credit facility, for a total amount of $155.4 million. We expect to finalize this arrangement in March 2020.

The operating and financial restrictions and covenants under these arrangements are substantially similar to the restrictions and covenants of the 2017 credit facility, except that the required minimum security coverage ratio under the arrangement with CMBFL is 120%.

Our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions contained in our financing arrangements may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions, interest rate developments, changes in the funding costs of our financing institutions and changes in vessel earnings and asset valuations. If market or other economic conditions deteriorate, our ability to comply with these covenants may be impaired. If we are in breach of any of the restrictions, covenants, ratios or tests in our financing arrangements, we may be forced to suspend our distribution, a significant portion of our obligations may become immediately due and payable and our lenders’ commitment to make further loans to us (if any) may terminate. We may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient funds to make these accelerated payments. In addition, obligations under our credit facilities are secured by our vessels, and if we are unable to repay debt under our 2017 credit facility or such other debt instruments, the lenders could seek to foreclose on those assets.

Any contemplated vessel acquisitions will have to be at levels that do not impair the required ratios described above. The global economic downturn that occurred within the past several years depressed shipping markets, lack of capital in the industry and prolonged overcapacity had an adverse effect on vessel values. If the estimated asset values of our vessels decrease, we may be obligated to prepay part of our outstanding debt in order to remain in compliance with the relevant covenants in our financing arrangements. A decline in the market value of our vessels could also affect our ability to refinance our debt and/or limit our ability to obtain additional financing. A decrease of 10% in the aggregate fair market values of our vessels would not cause any violation of the total indebtedness to aggregate market value covenant, contained in our financing arrangements.

Other Credit Facilities (Now Repaid and Retired) Presented in Discontinued Operations.

The Aristaios credit facility.

On January 17, 2018, upon the completion of the acquisition of the shares of the company owning the M/T Aristaios, we assumed Capital Maritime’s guarantee with respect to the outstanding balance of $28.3 million under the term loan that was entered into on January 2, 2017 with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and ING Bank N.V. (the “Aristaios credit facility”). The term loan was required to be repaid in twelve consecutive equal semi-annual installments of $0.9 million, beginning in July 2018, plus a balloon payment of $17.3 million payable together with the final semi-annual installment due in January 2024. The term loan bore interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.85%. We fully repaid and retired the Aristaios credit facility in connection with the DSS Transaction in March 2019.

The 2015 credit facility

On May 4, 2018, and October 24, 2016 upon the completion of the acquisition of the shares of the companies owning the M/T Anikitos and M/T Amor respectively, we assumed Capital Maritime’s guarantee with respect to the outstanding balance of $15.6 million (the “Anikitos tranche”) and $15.8 million (the “Amor tranche”) both under the term loan that was entered into on November 19, 2015 with ING Bank N.V.

 

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The Anikitos tranche was required to be repaid in 13 consecutive equal quarterly installments of $0.4 million, beginning in May 2020, plus a balloon payment of $11.0 million payable together with the final quarterly installment in June 2023. The Amor tranche was required to be repaid in 17 consecutive equal quarterly instalments of $0.3 million, beginning in October 2018, plus a balloon payment of $10.2 million payable together with the final quarterly installment in November 2022.

The 2015 credit facility bore interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 2.50%.

We fully repaid and retired all amounts outstanding under the 2015 credit facility in connection with the DSS Transaction in March 2019.

C. Research and Development

Not applicable.

D. Trend Information

Our results of operations depend primarily on the charter hire rates that we are able to realize for our vessels, which depend on, among other things, the demand and supply dynamics characterizing the container and drybulk markets at the time of re-chartering a vessel. For other trends affecting our business please see other discussions in “—A. Operating Results.”

 

  E.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of December 31, 2019, we have not entered into any off-balance sheet arrangements.

 

  F.

Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our long-term contractual obligations as of December 31, 2019 (in thousands of U.S. Dollars).

 

     Payment due by period  
     Total      Less than
1 year
     1-3 years      3-5 years      More than
5 years
 

Long-term Debt Obligations (1)

   $ 262.4      $ 30.8      $ 61.7      $ 169.9      $ —    

Interest Obligations (2)

     37.0        12.3        19.0        5.7        —    

Management fee and executive services (3)

     22.1        5.9        9.6        6.6        —    

Vessels’ equipment (4)

     2.8        2.8        —          —          —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 324.3      $ 51.8      $ 90.3      $ 182.2      $ —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Repayment schedule of long-term debt obligation does not reflect the refinancing with ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

(2)

Interest has been estimated based on LIBOR Bloomberg forward rates and prevailing margins as of December 31, 2019 of 3.25% in respect of our 2017 credit facility.

(3)

The fees payable to the Managers represent fees for the provision of commercial and technical services such as crewing, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, spares and lubricants. Management fees under the floating fee management agreements have increased annually based on the United States Consumer Price Index for December 2019. The amount of $6.6 million for payments due between three and five years has been calculated on the basis of the expiration dates of our management agreements as in effect on December 31, 2019. In 2019, we amended the executive services agreement with our General Partner according to which our General Partner provides certain executive officers services for the management of the Partnership’s business as well as investor relations and corporate support services to the Partnership.

(4)

As of December 31, 2019 we had outstanding commitments amounting to $2.8 million relating to the purchase of scrubbers and BWTS on two of our vessels, which are payable during 2020.

 

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G. Critical Accounting Policies

The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

Critical accounting policies are those that reflect significant judgments or uncertainties, and which could potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. We have described below what we believe are our most critical accounting policies. For a description of all of our significant accounting policies, see Note 2 (Significant Accounting Policies) to our Financial Statements.

Vessel Lives and Impairment

The carrying value of each of our vessels represents its original cost (contract price plus initial expenditures) at the time of delivery or purchase less accumulated depreciation or impairment charges. The carrying values of our vessels may not represent their fair market value at any point in time since the market prices of second-hand vessels tend to fluctuate with changes in charter rates and the cost of newbuilds. In the past several years, market conditions have changed significantly as a result of the credit crisis and the resulting slowdown in world trade. Charter rates for vessels have decreased and vessel values have been affected. We consider these market developments as indicators of potential impairment of the carrying amount of our assets.

The table below specifies (i) the carrying value of each of our vessels as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and (ii) which of those vessels we believe had a charter-free market value below its carrying value. We believe that the aggregate carrying value of the vessels indicated with an asterisk below exceeded their aggregate basic charter-free market value by approximately $77.8 million and $118.3 million as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. This aggregate difference represents the approximate analysis of the amount by which we believe we would have to reduce our net income if we sold all of such vessels in the current environment, on industry standard terms, in cash transactions, to a willing buyer in circumstances where we are not under any compulsion to sell, and where the buyer is not under any compulsion to buy. For purposes of this calculation, we have assumed that the vessels would be sold at a price that reflects our estimate of their current basic market values.

Our estimates of basic market value assume that the vessels are all in good and seaworthy condition without need for repair and, if inspected, would be certified in class without notations of any kind. Our estimates are based on the average of two estimated market values for the vessels received from third-party independent shipbrokers approved by our financing providers. Vessel values are highly volatile. Accordingly, as such, our estimates may not be indicative of the current or future basic market value of the vessels or prices that could be achieved if the vessels were to be sold.

 

Vessels

   Date acquired by us      Carrying value as of
December 31, 2019
(in millions of United
States  dollars)
     Carrying value as of
December 31, 2018
(in millions of United
States  dollars)
 

M/V Cape Agamemnon

     06/09/2011      $ 34.9 *    $ 36.8 *

M/V Archimidis

     12/22/2012      $ 43.3 *    $ 46.6

M/V Agamemnon

     12/22/2012      $ 50.5 *    $ 49.7

M/V Hyundai Prestige

     09/11/2013      $ 45.3 *    $ 43.0

M/V Hyundai Premium

     03/20/2013      $ 43.0 *    $ 42.3

M/V Hyundai Paramount

     03/27/2013      $ 44.6 *    $ 42.4 *

M/V Hyundai Privilege

     09/11/2013      $ 45.4 *    $ 43.1 *

M/V Hyundai Platinum

     09/11/2013      $ 41.1 *    $ 43.2 *

M/V CMA CGM Amazon

     06/10/2015      $ 76.0      $ 79.5 *

M/V CMA CGM Uruguay

     09/18/2015      $ 77.0      $ 80.4 *

M/V CMA CGM Magdalena

     02/26/2016      $ 75.8      $ 79.1  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

      $ 576.9      $ 586.1  
     

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

*

Indicates vessels for which we believe that, as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, the carrying value exceeds the basic charter-free market value. As discussed below, we believe that the carrying values of our vessels as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 were recoverable as the undiscounted projected net operating cash flows of these vessels exceeded their carrying value by a significant amount.

 

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We performed undiscounted cash flow tests as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, as an impairment analysis, in which we made estimates and assumptions relating to determining the projected undiscounted net operating cash flows by considering the following:

 

   

the charter revenues from existing time charters for the fixed fleet days (our remaining charter agreement rates);

 

   

vessel operating expenses;

 

   

drydocking expenditures;

 

   

an estimated gross daily time charter equivalent for the unfixed days (based on the ten-year average historical one-year Time Charter Equivalent) over the remaining economic life of each vessel, excluding days of scheduled off-hires;

 

   

residual value of vessels;

 

   

commercial and technical management fees;

 

   

a utilization rate of 98.3 % based on the fleet’s historical performance; and

 

   

the remaining estimated life of our vessels.

Although we believe that the assumptions used to evaluate potential impairment, which are largely based on the historical performance of our fleet, are reasonable and appropriate, such assumptions are highly subjective. There can be no assurance as to how long charter rates and vessel values will remain at their currently low levels or whether they will improve by any significant degree. Charter rates may remain at depressed levels for some time which could adversely affect our revenue and profitability, and future assessments of vessel impairment.

Our assumptions, based on historical trends, and our accounting policies are as follows:

 

   

in accordance with the prevailing industry standard, depreciation is calculated using an estimated useful life of 25 years for our vessels, commencing at the date the vessel was originally delivered from the shipyard;

 

   

estimated useful life of vessels takes into account design life, commercial considerations and regulatory restrictions based on our fleet’s historical performance;

 

   

estimated charter rates are based on rates under existing vessel contracts and thereafter at market rates at which we expect we can re-charter our vessels based on market trends. We believe that the ten-year average historical Time Charter Equivalent is appropriate (or less than ten years if appropriate data is not available) for the following reasons:

 

   

it reflects more accurately the earnings capacity of the type, specification, deadweight capacity and average age of our vessels;

 

   

it reflects the type of business conducted by us (period as opposed to spot);

 

   

it includes at least one market cycle; and

 

   

respective data series are adequately populated.

 

   

estimates of vessel utilization, including estimated off-hire time and the estimated amount of time our vessels may spend operating on the spot market, are based on the historical experience of our fleet;

 

   

estimates of operating expenses and drydocking expenditures are based on historical operating and drydocking costs based on the historical experience of our fleet and our expectations of future operating requirements;

 

   

vessel residual values are a product of a vessel’s lightweight tonnage and an estimated scrap rate of $180 per ton; and

 

   

the remaining estimated lives of our vessels used in our estimates of future cash flows are consistent with those used in our depreciation calculations.

 

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The impairment test that we conduct is most sensitive to variances in future time charter rates. Based on the sensitivity analysis performed for December 31, 2019 and 2018, we would begin recording impairment on the first vessel that will incur impairment by vessel type for time charter declines from their ten-year historical averages as follows:

 

     Percentage Decline from which
Impairment would be Recorded
 
     Year ended December 31, 2019     Year ended December 31, 2018  
Vessel     

Cape vessel

     24.92     31.0

Container vessels 5,000 TEU

     35.3     35.3

Container vessels 8,000 TEU

     22.3     24.8

Container vessels 9,000 TEU

     —         28.1

As of February 28, 2020 and December 31, 2019, our current rates for time charters of such vessels on average were above / (below) their ten-year historical averages as follows:

 

     Time Charter Rates as Compared with Ten-year
Historical Average (as  percentage above/(below))
 
     As of February 28,
2020
    As of December 31,
2019
 
Vessel     

Cape vessel

     149.3     149.3

Container vessels 5,000 TEU

     94.7 %*      37.2

Container vessels 8,000 TEU

     (7.4 )%      (17.5 )% 

Container vessels 9,000 TEU

     —         —    

 

*

The time charter rates include a premium of $4,900 per day in light of the expenditure we incurred in connection with the installation of scrubbers. See “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—A. History and Development of the Partnership—2019 Developments—Scrubber installation update”.

Based on the above assumptions we determined that the undiscounted cash flows support the vessels’ carrying amounts as of December 31, 2019 and 2018.

Recent accounting pronouncements

Please see Note 2(q) (Significant Accounting Policies—Recent Accounting Pronouncements) to our Financial Statements.

 

Item 6.

Directors, Senior Management and Employees.

Management of Capital Product Partners L.P.

Pursuant to our partnership agreement, our General Partner has delegated to our board of directors the authority to oversee and direct our operations, management and policies on an exclusive basis, and such delegation is binding on any successor general partner of the Partnership.

Our General Partner, Capital GP L.L.C., manages our day-to-day activities consistent with the policies and procedures adopted by our board of directors. Our General Partner is a limited liability company initially formed and controlled by Capital Maritime as sole member. In April 2019, Capital Maritime transferred all membership interests in our General Partner to Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis. See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Business and Operations—We depend on our General Partner, a private company under the ownership of Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, for the day-to-day management of our affairs. The change of ownership of our General Partner may affect the way we and our operations are managed and our relationships with our charterers and other counterparties.

Our board of directors currently consists of seven members, including two members who are designated by our General Partner in its sole discretion and five members who are elected by the common unitholders.

Directors appointed by our General Partner serve as directors for terms determined by our General Partner and directors elected by our common unitholders are divided into three classes serving staggered three-year terms. The initial four directors appointed by Capital Maritime at the time of our IPO were designated as Class I, Class II and Class III elected directors. At each annual meeting of unitholders, directors are elected to succeed the class of directors whose terms have expired by a plurality of the votes of the common unitholders (excluding common units held by Capital Maritime and its affiliates). Directors elected by our common unitholders may be nominated by the board of directors or by any limited partner or group of limited partners that holds at least 10% of the outstanding common units.

 

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At our annual general meeting of unitholders held on October 11, 2019, Keith Forman and Eleni Tsoukala were elected to act as a Class III Directors until the Partnership’s 2022 annual meeting of Limited Partners.

Our General Partner intends to cause its officers to devote as much time as is necessary for the proper conduct of our business and affairs. Our General Partner’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gerasimos (Jerry) Kalogiratos, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Gerasimos Ventouris, and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Nikolaos Kalapotharakos, allocate their time between managing our business and affairs and the business and affairs of Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management and/or their respective affiliates. The amount of time they allocate between our business and their other positions varies from time to time depending on various circumstances and needs of the businesses, such as the relative levels of strategic activities of the businesses.

Our General Partner owes a fiduciary duty to our unitholders and is liable, as general partner, for all of our debts (to the extent not paid from our assets), except for indebtedness or other obligations that are expressly non-recourse to it. Whenever possible, the partnership agreement directs that we should incur indebtedness or other obligations that are non-recourse to our General Partner. Officers of our General Partner and other individuals providing services to us or our subsidiaries may face a conflict regarding the allocation of their time between our business and the other business interests of Capital Maritime. Our partnership agreement limits our General Partner’s and our directors’ fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner or our directors. Please read “Item 3.D. Risk Factors—Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us—Our partnership agreement limits our General Partner’s and our directors’ fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner or our directors” for a more detailed description of such limitations.

 

  A.

Directors and Senior Management

Set forth below are the names, ages and positions of our directors and our General Partner’s executive officers as of the date of this Annual Report.

 

Name    Age    Position
Keith Forman(4)    61    Director and Chairman of the Board(5)
Gerasimos (Jerry) Kalogiratos(1)    42    Director and Chief Executive Officer of our General Partner
Gurpal Grewal(1)    73    Director
Rory Hussey(2)    68    Director(5)
Abel Rasterhoff(3)    79    Director(5)
Eleni Tsoukala(4)    42    Director(5)
Dimitris P. Christacopoulos(3)    49    Director(5)
Gerasimos Ventouris    68    Chief Operating Officer of our General Partner
Nikolaos Kalapotharakos    45    Chief Financial Officer of our General Partner

 

(1)

Appointed by our General Partner.

(2)

Class I director (term expires in 2020).

(3)

Class II director (term expires in 2021).

(4)

Class III director (term expires in 2022).

(5)

Member of our audit committee, our conflicts committee and compensation committee.

Biographical information with respect to each of our directors, our director nominees and our General Partner’s executive officers is set forth below. The business address for our executive officers is 3 Iassonos Street Piraeus, 18537 Greece.

Keith Forman, Director and Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Forman is the chairman of our board of directors and a member of our conflicts committee, audit committee and compensation committee. Mr. Forman joined our board on April 3, 2007. Mr. Forman began a one-year fellowship at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative in January 2020. Mr. Forman has held a number of executive, director and advisory positions at investment companies and master limited partnerships throughout his career. Since May 2012, Mr. Forman has been acting as a senior advisor to Industry Funds Management, an Australian fund manager investing in infrastructure projects worldwide. Between December 2014 and December 2017, Mr. Forman served as president and chief executive officer of the now discontinued Rentech, Inc. Mr. Forman also served as a director of the general partner of CVR Partners between April 2016 and April 2017. Between November 2007 and March 2010, Mr. Forman was a partner and chief financial officer of Crestwood Midstream Partners, a

 

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private equity-backed investment partnership active in the midstream energy market. Prior to his tenure at Crestwood, Mr. Forman was senior vice president, finance for El Paso Corporation, vice president of El Paso Field Services, and from 1992 to 2003, chief financial officer of GulfTerra Energy Partners L.P., a publicly traded master limited partnership. Mr. Forman holds a B.A. degree in economics and political science from Vanderbilt University.

Gerasimos (Jerry) Kalogiratos, Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Kalogiratos was appointed as the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of our General Partner on June 12, 2015 and remained as Chief Financial Officer until February 28, 2018, when he was succeeded by Mr. Nikolaos Kalapotharakos. He joined our board of directors in December 2014. Mr. Kalogiratos joined Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. in 2005 and was part of the team that completed the IPO of Capital Product Partners L.P. in 2007. He has also served as Chief Financial Officer and director of NYSE-listed Crude Carriers Corp. before its merger with us in September 2011. He has over 15 years of experience in the shipping and finance industries, specializing in vessel acquisition and projects and shipping finance. Before he joined Capital Maritime, he worked in equity sales in Greece. He completed his MA in European Economics and Politics at the Humboldt University in Berlin and holds a B.A. degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and an Executive Finance degree from the London Business School. Mr. Kalogiratos also serves on the board of directors of DSSI.

Nikolaos Kalapotharakos, Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Kalapotharakos was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of our General Partner on February 28, 2018. Mr. Kalapotharakos joined Capital Maritime in January 2016 as deputy Chief Financial Officer. He started his professional career in 2001 at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where he served as an external auditor specializing in shipping companies until 2007 before joining Globus Maritime Limited, a Nasdaq listed owner of drybulk vessels, where he served as its financial controller until the end of 2015. Mr. Kalapotharakos holds a BSc in Economics and Social studies in Economics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth U.K. and an MSc in Financial and Business Economics from the University of Essex U.K.

Gerasimos Ventouris, Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Ventouris has been appointed as our Chief Operating Officer as of June 30, 2015. Mr. Ventouris also is the director, president, secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Maritime and has been the Chief Commercial Officer of Capital Ship Management since 2003. Mr. Ventouris brings more than 40 years of experience in the shipping industry. Mr. Ventouris started his career with Union Commercial Steamship, which was then one of the most prominent ship management companies in Piraeus, Greece, and became Operations and Chartering Manager, obtaining considerable experience in all aspects of the management of various types of vessels. He then joined his family shipping business, which he led until 2000, overseeing the operations of a large fleet of bulk carriers, container general cargo and product tankers vessels, as well as the construction and sale and purchase of new vessels. Mr. Ventouris holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Athens. Mr. Ventouris also serves on the board of directors of DSSI.

Gurpal Grewal, Director.

Mr. Gurpal Grewal joined our board of directors on November 16, 2017, replacing Mr. Nikolaos Syntychakis who resigned as an Appointed Director of the Partnership. Mr. Gurpal Grewal currently serves as technical director of Capital Ship Management Mr. Grewal is a chartered engineer and has over 35 years of experience in new building design, construction, and supervision of bulk carriers, tankers, LPG and LNG vessels. He previously served as technical director for both Quintana Shipping Co. and Marmaras Navigation Ltd. Between 2004 and 2008, Mr. Grewal was a member of the board of directors and conflicts committee of Quintana Maritime Co. Between June 1998 and September 2005, Mr. Grewal served as technical director and principal surveyor for Lloyd’s Register of Shipping and Industrial Services S.A. (“Lloyd’s Register”) in Greece. Mr. Grewal was also previously employed by Lloyd’s Register in London as a senior ship and engineer surveyor in the Fleet Services Department. In addition, from 1996 to 1998, Mr. Grewal served as assistant chief resident superintendent with John J. McMullen & Associates, New York, where he supervised the new building of product tankers in Spain. Prior to 1996, Mr. Grewal served for ten years as senior engineer at Lloyd’s Register supervising the construction of new building vessels in a variety of shipyards.

Rory Hussey, Director.

Mr. Rory Hussey joined our board of directors on September 8, 2017 and serves on our conflicts committee, audit committee and our compensation committee. Mr. Hussey most recently served as a Managing Director of ING Bank N.V., in charge of ING’s ship finance business in Southern Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Hussey retired from his position in July 2017. Mr. Hussey started his career with Citibank’s shipping team in 1974. He held a variety of positions within Ship Finance at Citibank

 

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and worked for 20 years in Hong Kong, New York, Taipei, and Athens. After returning to London, he headed Citi’s transportation finance syndications team. He joined ING Bank N.V. in 2001 in charge of shipping syndications before becoming head of Sales for the London Syndications team. Mr. Hussey subsequently returned to ship finance and became Managing Director of ING Bank N.V. in 2009. Mr. Hussey holds a M.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Abel Rasterhoff, Director.

Mr. Rasterhoff joined our board of directors on April 3, 2007. He serves on our conflicts committee and our compensation committee and has been designated as the audit committee’s financial expert. Mr. Rasterhoff joined Shell International Petroleum Maatschappij in 1967, and worked for various entities of the Shell group of companies until his retirement from Shell in 1997. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Rasterhoff was Managing Director of Shell Tankers B.V., Vice Chairman and Chairman-elect of the Dutch Council of Shipping and a Member of the Dutch Government Advisory Committee on the North Sea. From 1991 to 1997, Mr. Rasterhoff was Director and Vice President Finance and Planning for Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited. During this period he also served as a Board Member of the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) in London. From February 1998 to 2004, Mr. Rasterhoff served as a member of the executive board and as Chief Financial Officer of TUI Nederland, the largest Dutch tour operator. From February 2001 to September 2001, Mr. Rasterhoff served as a member of the executive board and as Chief Financial Officer of Connexxion, the government owned public transport company. Mr. Rasterhoff was also on the Supervisory Board of SGR and served as an advisor to the trustees of the TUI Nederland Pension Fund. Mr. Rasterhoff served on the Capital Maritime Board as the chairman of the audit committee from May 2005 until his resignation in February 2007. Mr. Rasterhoff also served as a director and audit committee member of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., a company listed on the NYSE from December 2006 to May 2012. Mr. Rasterhoff holds a graduate business degree in economics from Groningen State University.

Eleni Tsoukala, Director.

Ms. Tsoukala was appointed to our board of directors on February 28, 2018 and serves on our audit committee, conflicts committee and compensation committee. Ms. Tsoukala is the managing partner and founder of Tsoukala & Partners Law Firm, a leading Greek business law firm. Her legal practice includes corporate advice in cross-border and domestic transactions. Between 2004 and 2007, Ms. Tsoukala served as legal advisor to the Greek Deputy Minister of Finance. Between 2001 and 2003, Ms. Tsoukala practiced at an international law firm in London. Ms. Tsoukala holds an LL.M. degree in International Business Law from University College London and an LL.B. degree from the University of Oxford and is a qualified attorney-at-law admitted to the bar in England and Greece.

Dimitris P. Christacopoulos, Director.

Mr. Christacopoulos joined our board of directors on September 30, 2011, following our merger with NYSE-listed Crude Carriers, where he had served as a director since 2010 and he currently serves on our conflicts committee, audit committee and our compensation committee. Mr. Christacopoulos currently serves as a Partner at Octane Management Consultants. He started his professional career as an analyst in the R&D Department of a major food producer in Greece in 1992 before joining Booz Allen & Hamilton Consulting in 1995 in New York in their Operations Management Group. He subsequently joined Barclays Capital as the Associate Director for Strategic Planning in London from 1999 to 2002 at which time he became Director of Corporate Finance & Strategy at Aspis Group of Companies in Athens where he participated in the Group’s Management and Investment Committees. In 2005, he joined Fortis Bank NV/SA as a Director in the Energy, Commodities and Transportation Group and until 2010 acted as the Deputy Country Head for Greece, setting up the bank’s Greek branch and expanding its presence in ship and energy finance in the region. Mr. Christacopoulos has a diploma in chemical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

 

  B.

Compensation

Reimbursement of Expenses of Our General Partner

Our General Partner does not receive any management fee or other compensation for managing us. Our General Partner and its other affiliates are reimbursed for expenses incurred on our behalf. These expenses include all expenses necessary or appropriate for the conduct of our business and allocable to us, as determined by our General Partner. In 2019, these expenses for which our General Partner was reimbursed amounted to $0.1 million.

 

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Executive Compensation

The compensation of our General Partner’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer is set and paid by our General Partner, and we reimburse our General Partner for such costs and related expenses under relevant executive service agreements. We do not have a retirement plan for our General Partner’s executive officers or directors. Officers and employees of our General Partner or its affiliates may participate in employee benefit plans and arrangements sponsored by Capital Maritime, our General Partner or their affiliates, including plans that may be established in the future. We pay our General Partner $1,880,000 per year as compensation for services related to the management of our business and affairs, including the appointment and performance of relevant duties of the chief executive officer, chief finance officer, and a number of additional officers.

Compensation of Directors

Our directors receive compensation for their services as directors, as well as for serving in the role of committee chair, and have also received restricted units, all of which have now vested. Please read “—E. Share Ownership—Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan” for additional information. For the year ended December 31, 2019, our directors, including our chairman, received an aggregate cash amount of $0.5 million. In lieu of any other compensation, our chairman receives an annual fee for acting as a director and as the chairman of our board of directors. In addition, each director is reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attending meetings of the board of directors or committees and is fully indemnified by us for actions associated with being a director to the extent permitted under Marshall Islands law.

In connection with the DSS Transaction, the independent members of our board of directors formed a special committee. In light of the significant time commitments required of the members of the special committee, our board of directors agreed that we would pay, without regard to the success or failure of the DSS Transaction and in addition to the reimbursement of expenses and payment of all other fees as members of the our board of directors, (1) $25,000 to each member of the special committee (other than the chairman of the special committee) on January 2, 2019 and, with respect to services performed beginning of January 1, 2019 and ending upon completion of the DSS Transaction (if any), $8,000 per month and (2) $50,000 to the chairman of the special committee on January 2, 2019 and, with respect to services performed beginning of January 1, 2019 and ending upon completion of the DSS Transaction, $16,000 per month.

Services Agreement

Under separate service agreements entered into between our General Partner and its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, if a change in control affecting us occurs, each of our General Partner’s officers may resign within six months of such change in control. There are no service agreements between any of the directors and us.

 

  C.

Board Practices

Our General Partner, Capital GP L.L.C., manages our day-to-day activities consistent with the policies and procedures adopted by our board of directors. Unitholders are not entitled to elect the directors of our General Partner or directly or indirectly participate in our management or operation. There are no service contracts between us and any of our directors providing for benefits upon termination of their employment or service.

During the year ended December 31, 2019, our board of directors held 10 meetings. As part of our board meetings, our independent directors meet without the non-independent directors in attendance. In addition, the board regularly holds sessions without the CEO and executive officers present. During the year ended December 31, 2019 our independent directors held three executive sessions. Even if Board members are not able to attend a board meeting, all board members are provided information related to each of the agenda items before each meeting, and can therefore provide counsel outside regularly scheduled meetings. All directors were present at all meetings of the board of directors and all meetings of committees of the board of directors on which such director served.

Although the Nasdaq Global Select Market does not require a listed limited partnership like us to have a majority of independent directors on our board of directors or to establish a compensation committee or a nominating/corporate governance committee, our board of directors has established an audit committee, a conflicts committee and a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors. Each of the committees operates under a written charter adopted by our board of directors which is available under “Corporate Governance” in the Investor Relations tab of our web site at www.capitalpplp.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through this website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report. The membership and main functions of each committee are described below.

Audit Committee. The audit committee of our board of directors is composed of three or more independent directors, each of whom must meet the independence standards of the Nasdaq Global Select Market, the SEC and any other applicable laws and regulations governing independence from time to time. The audit committee is currently comprised of directors Abel Rasterhoff (chair), Rory Hussey, Keith Forman, Eleni Tsoukala and Dimitris Christacopoulos. All members of the committee are financially

 

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literate and our board of directors has determined that Mr. Rasterhoff qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” for purposes of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The audit committee, among other things, reviews our external financial reporting, engages our external auditors and oversees our internal audit activities and procedures and the adequacy of our internal accounting controls. The audit committee met four times during the year ended December 31, 2019, on January 22, May 3, July 23 and October 22.

Conflicts Committee. The conflicts committee of our board of directors is composed of the same directors constituting the audit committee, being Keith Forman (chair), Abel Rasterhoff, Rory Hussey, Eleni Tsoukala and Dimitris Christacopoulos. The members of our conflicts committee may not be officers or employees of our General Partner or directors, officers or employees of its affiliates, and must meet the independence standards established by the Nasdaq Global Select Market to serve on an audit committee of a board of directors and certain other requirements. The conflicts committee reviews specific matters that the board believes may involve conflicts of interest and determines if the resolution of the conflict of interest is fair and reasonable to us. Any matters approved by the conflicts committee will be conclusively deemed to be fair and reasonable to us, approved by all of our partners, and not a breach by our directors, our General Partner or its affiliates of any duties any of them may owe us or our unitholders. The conflicts committee met during the year ended December 31, 2019, on December 11, 2019.

Compensation Committee. The compensation committee of our board of directors is composed of the same directors constituting the audit committee and conflicts committee, being Rory Hussey (chair), Keith Forman, Abel Rasterhoff, Eleni Tsoukala and Dimitris Christacopoulos. The compensation committee reviews compensation of the members of the board of directors and has overall responsibility for approving and evaluating our compensation plans, policies and programs, but not the compensation of the executive officers of the General Partner of the Partnership and related executive service agreements.

 

  D.

Employees

We currently do not have our own executive officers or employees and expect to rely on the officers of our General Partner to manage our day-to-day activities consistent with the policies and procedures adopted by our board of directors and on the employees of our Managers to operate our vessels.

All of the executive officers of our General Partner and one of our directors also are executive officers, directors or employees of Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management or their respective affiliates.

 

  E.

Share Ownership

As of December 31, 2019:

 

   

the chairman of our board of directors, Keith Forman, has owned a small number of common units since the date of our IPO;

 

   

a portion of shares issued to our director Dimitris Christacopoulos when he was a member of the board of directors of Crude Carriers converted to common units in us in the same manner as all shares converted under the terms of our merger agreement with Crude Carriers in 2011; and

 

   

no member of our board of directors owns common or restricted units in a number representing more than 1.0% of our outstanding common units.

Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan

On April 29, 2008, our board of directors adopted an omnibus incentive compensation plan (the “Plan”), according to which we were entitled to issue a limited number of awards to our employees, consultants, officers, directors or affiliates, including the employees, consultants, officers or directors of our General Partner, our Manager, Capital Maritime and certain key affiliates and other eligible persons. The Plan contemplated awards in the form of incentive stock options, non-qualified stock options, stock appreciation rights, dividend equivalent rights, restricted stock, unrestricted stock, restricted stock units and performance shares. The Plan was administered by our General Partner as authorized by our board of directors. The Plan was amended from time to time. As at December 31, 2018, all restricted units issuable under the Plan had been issued, and all restricted units allocated under the Plan had vested. Please read Note 14 (Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan) to our Financial Statements.

In July 2019, the board of directors adopted an amended and restated Plan, so as to reserve for issuance a maximum number of 740,000 restricted common units. On the same day, the Partnership awarded 445,000 unvested units to employees and non-employees.. Awards granted to certain employees and non-employees will vest in three equal installments. The remaining awards will vest on December 31, 2021. All awards under the amended Plan are conditional upon the grantee’s continued service until the applicable vesting date.

 

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Item 7.

Major Unitholders and Related-Party Transactions.

As of December 31, 2019, our partners’ capital consisted of 18,178,100 common units, of which 15,041,174 were owned by public unitholders, no subordinated units and 348,570 general partner units. Following the issuance of 445,000 common units on January 21, 2020 under the Plan, our partners’ capital consisted of 18,623,100 common units, of which 15,486,174 were owned by public unitholders, no subordinated units and 348,570 general partner units.    

Based on 18,971,670 units issued and outstanding (including 348,570 general partner units) on the date of this Annual Report, the Marinakis family, including Evangelos M. Marinakis, the chairman of Capital Maritime, may be deemed to beneficially own an 18.4% interest in us, through Capital Maritime, which may be deemed to beneficially own 2,667,753 common units representing a 14.1% interest in us, our General Partner, which may be deemed to beneficially own 348,570 general partner units representing a 1.8% interest in us, and Crude Carriers Investments, which may be deemed to beneficially own 469,173 common units, representing a 2.5% interest in us.

 

A.

Major Unitholders

The following table sets forth as of the date hereof the beneficial ownership of our common units by each person we know beneficially owns more than 5.0% or more of our common units, and all of our directors and the executive officers of our General Partner as a group. The number of units beneficially owned by each person is determined under SEC rules and the information is not necessarily indicative of beneficial ownership for any other purpose. Under SEC rules a person beneficially owns any units as to which the person has or shares voting or investment power.

 

Name of Beneficial Owner

   Number of Common
Units Owned
     Percentage of Total
Common Units
 

Capital Maritime (1)

     2,667,753        14.3

Crude Carriers Investments (1)

     469,173        2.5

All executive officers and directors as a group (seven persons) (2)

     *        *  

 

(1)

The Marinakis family, including Evangelos M. Marinakis, our former chairman, through its ownership of Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments, may be deemed to beneficially own, or to have beneficially owned, all of our units held by Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments.

(2)

See “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—E. Share Ownership” above.

Our major unitholders have the same voting rights as our other unitholders except that if at any time, any person or group, other than our General Partner, its affiliates, their transferees, and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of our board of directors, owns beneficially 5% or more of any class of units then outstanding, any such units owned by that person or group in excess of 4.9% may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of unitholders, calculating required votes, except for purposes of nominating a person for election to our board, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes under our partnership agreement, unless otherwise required by law. The voting rights of any such unitholders in excess of 4.9% will be redistributed pro rata among the other unitholders of the same class holding less than 4.9% of the voting power of that class. We are not aware of any arrangements, the operation of which may at a subsequent date result in a change in control of the Partnership.

 

  B.

Related-Party Transactions

Our General Partner, which is a private entity wholly owned by Mr. Miltiadis E. Marinakis, controls the appointment of up to three of the members of our board of directors.

Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments can vote the common units they hold in their totality on all matters that arise under the partnership agreement (except for the election of directors elected by holders of our common units).

Accordingly, our General Partner, Capital Maritime and Crude Carriers Investments have the ability to exercise significant influence on important actions we may take.

 

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Omnibus Agreement with Capital Maritime

On September 30, 2011, we entered into an amended and restated Omnibus Agreement with Capital Maritime, Capital GP L.L.C. and Capital Product Operating L.L.C., which governs the manner in which certain future tanker business opportunities will be offered by Capital Maritime to us. The Omnibus Agreement does not apply to container and drybulk vessel, which currently constitute the entirety of our fleet.

Under the terms of the Omnibus Agreement, which continues to apply notwithstanding the change of ownership of our General Partner (see “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—A. History and Development of the Partnership—Recent Developments”):

 

   

Capital Maritime and its controlled affiliates (other than us, our General Partner and our subsidiaries) have agreed not to acquire, own or operate product or crude oil tankers with carrying capacity greater than or equal to 30,000 dwt under time or bareboat charters with a remaining duration (excluding any extension options) of at least 12 months (calculated by reference to the earliest of (a) the date the tanker to which such time or bareboat charter is attached is first acquired by Capital Maritime or any of its controlled affiliates and (b) the date on which a tanker owned by Capital Maritime or any of its controlled affiliates is put under such time or bareboat charter) without the consent of our General Partner or our board of directors or without first offering such tanker vessel to us; and

 

   

we may not acquire, own or operate product or crude oil tankers with a carrying capacity under 30,000 dwt without first offering such tanker vessel to Capital Maritime.

Furthermore, we granted Capital Maritime a right of first offer on the disposal of product and crude oil tankers, whereas Capital Maritime granted us a right of first offer on any disposal or re-chartering of any product and crude oil tanker with a carrying capacity greater than or equal to 30,000 dwt owned or acquired by Capital Maritime or any of its controlled affiliates (other than us).

Administrative and executive services agreements with Capital Ship Management and our General Partner

On April 4, 2007, we entered into an administrative services agreement with Capital Ship Management, pursuant to which Capital Ship Management has agreed to provide certain administrative management services to the Partnership, such as accounting, auditing, legal, insurance, clerical, and other administrative services. On the same date, we entered into an IT services agreement with Capital Ship Management pursuant to which our Manager provides IT management services to CPLP. We also reimburse Capital Ship Management and our General Partner for reasonable costs and expenses incurred in connection with the provision of these services pursuant to both agreements after Capital Ship Management submits to us an invoice for such costs and expenses, together with any supporting detail that may be reasonably required.

In 2019, we amended the executive services agreement with our General Partner according to which our General Partner provides certain executive officers services for the management of the Partnership’s business as well as investor relations and corporate support services to the Partnership.

In 2018, Capital Ship Management conducted a management buy-out led by its senior management. Since then, Capital Ship Management is no longer part of the group of companies controlled by Capital Maritime.

Transactions entered into after the year ended December 31, 2019

Share Purchase Agreement for the Acquisition of the Companies Owning the M/V Athenian, the M/V Athos and M/V Aristomenis. On January 22, 2020, and on January 23, 2020 we entered into share purchase agreements with Capital Maritime for the acquisition of the shares of the companies owning the M/V Athenian, the M/V Athos and the M/V Aristomenis (three sister 10,000 TEU container vessels built in 2011 at Samsung Heavy Industries S. Korea), respectively, for a consideration of $54.2 million each. The acquisition of the M/V Athenian was funded with $38.5 million drawn under a term loan entered into with HCOB and $15.7 million of cash at hand, and the acquisition of the M/V Athos and the M/V Aristomenis was funded through a sale and lease back transaction entered into with CMBFL, for an amount of up to $38.5 million each and $31.4 million cash at hand. For a discussion of the financing of this acquisition, see “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. History and Development of the Partnership—Recent Developments.”

 

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Transactions entered into during the year ended December 31, 2019

 

  1.

Termination Agreement of the Crude Carriers Commercial and Technical Management Agreement. On March 27, 2019, our subsidiary Crude Carriers Corp. and Capital Ship Management agreed to terminate the commercial and technical management agreement, dated as of March 17, 2010, between them as all vessels covered by this agreement were to be spun off as part of the Tanker Business in connection with the DSS Transaction.

 

  2.

Amendment Agreement Regarding the Floating Rate Management Agreement. On March 27, 2019, we entered into an amendment agreement with Capital Ship Management to reflect that all our tankers to be spun off as part of the Tanker Business in connection with the DSS Transaction would no longer be managed under the floating rate management agreement.

 

  3.

Amendment Agreement Regarding the Floating Rate Management Agreement. On August 29, 2019, we entered into an amendment agreement with Capital Ship Management to reflect that all ten of our container vessels would no longer be managed under the floating rate management agreement with Capital Ship Management and that only M/V Cape Agamemnon would continue to be covered by the Floating Rate Management Agreement.

 

  4.

Floating Rate Management Agreement with Capital-Executive. In August 2019, each vessel-owning subsidiary of our ten container vessels owned at the time entered into a floating rate management agreement with Capital-Executive, pursuant to which Capital-Executive provides certain commercial and technical management services. For more information, please see “Item 10. Additional Information—C. Material Contracts.”

 

  5.

Executive services agreement with our General Partner. In 2019, we amended the executive services agreement with our General Partner. See “—Administrative and executive services agreement with Capital Ship Management and our General Partner.”

Transactions entered into during the year ended December 31, 2018

Amendments to Management Agreement. On October 16, 2018, June 30, 2018 and January 17, 2018, we amended the floating rate management agreement with Capital Ship Management to reflect, among other things, the list of the vessels covered by such management agreement. Please read “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Our Management Agreements” for information on our management agreements.

Transactions entered into during the year ended December 31, 2017

Amendments to Management Agreement. On March 25, 2017 and December 1, 2017, we amended and restated the fixed fee management agreement (which is no longer in effect) with Capital Ship Management in its entirely to reflect, among other things, the list of the vessels covered by such management agreement. On March 11, 2017, May 1, 2017, July 1, 2017 and December 1, 2017, we amended the floating rate management agreement with Capital Ship Management to reflect, among other things, the list of the vessels covered by such management agreement. Please read “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—B. Business Overview—Our Management Agreements” for information on our management agreements.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND FIDUCIARY DUTIES

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest exist and may arise in the future as a result of the relationships between our General Partner and Capital Maritime, on the one hand, and us and our unaffiliated limited partners, on the other hand. The officers of our General Partner may have certain fiduciary duties to manage our General Partner in a manner beneficial to its owner. At the same time, our General Partner has a fiduciary duty to manage us in a manner beneficial to us and our unitholders. Similarly, our board of directors has fiduciary duties to manage us in a manner beneficial to us, our General Partner and our limited partners. Furthermore, one of our directors is also a director and officer of Capital Maritime and as such he has fiduciary duties to Capital Maritime that may cause him to pursue business strategies that disproportionately benefit Capital Maritime or which otherwise are not in the best interests of us or our unitholders.

 

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Our partnership affairs are governed by our partnership agreement and the MILPA. The provisions of the MILPA resemble provisions of the limited partnership laws of a number of states in the United States, most notably Delaware. We are not aware of any material difference in unitholder rights between the MILPA and the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act. The MILPA also provides that, as it relates to nonresident limited partnerships, such as us, it is to be applied and construed to make the laws of the Marshall Islands, with respect to the subject matter of the MILPA, uniform with the laws of the State of Delaware and, so long as it does not conflict with the MILPA or decisions of certain Marshall Islands courts, the non-statutory law (or “case law”) of the State of Delaware is adopted as the law of the Marshall Islands. There have been, however, few, if any, court cases in the Marshall Islands interpreting the MILPA, in contrast to Delaware, which has a fairly well-developed body of case law interpreting its limited partnership statute.

Accordingly, we cannot predict whether Marshall Islands courts would reach the same conclusions as courts in Delaware. For example, the rights of our unitholders and fiduciary responsibilities of our General Partner and its affiliates under Marshall Islands law are not as clearly established as under judicial precedent in existence in Delaware. Due to the less-developed nature of Marshall Islands law, our public unitholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by our General Partner, its affiliates or controlling unitholders than would unitholders of a limited partnership organized in the United States.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that modify and restrict the fiduciary duties of our General Partner and our directors to the unitholders under Marshall Islands law. Our partnership agreement also restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner or our directors that, without those limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty.

Neither our General Partner nor our board of directors will be in breach of their obligations under the partnership agreement or their duties to us or the unitholders if the resolution of the conflict is:

 

   

approved by the conflicts committee, although neither our General Partner nor our board of directors are obligated to seek such approval;

 

   

approved by the vote of a majority of the outstanding common units, excluding any common units owned by our General Partner or any of its affiliates, although neither our General Partner nor our board of directors are obligated to seek such approval;

 

   

on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties, but neither our General Partner nor our directors are required to obtain confirmation to such effect from an independent third party; or

 

   

fair and reasonable to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly favorable or advantageous to us.

Our General Partner or our board of directors may, but are not required to, seek the approval of such resolution from the conflicts committee of our board of directors or from the common unitholders. If neither our General Partner nor our board of directors seek approval from the conflicts committee, and our board of directors determines that the resolution or course of action taken with respect to the conflict of interest satisfies either of the standards set forth in the third and fourth bullet points above, then it will be presumed that, in making its decision, the board of directors, including the board members affected by the conflict, acted in good faith, and in any proceeding brought by or on behalf of any limited partner or the partnership, the person bringing or prosecuting such proceeding will have the burden of overcoming such presumption. When our partnership agreement requires someone to act in good faith, it requires that person to reasonably believe that he is acting in the best interests of the partnership, unless the context otherwise requires.

Conflicts of interest could arise in the situations described below, among others.

Actions taken by our board of directors may affect the amount of cash available for distribution to unitholders.

The amount of cash that is available for distribution to unitholders is affected by decisions of our board of directors regarding such matters as:

 

   

the amount and timing of asset purchases and sales;

 

   

cash expenditures;

 

   

borrowings;

 

   

the issuance of additional units; and

 

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the creation, reduction or increase of reserves in any quarter.

In addition, borrowings by us and our affiliates do not constitute a breach of any duty owed by our General Partner or our directors to our unitholders, including borrowings that have the purpose or effect of enabling our General Partner or its affiliates to receive incentive distribution rights.

For example, in the event we have not generated sufficient cash from our operations to pay the minimum quarterly distribution on our units, our partnership agreement permits us to borrow funds, which would enable us to make this distribution on all outstanding units.

Our partnership agreement provides that we and our subsidiaries may borrow funds from our General Partner and its affiliates. Our General Partner and its affiliates may not borrow funds from us or our subsidiaries.

Neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires our General Partner or its affiliates to pursue a business strategy that favors us or utilizes our assets or dictates what markets to pursue or grow.

Because all of the officers of our General Partner and one of our directors are also directors, officers or employees of Capital Maritime or its affiliates, such officers and director have fiduciary duties to Capital Maritime that may cause them to pursue business strategies that disproportionately benefit Capital Maritime or which otherwise are not in the best interests of us or our unitholders.

Our General Partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that restrict the standards to which our General Partner would otherwise be held by Marshall Islands fiduciary duty law. For example, our partnership agreement permits our General Partner to make a number of decisions in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our General Partner. This entitles our General Partner to consider only the interests and factors that it desires, and it has no duty or obligations to give any consideration to any interest of or factors affecting us, our affiliates or any unitholder. Specifically, our General Partner will be considered to be acting in its individual capacity if it exercises its call right, pre-emptive rights or registration rights, consents or withholds consent to any merger or consolidation of the partnership, appoints any directors or votes for the election of any director, votes or refrains from voting on amendments to our partnership agreement that require a vote of the outstanding units, voluntarily withdraws from the partnership, transfers (to the extent permitted under our partnership agreement) or refrains from transferring its units, general partner interest or incentive distribution rights or votes upon the dissolution of the partnership.

We do not have any officers and rely solely on officers of our General Partner.

Our General Partner’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer are also executive officers or employees of Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management or their respective affiliates.

If the activities of Capital Maritime, Capital Ship Management or their respective affiliates are significantly greater than our activities, there could be material competition for the time and effort of the officers who provide services to our General Partner. The officers of our General Partner are not required to work full-time on our affairs.

We will reimburse our General Partner and its affiliates for expenses.

We will reimburse our General Partner and its affiliates for costs incurred in managing and operating us, including costs incurred in rendering corporate staff and support services to us. Our partnership agreement provides that our General Partner will determine the expenses that are allocable to us in good faith.

Common unitholders will have no right to enforce obligations of our General Partner and its affiliates under agreements with us.

Any agreements between us, on the one hand, and our General Partner and its affiliates, on the other, will not grant to the unitholders, separate and apart from us, the right to enforce the obligations of our General Partner and its affiliates in our favor.

Contracts between us, on the one hand, and Capital Maritime or our General Partner, on the other hand, will not be the result of arms’- length negotiations.

 

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Neither our partnership agreement nor any of the other agreements, contracts and arrangements initially put in place among Capital Maritime or our General Partner and us were the result of arms’-length negotiations.

Our partnership agreement generally provides that any affiliated transaction, such as an agreement, contract or arrangement between us and our General Partner and its affiliates, must be:

 

   

on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties; or

 

   

“fair and reasonable” to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved (including other transactions that may be particularly favorable or advantageous to us).

Our General Partner may also enter into additional contractual arrangements with any of its affiliates on our behalf; however, there is no obligation of our General Partner and its affiliates to enter into any contracts of this kind, and our General Partner will determine, in good faith, the terms of any of these transactions.

Common units are subject to our General Partner’s limited call right.

Our General Partner may exercise its right to call and purchase limited partner interests, including common units, as provided in the partnership agreement and may assign this right to one of its affiliates (including us). Our General Partner may use its own discretion, free of fiduciary duty restrictions, in determining whether to exercise this right. As a result, a common unitholder may have common units purchased from the unitholder at an undesirable time or price. Please read “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association—The Partnership Agreement—Limited Call Right.”

We may choose not to retain separate counsel for ourselves or for the holders of common units.

The attorneys, independent accountants and others who perform services for us have been retained by our board of directors, our General Partner or our Managers.

We may retain separate counsel for ourselves or the holders of common units in the event of a conflict of interest between our General Partner or our Managers and their respective affiliates, on the one hand, and us or the holders of common units, on the other hand, depending on the nature of the conflict. We do not intend to do so in most cases.

Capital Maritime may compete with us.

Our partnership agreement provides that our General Partner will be restricted from engaging in any business activities other than acting as our general partner and those activities incidental to its ownership of interests in us. In addition, our partnership agreement provides that our General Partner, for so long as it is general partner of our partnership, will cause its affiliates not to engage in, by acquisition or otherwise, certain businesses described in the omnibus agreement. Similarly, under the omnibus agreement, Capital Maritime agreed and agreed to cause it affiliates to agree, for so long as Capital Maritime controls our partnership, not to engage in certain businesses. Except as provided in our partnership agreement and the omnibus agreement, affiliates of our General Partner are not prohibited from engaging in other businesses or activities, including those that might be in direct competition with us.

Fiduciary Duties

Our General Partner and its affiliates are accountable to us and our unitholders as fiduciaries. Fiduciary duties owed to unitholders by our General Partner and its affiliates are prescribed by law and the partnership agreement. The MILPA provides that Marshall Islands partnerships may, in their partnership agreements, restrict or expand the fiduciary duties owed by our General Partner and its affiliates to the limited partners and the partnership. Our directors are subject to the same fiduciary duties as our General Partner, as restricted or expanded by the partnership agreement.

In addition, we have entered into services agreements, and may enter into additional agreements with Capital Ship Management. In the performance of its obligations under these agreements, Capital Ship Management is not held to a fiduciary standard of care but rather to the standards of care specified in the relevant agreement.

Our partnership agreement contains various provisions restricting the fiduciary duties that might otherwise be owed by our General Partner or by our directors. We have adopted these provisions to allow our General Partner and our directors to take into account the interests of other parties in addition to our interests when resolving conflicts of interest. We believe this is appropriate and

 

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necessary because the officers of our General Partner have fiduciary duties to manage our General Partner in a manner beneficial both to its owner, as well as to you. These modifications disadvantage the common unitholders because they restrict the rights and remedies that would otherwise be available to unitholders for actions that, without those limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty, as described below. The following is a summary of:

 

   

the fiduciary duties imposed on our General Partner and our directors by the MILPA;

 

   

material modifications of these duties contained in our partnership agreement; and

 

   

certain rights and remedies of unitholders contained in the MILPA.

 

Marshall Islands law fiduciary duty standards    Fiduciary duties are generally considered to include an obligation to act in good faith and with due care and loyalty. The duty of care, in the absence of a provision in a partnership agreement providing otherwise, would generally require a general partner and the directors of a Marshall Islands limited partnership to refrain from engaging in grossly negligent or reckless conduct, intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law. The duty of loyalty, in the absence of a provision in a partnership agreement providing otherwise, would generally require that a partner refrain from dealing with the limited partnership in the conduct or winding up of the limited partnership business or affairs as or on behalf of a party having an interest adverse to the limited partnership, refrain from competing with the limited partnership in the conduct of the limited partnership’s business or affairs before the dissolution of the limited partnership, and to account to the limited partnership and hold as trustee for it any property, profit or benefit derived by the partner in the conduct or winding up of the limited partnership’s business or affairs or derived from a use by the partner of partnership property, including the appropriation of a limited partnership opportunity. In addition, although not a fiduciary duty, a partner shall discharge the duties to the limited partnership and exercise any rights consistently with the obligation of good faith and fair dealing.

 

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Partnership agreement modified standards   

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that waive or consent to conduct by our General Partner and its affiliates and our directors that might otherwise raise issues as to compliance with fiduciary duties under the laws of the Marshall Islands. For example, Section 7.16 of our partnership agreement provides that when our General Partner is acting in its capacity as our General Partner, as opposed to in its individual capacity, it must act in “good faith” and will not be subject to any other standard under the laws of the Marshall Islands. In addition, when our General Partner is acting in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our general partner, it may act without any fiduciary obligation to us or the unitholders whatsoever. These standards reduce the obligations to which our General Partner and our board of directors would otherwise be held. Our partnership agreement generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not involving a vote of unitholders and that are not approved by the conflicts committee of our board of directors must be:

 

•   on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties; or

 

•   “fair and reasonable” to us, taking into account the totality of the relationships between the parties involved (including other transactions that may be particularly favorable or advantageous to us).

 

If our board of directors does not seek approval from the conflicts committee, and our board of directors determines that the resolution or course of action taken with respect to the conflict of interest satisfies either of the standards set forth in the bullet points above, then it will be presumed that, in making its decision, our board of directors acted in good faith. These standards reduce the obligations to which our board of directors would otherwise be held.

 

In addition to the other more specific provisions limiting the obligations of our General Partner and our directors, our partnership agreement further provides that our General Partner and its officers and our directors, will not be liable for monetary damages to us for errors of judgment or for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that our General Partner or its officers or our directors acted in bad faith or engaged in actual fraud or willful misconduct or, in the case of a criminal matter, acted with knowledge that the conduct was unlawful.

Rights and remedies of unitholders    The provisions of the MILPA resemble the provisions of the limited partnership act of Delaware. For example, like Delaware, the MILPA favors the principles of freedom of contract and enforceability of partnership agreements and allows the partnership agreement to contain terms governing the rights of the unitholders. The rights of our unitholders, including voting and approval rights and the ability of the partnership to issue additional units, are governed by the terms of our partnership agreement. Please read “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association—The Partnership Agreement.”
   As to remedies of unitholders, the MILPA permits a limited partner or an assignee of a partnership interest to bring action in the High Court in the right of the limited partnership to recover a judgment in the limited partnership’s favor if general partners with authority to do so have refused to bring the action or if effort to cause those general partners to bring the action is not likely to succeed.

In order to become one of our limited partners, a common unitholder is deemed to agree to be bound by the provisions in the partnership agreement, including the provisions discussed above. The failure of a limited partner or transferee to sign a partnership agreement does not render the partnership agreement unenforceable against that person.

Under the partnership agreement, we must indemnify our General Partner and its officers and our directors to the fullest extent permitted by law, against liabilities, costs and expenses incurred by our General Partner or these other persons. We must provide this indemnification unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that these persons engaged in actual fraud or willful misconduct. We also must provide this indemnification for criminal proceedings when our General Partner or these other persons acted with no reasonable cause to believe that their conduct was

 

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unlawful. Thus, our General Partner and its officers and our directors could be indemnified for their negligent acts if they met the requirements set forth above. To the extent that these provisions purport to include indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act, in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is contrary to public policy and therefore unenforceable. Please read “Item 10 Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association—The Partnership Agreement—Indemnification.”

 

  C.

Interests of Experts and Counsel

Not applicable.

Item 8. Financial Information.

 

  A.

Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information.

See Item 18 for additional information required to be disclosed under this Item 8.

Legal Proceedings

Although we or our subsidiaries may, from time to time, be involved in litigation and claims arising out of our operations in the normal course of business, we are not at present party to any legal proceedings and are not aware of any proceedings against us, or contemplated to be brought against us. We maintain insurance policies with insurers in amounts and with coverage and deductibles as our board of directors believes are reasonable and prudent. We expect that these claims would be covered by insurance, subject to customary deductibles. Those claims, even if lacking merit, could result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources and regardless of the final outcome of any such proceedings could lead to significant reputational damage which could materially affect our business and operations.

In September 2019, one of our subsidiaries reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) regarding the M/V CMA CGM Amazon for oil record book violations. Under the terms of the agreement, the subsidiary pled guilty to oil record book violations with respect to the M/V CMA CGM Amazon. The subsidiary paid a fine of $500,000 and was placed on probation for 30 months. If, during the term of probation, the subsidiary fails to adhere to the terms of the plea agreement, the DOJ may withdraw from the plea agreement and would be free to prosecute the subsidiary on all charges arising out of its investigation, including any charges dismissed pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, as well as potentially other charges. The subsidiary is also required to implement an environmental compliance plan in connection with the settlement.

In December 2017, one of our former subsidiaries reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) regarding the M/T Amoureux for oil record book violation. Under the terms of the agreement, that former subsidiary pled guilty to oil record book violation with respect to the M/T Amoureux, paid $700,000 in fine and was placed on probation for three years. That former subsidiary is also required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan in connection with the settlement. The M/T Amoureux was part of the Tanker Business that we spun-off in connection with the DSS Transaction.

HOW WE MAKE CASH DISTRIBUTIONS

Distributions of Available Cash

General

Within approximately 45 days after the end of each quarter, subject to legal limitations, we distribute all of our available cash to unitholders of record on the applicable record date.

Definition of Available Cash

Available cash means, for each fiscal quarter, all cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the quarter:

 

   

less the amount of cash reserves established by our board of directors to:

 

   

provide for the proper conduct of our business (including reserves for future capital expenditures and for our anticipated credit needs);

 

   

comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments, or other agreements; or

 

   

to the extent permitted under our partnership agreement, provide funds for distributions to our unitholders and to our General Partner for any one or more of the next four quarters;

 

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plus all additional cash and cash equivalents on hand on the date of determination of available cash for the quarter resulting from working capital borrowings made after the end of the quarter. Working capital borrowings are generally borrowings that are made under our credit agreement and in all cases are used solely for working capital purposes or to pay distributions to partners.

Minimum Quarterly Distribution

Our partnership agreement provides that the minimum quarterly distribution on our common units is (on a pre-reverse split-adjusted basis) $0.2325 per unit, which is equal to $0.93 per unit per year, or $1.6275 per unit, which is equal to $6.51 per unit per year. You should note that there is no guarantee that we will pay the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units in any quarter. Failure to distribute the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units results in our inability to establish certain cash reserves (see “—Definition of Available Cash” above). See information on current distribution levels elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Distribution Policy

Our cash distribution policy generally reflects a basic judgment that our unitholders are better served by us distributing our available cash (after deducting expenses, including cash reserves) rather than retaining it. Because we believe that, subject to our ability to obtain required financing and access financial markets, we will generally finance any expansion capital expenditures from external financing sources, we believe that our investors are best served by us distributing all of our available cash. The board of directors seeks to maintain a balance between the level of reserves it takes to protect our financial position and liquidity against the desirability of maintaining distributions on the limited partnership interests. We intend to review our distributions from time to time in the light of a range of factors, including, among other things, our access to the capital markets, the repayment or refinancing of our external debt, the level of our capital expenditures and our ability to pursue accretive transactions.

Even if our cash distribution policy is not modified or revoked, the decision to make any distribution and the amount thereof are determined by our board of directors, taking into consideration the terms of our partnership agreement. Our distribution policy is subject to certain restrictions, including the following:

 

   

Our common unitholders have no contractual or other legal right to receive distributions other than the right under our partnership agreement to receive available cash on a quarterly basis. Our board of directors has broad discretion to establish reserves and other limitations in determining the amount of available cash.

 

   

While our partnership agreement requires us to distribute all of our available cash, our partnership agreement, including provisions requiring us to make cash distributions contained therein, may be amended. The partnership agreement can be amended in certain circumstances with the approval of a majority of the outstanding common units.

 

   

Even if our cash distribution policy is not modified or revoked, the amount of distributions we pay under our cash distribution policy and the decision to make any distribution is determined by our board of directors, taking into consideration the terms of our partnership agreement and the establishment of any reserves for the prudent conduct of our business.

 

   

Under Section 51 of the Marshall Islands Limited Partnership Act, we may not make a distribution if, after giving effect to the distribution, our liabilities (other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interest and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specified property of ours) would exceed the fair value of our assets, except that the fair value of property that is subject to a liability for which the recourse of creditors is limited shall be included in our assets only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds that liability.

 

   

Our common units are subject to the prior distribution rights of any holders of our preferred units then outstanding.

 

   

We may lack sufficient cash to pay distributions on our common units due to, among other things, decreases in net revenues or increases in operating expenses, principal and interest payments on outstanding debt, tax expenses, working capital requirements, maintenance and replacement capital expenditures or anticipated cash needs.

 

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Our distribution policy will be affected by restrictions on distributions under our credit facilities which contain material financial tests and covenants that must be satisfied. Should we be unable to satisfy these terms, covenants and restrictions included in our credit facilities or if we are otherwise in default under the credit agreements, our ability to make cash distributions to our unitholders, notwithstanding our stated cash distribution policy, would be materially adversely affected.

 

   

If we make distributions out of capital surplus, as opposed to operating surplus, such distributions will constitute a return of capital and will result in a reduction in the quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels. We do not anticipate that we will make any distributions from capital surplus.

 

   

If the ability of our subsidiaries to make any distribution to us is restricted by, among other things, the provisions of existing and future indebtedness, applicable partnership and limited liability company laws or any other laws and regulations, our ability to make distributions to our unitholders may be restricted.

We have generally declared distributions on our common units in January, April, July and October of each year and paid those distributions in the subsequent month according to our distribution policy, which has changed from time to time.

In view of the DSS Transaction, we have adopted a new annual common unit quarterly distribution guidance of $0.315 per common unit.

Operating Surplus and Capital Surplus

General

All cash distributed to unitholders will be characterized as either “operating surplus” or “capital surplus.” We treat distributions of available cash from operating surplus differently than distributions of available cash from capital surplus.

Definition of Operating Surplus

For any period, other than the quarter during which an event giving rise to our liquidation occurs (unless our unitholders have a right to elect to continue our business and so elect), operating surplus generally means:

 

   

an amount equal to two times the amount needed for any one quarter for us to pay a distribution on all of our units, the general partner units and the incentive distribution rights at the same per-unit amount as was distributed in the immediately preceding quarter; plus

 

   

all of our cash receipts, excluding cash from (1) borrowings, other than working capital borrowings, (2) sales of equity and debt securities, (3) sales or other dispositions of assets outside the ordinary course of business, (4) capital contributions; plus

 

   

working capital borrowings made after the end of a quarter but before the date of determination of operating surplus for the quarter; plus

 

   

interest paid on debt incurred and cash distributions paid on equity securities issued, in each case, to finance all or any portion of the construction, replacement or improvement of a capital asset such as vessels during the period from such financing until the earlier to occur of the date the capital asset is put into service and the date that it is abandoned or disposed of; plus

 

   

interest paid on debt incurred and cash distributions paid on equity securities issued, in each case, to pay the construction period interest on debt incurred, or to pay construction period distributions on equity issued, to finance the construction projects described in the immediately preceding bullet; less

 

   

all of our operating expenditures after the repayment of working capital borrowings, but not (1) the repayment of other borrowings, (2) actual maintenance and replacement capital expenditures or expansion capital expenditures or investment capital expenditures, (3) transaction expenses (including taxes) related to interim capital transactions or (4) distributions; less

 

   

estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures and the amount of cash reserves established by our board of directors to provide funds for future operating expenditures; less

 

   

all working capital borrowings not repaid within twelve months after having been incurred.

 

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If a working capital borrowing, which increases operating surplus, is not repaid during the 12-month period following the borrowing, it will be deemed repaid at the end of such period, thus decreasing operating surplus at such time. When such working capital borrowing is in fact repaid, it will not be treated as a reduction in operating surplus because operating surplus will have been previously reduced by the deemed repayment.

As described above, operating surplus includes an amount up to two times the amount needed for any one quarter for us to pay a distribution on all of our units (including the general partner units) and the incentive distribution rights at the same per unit amount as was distributed in the immediately preceding quarter. This amount does not reflect actual cash on hand available to pay distributions to unitholders. Rather, it is a provision that will enable us, if we choose, to distribute as operating surplus up to this amount of cash we receive in the future from non-operating sources, such as asset sales, issuances of securities and long-term borrowings, that would otherwise be distributed as capital surplus. In addition, the effect of including, as described above, certain cash distributions on equity securities or interest payments on debt in operating surplus would be to increase operating surplus by the amount of any such cash distributions or interest payments. As a result, we may also distribute as operating surplus up to the amount of any such cash distributions or interest payments of cash we receive from non-operating sources.

Capital Expenditures

For purposes of determining operating surplus, maintenance and replacement capital expenditures are those capital expenditures required to maintain over the long term the operating capacity of or the revenue generated by our capital assets, and expansion capital expenditures are those capital expenditures that increase the operating capacity of or the revenue generated by our capital assets. To the extent, however, that capital expenditures associated with acquiring a new vessel increase the revenues or the operating capacity of our fleet, those capital expenditures would be classified as expansion capital expenditures.

Investment capital expenditures are those that are neither maintenance and replacement capital expenditures nor expansion capital expenditures. Investment capital expenditures largely will consist of capital expenditures made for investment purposes.

Examples of investment capital expenditures include traditional capital expenditures for investment purposes, such as purchases of equity securities, as well as other capital expenditures that might be made in lieu of such traditional investment capital expenditures, such as the acquisition of a capital asset for investment purposes.

Examples of maintenance and replacement capital expenditures include capital expenditures associated with drydocking, modifying an existing vessel or acquiring a new vessel to the extent such expenditures are incurred to maintain the operating capacity of or the revenue generated by our fleet. Maintenance and replacement capital expenditures will also include interest (and related fees) on debt incurred and distributions on equity issued to finance the construction of a replacement vessel and paid during the construction period, which we define as the period beginning on the date that we enter into a binding construction contract and ending on the earlier of the date that the replacement vessel commences commercial service or the date that the replacement vessel is abandoned or disposed of. Debt incurred to pay or equity issued to fund construction period interest payments, and distributions on such equity, will also be considered maintenance and replacement capital expenditures.

Our partnership agreement provides that an amount equal to an estimate of the average quarterly maintenance and replacement capital expenditures necessary to maintain the operating capacity of or the revenue generated by our capital assets over the long term be subtracted from operating surplus each quarter, as opposed to the actual amounts spent. In the partnership agreement, we refer to these estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures to be subtracted from operating surplus as “estimated maintenance capital expenditures.” The amount of estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures deducted from operating surplus is subject to review and change by our board of directors at least once a year, provided that any change must be approved by our conflicts committee. The estimate is made at least annually and whenever an event occurs that is likely to result in a material adjustment to the amount of our maintenance and replacement capital expenditures, such as a major acquisition or the introduction of new governmental regulations that will affect our fleet. For purposes of calculating operating surplus, any adjustment to this estimate is prospective only. Our board of directors has elected not to deduct any replacement capital expenditures from our operating surplus since 2011.

Definition of Capital Surplus

Any available cash that is distributed after we distribute the operating surplus is capital surplus. Capital surplus generally is expected to be generated by:

 

   

borrowings other than working capital borrowings;

 

   

sales of debt and equity securities; and

 

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sales or other dispositions of assets for cash, other than inventory, accounts receivable and other current assets sold in the ordinary course of business or non-current assets sold as part of normal retirements or replacements of assets.

Characterization of Cash Distributions

We will treat all available cash distributed as coming from operating surplus until the sum of all available cash distributed since we began operations equals the operating surplus as of the most recent date of determination of available cash. We will treat any amount distributed in excess of operating surplus, regardless of its source, as capital surplus. As described above, operating surplus includes an amount up to two times the amount needed for any one quarter for us to pay a distribution on all of our units (including the general partner units) and the incentive distribution rights at the same per unit amount as was distributed in the immediately preceding quarter. This amount does not reflect actual cash on hand available to pay distributions to unitholders. Rather, it is a provision that will enable us, if we choose, to distribute as operating surplus up to this amount of cash we receive in the future from non-operating sources, such as asset sales, issuances of securities and long-term borrowings, that would otherwise be distributed as capital surplus. We have not yet made any distributions from capital surplus and do not anticipate doing so in the future.

Distributions of Available Cash From Operating Surplus

We make quarterly distributions of available cash from operating surplus in the following manner, subject to applicable law:

 

   

first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2.0% to our General Partner, until we distribute for each outstanding unit an amount equal to the minimum quarterly distribution for that quarter; and

 

   

thereafter, in the manner described in “—Incentive Distribution Rights” below.

The preceding paragraph and other similar disclosure in this Section assumes that our General Partner maintains its initial 2.0% general partner interest. As of the date of this Annual Report, our General Partner holds a 1.84% general partner interest.

Incentive Distribution Rights

Incentive distribution rights represent the right to receive an increasing percentage of quarterly distributions of available cash from operating surplus after the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels have been achieved. Our General Partner currently holds the incentive distribution rights, but may transfer these rights separately from its general partner interest, subject to restrictions in the partnership agreement. Any transfer by our General Partner of the incentive distribution rights would not change the percentage allocations of quarterly distributions with respect to such rights.

If for any quarter:

 

   

we have paid to the holders of any other outstanding units that are senior in right of distribution to our common units the agreed amount of distribution; and

 

   

we have distributed available cash from operating surplus to the common unitholders in an amount equal to the minimum quarterly distribution,

then, we will distribute any additional available cash from operating surplus for that quarter among the unitholders and our General Partner in the following manner :

 

   

first, 98% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 2.0% to our General Partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $1.6975 per unit for that quarter (the “first target distribution”),

 

   

second, 85% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 15% to our General Partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $1.8725 per unit for that quarter (the “second target distribution”),

 

   

third, 75% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 25% to our General Partner, until each unitholder receives a total of $2.0475 per unit for that quarter (the “third target distribution”), and

 

   

thereafter, 65% to all unitholders, pro rata, and 35% to our General Partner.

The percentage interests set forth above assume that our General Partner maintains its initial 2.0% general partner interest and has not transferred the incentive distribution rights and that we do not issue additional classes of equity securities. As of the date of this Annual Report, our General Partner holds a 1.84% general partner interest.

 

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Following discussion with, and with the unanimous support of, the conflicts committee of our board of directors, Capital Maritime permanently waived its rights to receive quarterly incentive distributions between $1.6975 and $1.75. This waiver effectively increases the first target distribution and the lower bound of the second target distribution (as referenced in the table below) from $1.6975 to $1.75.

Percentage Allocations of Available Cash From Operating Surplus

The following table illustrates the percentage allocations of the additional available cash from operating surplus among the unitholders and our General Partner up to the various target distribution levels. The amounts set forth under “Marginal Percentage Interest in Distributions” are the percentage interests of the unitholders and our General Partner in any available cash from operating surplus we distribute up to and including the corresponding amount in the column “Total Quarterly Distribution Target Amount,” until available cash from operating surplus we distribute reaches the next target distribution level, if any. The percentage interests shown for the unitholders and our General Partner for the minimum quarterly distribution are also applicable to quarterly distribution amounts that are less than the minimum quarterly distribution. The percentage interests shown for our General Partner assume that our General Partner maintains its initial 2.0% general partner interest and that our General Partner has not transferred the incentive distribution rights. As of the date of this Annual Report, our General Partner holds a 1.84% general partner interest.

 

          Marginal Percentage
Interest in Distributions
 
    

Total Quarterly Distribution Target

Amount

   Unitholders     General
Partner
 

Minimum Quarterly Distribution

   $1.6275      98     2

First Target Distribution

   up to $1.6975 (1)      98     2

Second Target Distribution

   above $1.6975 (1) up to $1.8725      85     15

Third Target Distribution

   above $1.8725 up to $2.0475      75     25

Thereafter

   above $2.0475      65     35

 

(1)

As disclosed on our Report on Form 6-K furnished on August 26, 2014, Capital Maritime unilaterally notified the Partnership that it decided to waive its rights to receive quarterly incentive distributions between $1.6975 and $1.75. Capital Maritime permanently waived these rights after discussion with, and with the unanimous support of, the conflicts committee of our board of directors. This waiver effectively increases the First Target Distribution and the lower bound of the Second Target Distribution (as referenced in the table above) from $1.6975 to $1.75.

Distributions From Capital Surplus

How Distributions From Capital Surplus Will Be Made

We will make distributions of available cash from capital surplus, if any, in the following manner:

 

   

first, 98% to the common unitholders, pro rata, and 2% to our General Partner, until we distribute for each common unit an aggregate amount of available cash from capital surplus equal to the initial unit price of the common units issued in our initial public offering; and

 

   

thereafter, we will make distributions of available cash from capital surplus as if they were from operating surplus.

The preceding paragraph is based on the assumption that our General Partner maintains its initial 2.0% general partner interest and that we do not issue additional classes of equity securities. As of the date of this Annual Report, our General Partner holds a 1.84% general partner interest.

Effect of a Distribution From Capital Surplus

The partnership agreement treats a distribution of capital surplus as a return of capital. Each time a distribution of capital surplus is made, the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels will be reduced in the same proportion as the distribution had to the fair market value of the common units prior to the announcement of the distribution. Because distributions of capital surplus will reduce the minimum quarterly distribution, after any of these distributions are made, it may be easier for our General Partner to receive incentive distributions.

 

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However, any distribution of capital surplus before the minimum quarterly distribution is reduced to zero cannot be applied to the payment of the minimum quarterly distribution or any arrearages.

Adjustment to the Minimum Quarterly Distribution and Target Distribution Levels

In addition to adjusting the minimum quarterly distribution and target distribution levels to reflect a distribution of capital surplus, if we combine our units into fewer units (as we did in connection with the DSS Transaction; please read the introductory note entitled “DSS Transaction and March 2019 Reverse Split.”) or subdivide our units into a greater number of units, we will proportionately adjust:

 

   

the minimum quarterly distribution; and

 

   

the target distribution levels.

For example, if a two-for-one split of the common and subordinated units should occur, the minimum quarterly distribution, the target distribution levels would be reduced to 50% of its initial level. We will not make any adjustment by reason of the issuance of additional units for cash or property.

In addition, if legislation is enacted or the official interpretation of any existing legislation is modified by a governmental taxing authority, and as a result any of our subsidiaries becomes subject to taxation as an entity for U.S. federal, state, local or foreign tax purposes, our partnership agreement specifies that the minimum quarterly distribution and the target distribution levels for each quarter will be reduced by multiplying each distribution level by a fraction, the numerator of which is available cash for that quarter and the denominator of which is the sum of available cash for that quarter plus our board of directors’ estimate of our direct or indirect aggregate liability for the quarter for such taxes payable by reason of such legislation or interpretation. To the extent that the actual tax liability differs from the estimated tax liability for any quarter, the difference will be accounted for in subsequent quarters.

Distributions of Cash Upon Liquidation

If we dissolve in accordance with the partnership agreement, we will sell or otherwise dispose of our assets in a process called liquidation. We will apply the proceeds of liquidation in the manner set forth below.

If, as of the date three trading days prior to the announcement of the proposed liquidation, the average closing price for our common units for the preceding 20 trading days (or the current market price) is greater than the sum of:

 

   

any arrearages in payment of the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units issued in our initial public offering for any prior quarters during the subordination period (as described below); plus

 

   

the initial unit price of the common units issued in our initial public offering (adjusted as our board of directors determines to be appropriate to give effect to any distribution, subdivision or combination, such as the reverse unit split we effected in March 2019 in connection with the DSS Transaction) (less any prior capital surplus distributions and any prior cash distributions made in connection with a partial liquidation);

then the proceeds of the liquidation will be applied as follows:

 

   

first, 98.0% to the common unitholders, pro rata, and 2.0% to our General Partner, until we distribute for each outstanding common unit an amount equal to the current market price of our common units; and

 

   

thereafter, 50.0% to all unitholders, pro rata, 48.0% to holders of incentive distribution rights and 2.0% to our General Partner.

If, as of the date three trading days prior to the announcement of the proposed liquidation, the current market price of our common units is equal to or less than the sum of:

 

   

any arrearages in payment of the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units issued in our initial public offering for any prior quarters during the subordination period; plus

 

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the initial unit price of the common units issued in our initial public offering (adjusted as our board of directors determines to be appropriate to give effect to any distribution, subdivision or combination, such as the reverse unit split we effected in March 2019 in connection with the DSS Transaction) (less any prior capital surplus distributions and any prior cash distributions made in connection with a partial liquidation);

then the proceeds of the liquidation will be applied as follows:

 

   

first, 98.0% to the common unitholders, pro rata, and 2.0% to our General Partner, until we distribute for each outstanding common unit an amount equal to such initial unit price (as adjusted) (less any prior capital surplus distributions and any prior cash distributions made in connection with a partial liquidation);

 

   

second, 98.0% to the common unitholders, pro rata, and 2.0% to our General Partner, until we distribute for each outstanding common unit an amount equal to any arrearages in payment of the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units for any prior quarters during the subordination period; and

 

   

thereafter, 50.0% to all unitholders, pro rata, 48.0% to holders of incentive distribution rights and 2.0% to our General Partner.

The preceding paragraph is based on the assumption that our General Partner maintains its initial 2.0% general partner interest and has not transferred the incentive distribution rights and that we do not issue additional classes of equity securities. As of the date of this Annual Report, our General Partner holds a 1.84% general partner interest.

Subordination Period

The subordination period, which terminated on February 14, 2009, was a period during which the common units had the right to receive available cash from operating surplus in an amount equal to the minimum quarterly distribution per quarter, plus any arrearages in the payment of the minimum quarterly distribution on the common units from prior quarters, before any distributions of available cash from operating surplus were made on the “subordinated units,” which were issued in addition to the common units in our initial public offering. Upon termination of the subordination period, the subordinated units were converted into common units on a one-for-one basis.

 

  B.

Significant Changes

Other than as described in “Item 4. Information on the Partnership—A. History and Development of the Partnership—Recent Developments” and below, no significant changes have occurred since the date of our Financial Statements:

On January 21, 2020, the board of directors of the Partnership declared a cash distribution of $0.35 per common unit for the fourth quarter of 2019. The fourth quarter common unit cash distribution was paid on February 11, 2020, to unitholders of record on February 3, 2020.

 

Item 9.

The Offer and Listing.

Our common units started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “CPLP” on March 30, 2007.

 

Item 10.

Additional Information.

 

  A.

Share Capital

Not applicable.

 

  B.

Memorandum and Articles of Association

We were organized on January 16, 2007 and have perpetual existence. Our purpose under our partnership agreement is to engage in any business activities that may lawfully be engaged in by a limited partnership pursuant to the MILPA.

Our General Partner has delegated to our board of directors the authority to oversee and direct our operations, management and policies on an exclusive basis. Our General Partner, subject to the direction and supervision of our board of directors, manages our business and affairs and carry out our purpose.

 

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Please refer to Exhibit 2.1 (Description of Securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act) to this Annual Report for a summary of the material provisions of our partnership agreement. The partnership agreement, as amended, is filed as Exhibit I to our Report on Form 6-K dated February 24, 2010, as Exhibit I to our Report on Form 6-K dated September 30, 2011, as Exhibit II to our Report on Form 6-K/A dated May 23, 2012, as Exhibit II to our Report on Form 6-K dated March 21, 2013 and as Exhibit A to Exhibit I to our Report on Form 6-K dated August 26, 2014. We will provide prospective investors with a copy of our limited partnership agreement and any amendments thereto upon request at no charge.

We summarize the following provisions of our partnership agreement elsewhere in this Annual Report:

 

   

with regard to distributions of available cash, please read “Item 8. Financial Information—How We Make Cash Distributions,” and

 

   

with regard to the fiduciary duties of our General Partner and our directors, please read “Item 7. Major Unitholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related-Party Transactions—Conflicts of Interest and Fiduciary Duties.”

 

  C.

Material Contracts

The following is a summary of each material contract, other than contracts entered into in the ordinary course of business, to which we or any of our subsidiaries are a party, for the two years immediately preceding the date of this Annual Report. Please read “Item 7. Major Unitholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related-Party Transactions” for further detail on the transactions entered into with related parties.

 

   

Transaction Agreement, dated November 27, 2018 (the “Transaction Agreement”), between Capital Product Partners L.P., DSS Holdings L.P. and the other parties named therein. The Transaction Agreement provided that CPLP would contribute its product and crude vessels, $10 million in cash and associated inventories to a newly formed subsidiary, to be called Diamond S Shipping Inc. (“DSSI”), and distribute all the common shares of DSSI on a pro rata basis to all record holders of CPLP’s common and general partner units on the basis of one DSSI common share for every 10.19149 CPLP common units (on a pre-split adjusted basis) or CPLP general partner units. The Transaction Agreement further provided that promptly upon completion of the spin-off, DSSI would combine with DSS’s business and operations and issue additional shares of common stock to DSS or DSS’s equity owners in such amount as to reflect, among other things, the relative net asset values of the respective businesses. Furthermore, the Transaction Agreement contains certain customary and other representations, warranties and covenants.

 

   

Deed of Amendment and Restatement, dated March 8, 2019, relating to our 2017 credit facilities (please see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Borrowings”).

 

   

Purchase Agreement, dated May 4, 2018, with Capital Maritime to acquire the shares of the company owning the M/T Anikitos.

 

   

Share Purchase Agreements, dated January 22, and January 23, 2020, with Capital Maritime to acquire the shares of the companies owning the M/V Athenian, M/V Athos and M/V Aristomenis respectively, for a total consideration of $162.6 million ($54.2 million each).

 

   

Term Loan Facility, dated January 17, 2020, between Capital Product Partners L.P. and Hamburg Commercial Bank A.G., relating to a $38.5 million term loan for the acquisition of the M/V Athenian.

 

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In August 2019, each vessel-owning subsidiary for our ten container vessels then owned entered into a floating rate management agreement with Capital-Executive under which the vessel-owning subsidiary is charged actual expenses incurred by Capital-Executive, each with an initial term of five years. According to this agreement, Capital-Executive provides certain commercial and technical services for a daily technical management fee that is revised annually based on the United States Consumer Price Index. The vessel-owning subsidiary also compensates Capital-Executive for all of its costs, expenses and liabilities incurred in providing the above services, including, but not limited to, crew, repairs and maintenance, insurance, stores, spares, lubricants and other operating costs. Costs and expenses associated with the vessel’s next scheduled drydocking are borne by the owning company and not by Capital-Executive.

 

   

Purchase Agreement, dated January 17, 2018, with Capital Maritime to acquire the shares of the company owning the M/T Aristaios.

 

  D.

Exchange Controls and Other Limitations Affecting Unitholders

We are not aware of any governmental laws, decrees or regulations, including foreign exchange controls, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands that restrict the export or import of capital, or that affect the remittance of dividends, interest or other payments to persons that are both to non-resident and non-citizen holders of our securities. We are not aware of any limitations on the right of non-resident or foreign owners to hold or vote our securities imposed by the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or our partnership agreement.

 

  E.

Taxation

Marshall Islands Taxation

The following is a discussion of the material Marshall Islands tax consequences of our activities to unitholders who are not citizens of and do not reside in, maintain offices in or engage in business or transactions in the Marshall Islands (“non-resident holders”). Because we, our subsidiaries and our controlled affiliates do not, and we do not expect that we, our subsidiaries and our controlled affiliates will, conduct business or operations in the Marshall Islands, under current Marshall Islands law non-resident holders of our securities will not be subject to Marshall Islands taxation or withholding on distributions, including upon a return of capital, we make to such non-resident holders. In addition, non-resident holders will not be subject to Marshall Islands stamp, capital gains or other taxes on the purchase, ownership or disposition of our securities, and will not be required by the Republic of the Marshall Islands to file a tax return relating to such securities.

Taxation of the Partnership

Because we, our subsidiaries and our controlled affiliates do not, and we do not expect that we, our subsidiaries and our controlled affiliates will conduct business or operations in the Marshall Islands, under current Marshall Islands law neither we, our subsidiaries nor our controlled affiliates will be subject to Marshall Islands income, capital gains, profits or other taxation, other than taxes or fees due to (i) the continued existence of legal entities registered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, (ii) the incorporation or dissolution of legal entities registered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, (iii) filing certificates (such as certificates of incumbency, merger, or redomiciliation) with the Marshall Islands registrar, (iv) obtaining certificates of goodstanding from, or certified copies of documents filed with, the Marshall Islands registrar, or (v) compliance with Marshall Islands law concerning books and records, economic substance regulations and vessel ownership, such as tonnage tax. As a result, distributions by our subsidiaries and our controlled affiliates to us will not be subject to Marshall Islands taxation.

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

The following is a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations that may be relevant to current and prospective common unitholders. This discussion is based upon provisions of the Code, Treasury Regulations, and current administrative rulings and court decisions, all as currently in effect or existence on the date of this Annual Report and all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. Changes in these authorities may cause the tax consequences to vary substantially from the consequences described below.

The following discussion applies only to beneficial owners of our common units that own such units as “capital assets” (generally, for investment purposes) and does not comment on all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation which may be important to particular common unitholders in light of their individual circumstances, such as unitholders subject to special tax rules (e.g., financial institutions, insurance companies, broker-dealers, tax-exempt organizations, or former citizens or long-term residents of the United States), persons that will hold the common units as part of a straddle, hedge, conversion, constructive sale, wash sale or other integrated transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes, persons that own (actually or constructively) 10.0% or more of the total value of all classes of our units or of the total combined voting power of all classes of our units entitled to vote, or U.S. Holders (as defined below) that have a functional currency other than the U.S. dollar, all of whom may be subject to tax rules that differ

significantly from those summarized below. If a partnership or other entity classified as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our common units, the tax treatment of a partner thereof will generally depend upon the status of the partner and upon the tax treatment of the partnership. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our common units, you should consult your tax advisor.

 

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No ruling has been or will be requested from the IRS regarding any matter affecting us or our common unitholders. The statements made here may not be sustained by a court if contested by the IRS.

This discussion does not contain information regarding any U.S. state or local, estate or alternative minimum tax considerations concerning the ownership or disposition of our common units. Each common unitholder is urged to consult its tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal, state, local and other tax consequences of the ownership or disposition of our common units.

Election to be Taxed as a Corporation

We have elected to be taxed as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As such, among other consequences, U.S. Holders (as defined below) will, subject to the discussion of certain rules relating to PFICs below (please see “—U.S. Federal Income Taxation of U.S. Holders—PFIC Status and Significant Tax Consequences”), generally not be directly subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income, but rather will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on distributions received from us and dispositions of common units, as described below. As a corporation, we may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income as discussed below. Additionally, our distributions to common unitholders will generally be reported on IRS Form 1099-DIV.

Taxation of Operating Income

We expect that substantially all of our gross income will be attributable to the transportation of dry cargo and containerized goods. For this purpose, gross income attributable to transportation (or “Transportation Income”) includes income derived from, or in connection with, the use (or hiring or leasing for use) of a vessel to transport cargo, or the performance of services directly related to the use of any vessel to transport cargo, and thus includes spot charter, time charter and bareboat charter income.

Transportation Income that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States (or “U.S. Source International Transportation Income”) will be considered to be 50% derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income attributable to transportation that both begins and ends in the United States (or “U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income”) will be considered to be 100% derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income attributable to transportation exclusively between non-U.S. destinations will be considered to be 100% derived from sources outside the United States. Transportation Income derived from sources outside the United States generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax.

Based on our current operations, we do not expect to have U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income. However, certain of our activities give rise to U.S. Source International Transportation Income, and future expansion of our operations could result in an increase in the amount of U.S. Source International Transportation Income, as well as give rise to U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income, all of which could be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless exempt from U.S. taxation under Section 883 of the Code (or the “Section 883 Exemption”), as discussed below.

The Section 883 Exemption

In general, the Section 883 Exemption provides that if a non-U.S. corporation satisfies the requirements of Section 883 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder (the “Section 883 Regulations”), it will not be subject to the net basis and branch profits taxes or the 4% gross basis tax described below on its U.S. Source International Transportation Income. The Section 883 Exemption applies to U.S. Source International Transportation Income and other forms of related income, such as gain from the sale of a vessel. As discussed below, we believe that under our current ownership structure, the Section 883 Exemption will apply and that, accordingly, we will not be taxed on our U.S. Source International Transportation Income. The Section 883 Exemption does not apply to U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income.

We will qualify for the Section 883 Exemption if, among other matters, we meet the following three requirements:

 

   

We are organized in a jurisdiction outside the United States that grants an equivalent exemption from tax to corporations organized in the United States (an “Equivalent Exemption”);

 

   

We satisfy the “Publicly Traded Test” (as described below); and

 

   

We meet certain substantiation, reporting and other requirements.

The Publicly Traded Test requires that the stock of a non-U.S. corporation be “primarily and regularly traded” on an established securities market either in the United States or in a jurisdiction outside the United States that grants an Equivalent Exemption. The Section 883 Regulations provide, in pertinent part, that equity interests in a non-U.S. corporation will be considered to be “primarily traded” on an established securities market in a given country if the number of units of each class of equity relied

 

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upon to meet the “regularly traded” test that are traded during any taxable year on all established securities markets in that country exceeds the number of units in each such class that are traded during that year on established securities markets in any other single country. Equity of a non-U.S. corporation will be considered to be “regularly traded” on an established securities market under the Section 883 Regulations if one or more classes of equity of the corporation that, in the aggregate, represent more than 50% of the total combined voting power and value of the non-U.S. corporation are listed on such market and certain trading volume requirements are met or deemed met as described below. For this purpose, if one or more “5% Unitholders” (i.e., a unitholder holding, actually or constructively, at least 5% of the vote and value of a class of equity) own in the aggregate 50% or more of the vote and value of a class of equity (the “Closely Held Block”), such class of equity will not be counted towards meeting the “primarily and regularly traded” test (the “Closely Held Block Exception”).

We are organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The U.S. Treasury Department has recognized the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a jurisdiction that grants an Equivalent Exemption. Consequently, our U.S. Source International Transportation Income (including, for this purpose, (i) any such income earned by our subsidiaries that have properly elected to be treated as partnerships or disregarded as entities separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes and (ii) any such income earned by subsidiaries that are corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, are organized in a jurisdiction that grants an Equivalent Exemption and whose outstanding stock is owned 50% or more by value by us) will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation provided we meet the Publicly Traded Test. In addition, since our common units are only traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, which is considered to be an established securities market, our common units will be deemed to be “primarily traded” on an established securities market.

We believe we meet the trading volume requirements of the Section 883 Exemption because the pertinent regulations provide that trading volume requirements will be deemed to be met with respect to a class of equity traded on an established securities market in the United States where, as will be the case for our common units, the units are regularly quoted by dealers who regularly and actively make offers, purchases and sales of such units to unrelated persons in the ordinary course of business. Additionally, the pertinent regulations also provide that a class of equity will be considered to be “regularly traded” on an established securities market if (i) such class of stock is listed on such market; (ii) such class of stock is traded on such market, other than in minimal quantities, on at least 60 days during the taxable year or one sixth of the days in a short taxable year and (iii) the aggregate number of shares of such class of stock traded on such market during the taxable year is at least 10% of the average number of shares of such class of stock outstanding during such year, or as appropriately adjusted in the case of a short taxable year. We believe that trading of our common units has satisfied these conditions in the past, and we expect that such conditions will continue to be satisfied. Finally, we believe that our common units represent more than 50% of our voting power and value and accordingly we believe that our units should be considered to be “regularly traded” on an established securities market.

These conclusions, however, are based upon legal authorities that do not expressly contemplate an organizational structure such as ours. In particular, although we have elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, for corporate law purposes we are organized as a limited partnership under Marshall Islands law and our General Partner is responsible for managing our business and affairs and has been granted certain veto rights over decisions of our board of directors. Accordingly, it is possible that the IRS could assert that our units do not meet the “regularly traded” test.

We expect that our units will not lose eligibility for the Section 883 Exemption as a result of the Closely Held Block Exception because our partnership agreement provides that the voting rights of any 5% Unitholders (other than our General Partner and its affiliates, their transferees and persons who acquired such units with the approval of our board of directors) are limited to a 4.9% voting interest in us regardless of how many common units are held by that 5% Unitholder. (The voting rights of any such unitholders in excess of 4.9% will be redistributed pro rata among the other common unitholders holding less than 4.9% of the voting power of all classes of units entitled to vote). If Capital Maritime and our General Partner own 50% or more of our common units, they will provide the necessary documents to establish an exception to the application of the Closely Held Block Exception. This exception is available when shareholders residing in a jurisdiction granting an Equivalent Exemption and meeting certain other requirements own sufficient shares in the Closely Held Block to preclude shareholders who have not met such requirements from owning 50% or more of the outstanding class of equity relied upon to satisfy the Publicly Traded Test.

Thus, although the matter is not free from doubt, we believe that we will satisfy the Publicly Traded Test. Should any of the facts described above cease to be correct, our ability to satisfy the test will be compromised.

Taxation of Operating Income in the Absence of the Section 883 Exemption

If we earn U.S. Source International Transportation Income and the Section 883 Exemption does not apply, the U.S. source portion of such income may be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States (or “Effectively Connected Income”) if we have a fixed place of business in the United States and substantially all of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or, in the case of bareboat charter income, is

 

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attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States. Based on our current operations, none of our potential U.S. Source International Transportation Income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or is received pursuant to bareboat charters attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States. As a result, we do not anticipate that any of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income will be treated as Effectively Connected Income. However, there is no assurance that we will not earn income pursuant to regularly scheduled transportation or bareboat charters attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States in the future, which would result in such income being treated as Effectively Connected Income. In addition, any U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income generally will be treated as Effectively Connected Income.

Any income we earn that is treated as Effectively Connected Income would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax (the highest statutory rate is currently 21%) on a net income basis. In addition, a 30% branch profits tax imposed under Section 884 of the Code also would apply to such income, and a branch interest tax could be imposed on certain interest paid or deemed paid by us.

Taxation of Gain on the Sale of a Vessel

Provided we qualify for the Section 883 Exemption, gain from the sale of a vessel should be exempt from tax under Section 883. If, however, we do not qualify for the Section 883 Exemption, then such gain could be treated as effectively connected income (determined under rules different from those discussed above) and subject to the net income and branch profits tax regime described above.

The 4% Gross Basis Tax

If the Section 883 Exemption does not apply and the net income tax does not apply, we would be subject to a 4% U.S. federal income tax on the U.S. source portion of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income, without the benefit of deductions.

U.S. Federal Income Taxation of U.S. Holders

As used herein, the term U.S. Holder means a beneficial owner of our common units that is an individual U.S. citizen or resident (as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes), a corporation or other entity organized under the laws of the United States or its political subdivisions and classified as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source, or a trust if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary jurisdiction over the administration of the trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust.

Distributions

Subject to the discussion of the rules applicable to PFICs below, any distributions made by us with respect to our common units to a U.S. Holder generally will constitute dividends, which may be taxable as ordinary income or “qualified dividend income” as described in more detail below, to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles. Distributions in excess of our earnings and profits will be treated first as a nontaxable return of capital to the extent of the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in its common units on a dollar-for-dollar basis and thereafter as capital gain. U.S. Holders that are corporations generally will not be entitled to claim a dividends-received deduction with respect to any distributions they receive from us. Dividends paid with respect to our common units generally will be treated as “passive” income from sources outside the United States for purposes of computing allowable foreign tax credits for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Dividends paid on our common units to a U.S. Holder who is an individual, trust or estate (in all cases, a “U.S. Individual Holder”) will be treated as qualified dividend income that is taxable to such U.S. Individual Holder at preferential rates applicable to long-term capital gain provided that: (i) our common units are readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States (such as the Nasdaq Global Select Market, on which our common units are traded); (ii) we are not a PFIC (which we do not believe we are, have been or will be, as discussed below); (iii) the U.S. Individual Holder has owned the common units for more than 60 days in the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the date on which the common units become ex-dividend (and has not entered into certain risk limiting transactions with respect to such units) and (iv) the U.S. Individual Holder is not under an obligation to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property. There is no assurance that any dividends paid on our common units will be eligible for these preferential rates in the hands of a U.S. Individual Holder, and any dividends paid on our common units that are not eligible for these preferential rates will be taxed as ordinary income to a U.S. Individual Holder. Special rules may apply to any “extraordinary dividend” paid by us. An extraordinary dividend is, generally, a dividend with respect to a unit if the amount of the dividend is equal to or in excess of 10 percent of a unitholder’s adjusted basis (or fair market value in certain circumstances) in such unit. If we pay an “extraordinary dividend” on our common units that is treated as “qualified dividend income,” then any loss derived by a U.S. Individual Holder from the sale or exchange of such units will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of the amount of such dividend.

 

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Sale, Exchange or other Disposition of Common Units

Subject to the discussion of PFICs below, a U.S. Holder generally will recognize taxable gain or loss upon a sale, exchange or other disposition of our common units in an amount equal to the difference between the amount realized by the U.S. Holder from such sale, exchange or other disposition and the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in such units. Such gain or loss will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holder’s holding period is greater than one-year at the time of the sale, exchange or other disposition. Such capital gain or loss will generally be treated as U.S. source income or loss, as applicable, for U.S. foreign tax credit purposes. A U.S. Holder’s ability to deduct capital losses is subject to certain limitations. Long-term capital gain of a U.S. Individual Holder is generally subject to tax at preferential rates.

PFIC Status and Significant Tax Consequences

Special and adverse U.S. federal income tax rules apply to a U.S. Holder that owns an equity interest in a non-U.S. entity taxed as a corporation and classified as a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In general, we will be treated as a PFIC with respect to a U.S. Holder if, for any taxable year in which such holder held our common units, either:

 

   

at least 75% of our gross income (including the gross income of our vessel owning subsidiaries) for such taxable year consists of passive income (e.g., dividends, interest, capital gains and rents derived other than in the active conduct of a rental business); or

 

   

at least 50% of the average value of the assets held by us (including the assets of our vessel-owning subsidiaries) during such taxable year produce, or are held for the production of, passive income.

Income earned, or deemed earned, by us in connection with the performance of services would not constitute passive income. By contrast, rental income would generally constitute “passive income” unless we were treated under specific rules as deriving our rental income in the active conduct of a trade or business. Based on our current and projected methods of operation, we believe that we are not currently a PFIC, nor do we expect to become a PFIC. Although there is no legal authority directly on point, and we are not obtaining a ruling from the IRS on this issue, we will take the position that, for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC, the gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from the time and spot chartering activities of our wholly owned subsidiaries constitutes services income, rather than rental income. Correspondingly, such income should not constitute passive income, and the assets that we or our wholly owned subsidiaries own and operate in connection with the production of such income, in particular, the vessels we or our subsidiaries own that are subject to time charters, should not constitute passive assets for purposes of determining whether we were a PFIC.

As noted above, there is, however, no direct legal authority under the PFIC rules addressing our method of operation. Moreover, in a case not specifically interpreting the PFIC rules, Tidewater Inc. v. United States, 565 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2009), the Fifth Circuit held that the vessel time charters at issue generated predominantly rental income rather than services income. However, the court’s ruling was contrary to the position of the IRS that the time charter income should have been treated as services income. Additionally, the IRS later affirmed its position in Tidewater, adding further that the time charters at issue would be treated as giving rise to services income under the PFIC rules.

No assurance, however, can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept our position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine we are or were a PFIC. In addition, although we intend to conduct our affairs in a manner to avoid, to the extent possible, being classified as a PFIC with respect to any taxable year, we cannot assure U.S. Holders that the nature of our operations will not change in the future, or that we can avoid PFIC status in the future.

As discussed more fully below, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, a U.S. Holder would be subject to different taxation rules depending on whether the U.S. Holder makes an election to treat us as a Qualified Electing Fund (a “QEF election”). As an alternative to making a QEF election, a U.S. Holder should be able to make a “mark-to-market” election with respect to our common units, as discussed below. In addition, if a U.S. Holder owns our common units during any taxable year that we are a PFIC, such units owned by such holder will be treated as units in a PFIC even if we are not a PFIC in a subsequent year and, if the total value of all PFIC stock that such holder directly or indirectly owns exceeds certain thresholds, such holder must file IRS Form 8621 with the holder’s U.S. federal income tax return to report the holder’s ownership of our common units.

 

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Taxation of U.S. Holders Making a Timely QEF Election

If a U.S. Holder makes a timely QEF election (such U.S. Holder, an “Electing Holder”), the Electing Holder must report each year for U.S. federal income tax purposes his pro rata share of our ordinary earnings and our net capital gain, if any, for our taxable year that ends with or within the taxable year of the Electing Holder, regardless of whether or not distributions were received from us by the Electing Holder. The Electing Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the common units will be increased to reflect taxed but undistributed income. Distributions of earnings and profits that had been previously taxed will result in a corresponding reduction in the adjusted tax basis in the common units and will not be taxed again once distributed. An Electing Holder would generally recognize capital gain or loss on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common units. A U.S. Holder would make a QEF election with respect to any year that we are a PFIC by filing one copy of IRS Form 8621 with his U.S. federal income tax return and a second copy in accordance with the instructions to such form. If contrary to our expectations, we determine that we are treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, we will attempt to provide each U.S. Holder with all necessary information in order to make the QEF election described above.

Taxation of U.S. Holders Making a “Mark-to-Market” Election

Alternatively, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year and, as we anticipate, our common units were treated as “marketable stock,” a U.S. Holder would be allowed to make a “mark-to-market” election with respect to our common units, provided the U.S. Holder completes and files IRS Form 8621 in accordance with the relevant instructions and related Treasury Regulations. If that election is made, the U.S. Holder generally would include as ordinary income in each taxable year the excess, if any, of the fair market value of the common units at the end of the taxable year over such holder’s adjusted tax basis in the common units. The U.S. Holder would also be permitted an ordinary loss in respect of the excess, if any, of the U.S. Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the common units over the fair market value thereof at the end of the taxable year, but only to the extent of the net amount previously included in income as a result of the mark-to-market election. A U.S. Holder’s tax basis in his common units would be adjusted to reflect any such income or loss amount. Gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common units would be treated as ordinary income, and any loss realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of the common units would be treated as ordinary loss to the extent that such loss does not exceed the net mark-to-market gains previously included by the U.S. Holder.

Taxation of U.S. Holders not making a timely QEF or mark-to-market election

Finally, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, a U.S. Holder who does not make either a QEF election or a “mark-to-market” election for that year (a “Non-Electing Holder”) would be subject to special rules with respect to (1) any excess distribution (i.e., the portion of any distributions received by the Non-Electing Holder on our common units in a taxable year other than the taxable year in which the Non-Electing Holder’s holding period in the common units begins in excess of 125% of the average annual distributions received by the Non-Electing Holder in the three preceding taxable years, or, if shorter, the Non-Electing Holder’s holding period for the common units that preceded the current taxable year), and (2) any gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common units. Under these special rules:

 

   

the excess distribution or gain would be allocated ratably over the Non-Electing Holder’s aggregate holding period for the common units;

 

   

the amount allocated to the current taxable year and any year prior to the year we were first treated as a PFIC with respect to the Non-Electing Holder would be taxed as ordinary income; and

 

   

the amount allocated to each of the other taxable years would be subject to tax at the highest rate of tax in effect for the applicable class of taxpayer for that year, and an interest charge for the deemed deferral benefit would be imposed with respect to the resulting tax attributable to each such other taxable year.

These penalties would not apply to a qualified pension, profit sharing or other retirement trust or other tax-exempt organization that did not borrow money or otherwise utilize leverage in connection with its acquisition of our common units. If we were treated as a PFIC for any taxable year and a Non-Electing Holder who is an individual dies while owning our common units, such holder’s successor generally would not receive a step-up in tax basis with respect to such units.

Shareholder Reporting

A U.S. Holder that owns “specified foreign financial assets” (as defined in Section 6038D of the Code and applicable Treasury Regulations) with an aggregate value in excess of $50,000 (and in some circumstances, a higher threshold) may be required to file an information report with respect to such assets with its tax return. “Specified foreign financial assets” may include financial accounts maintained by foreign financial institutions, as well as the following, but only if they are held for investment and not held in accounts maintained by financial institutions: (i) stocks and securities issued by non-United States persons, (ii) financial instruments and contracts that have non-United States issuers or counterparties, and (iii) interests in foreign entities. Significant penalties may apply for failing to satisfy this filing requirement. U.S. Holders are urged to contact their tax advisors regarding this filing requirement.

 

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U.S. Federal Income Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders

A beneficial owner of our common units (other than a partnership, including any entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) that is not a U.S. Holder is a Non-U.S. Holder.

Distributions

Distributions we pay to a Non-U.S. Holder will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax or withholding tax if the Non-U.S. Holder is not engaged in a U.S. trade or business. If the Non-U.S. Holder is engaged in a U.S. trade or business, distributions we pay may be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent those distributions constitute income effectively connected with that Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. trade or business. However, distributions paid to a Non-U.S. Holder who is engaged in a trade or business may be exempt from taxation under an income tax treaty if the income represented thereby is not attributable to a U.S. permanent establishment maintained by the Non-U.S. Holder. “Effectively connected” distributions recognized by a corporate Non-U.S. Holder may also, under certain circumstances, be subject to an additional “branch profits tax” at a 30% rate, or at a lower rate if the corporate Non-U.S. Holder is eligible for the benefits of an income tax treaty that provides for a lower rate.

Disposition of Common Units

The U.S. federal income taxation of Non-U.S. Holders on any gain resulting from the disposition of our common units is generally the same as described above regarding distributions. However, individual Non-U.S. Holders may be subject to tax on gain resulting from the disposition of our common units if they are present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year in which those shares are disposed and meet certain other requirements.

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

In general, payments of distributions on our common units or the gross proceeds of a disposition of our common units made within the United States to a U.S. Individual Holder will be subject to information reporting requirements. These payments also may be subject to backup withholding, if the U.S. Individual Holder:

 

   

fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number;

 

   

in the case of distributions, is notified by the IRS that he has failed to report all interest or corporate distributions required to be shown on its U.S. federal income tax returns; or

 

   

in certain circumstances, fails to comply with applicable certification requirements.

Non-U.S. Holders may be required to establish their exemption from information reporting and backup withholding on payments within the United States by certifying their status on IRS Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI or W-8IMY, as applicable.

Payment of the gross proceeds of a disposition of our common units effected at a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, a sale effected at a foreign office of a broker could be subject to information reporting in the same manner as a sale within the United States (and in certain cases may be subject to backup withholding as well) if (i) the broker has certain connections to the United States, (ii) the proceeds or confirmation are sent to the United States or (iii) the sale has certain other specified connections with the United States.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Rather, a common unitholder generally may obtain a credit for any amount withheld against his liability for U.S. federal income tax (and a refund of any amounts withheld in excess of such liability) by filing a return with the IRS.

 

  F.

Dividends and Paying Agents

Not applicable.

 

  G.

Statements by Experts

Not applicable.

 

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  H.

Documents on Display

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, as applied to foreign private issuers. The SEC maintains an internet website at www.sec.gov that contains reports and other information regarding issuers, including us, that file electronically with the SEC. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through this website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report.

Whenever a reference is made in this Annual Report to a contract or other document, such reference is not necessarily complete and reference should be made to the exhibits that are a part of this Annual Report for a copy of the contract or other document.

 

  I.

Subsidiary Information

Please see Exhibit 8.1 to this Annual Report for a list of our significant subsidiaries as of December 31, 2019.

 

Item 11.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

Our Risk Management Policy

Our policy is to continuously monitor our exposure to business risks, including the impact of changes in interest rates and currency rates, as well as inflation on earnings and cash flows. We intend to assess these risks and, when appropriate, take measures to minimize our exposure to the risks.

Foreign Exchange Risk

We do not have a material currency exposure risk. We generate all of our revenues in U.S. Dollars and incur less than 20% of our expenses in currencies other than U.S. Dollars. For accounting purposes, expenses incurred in currencies other than the U.S. Dollars are translated into U.S. Dollars at the exchange rate prevailing on the date of each transaction. As of December 31, 2019, less than 5% of our liabilities were denominated in currencies other than U.S. Dollars (mainly in Euros). These liabilities were translated into U.S. Dollars at the exchange rate prevailing on December 31, 2019. We have not hedged currency exchange risks and our operating results could be adversely affected as a result.

Interest Rate Risk

The international shipping industry is capital intensive, requiring significant amounts of investment, a significant portion of which is provided in the form of long-term debt. Our current debt contains interest rates that fluctuate with LIBOR. Our 2017 credit facility bears an interest margin of 3.25% per annum over LIBOR. Therefore, we are exposed to the risk that our interest expense may increase if interest rates rise. In addition, the expected phase-out of LIBOR by the end of 2021 may adversely affect interest rates. See “Item 3. Key Information—4. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Financing Activities—The phase-out of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), or the replacement of LIBOR with a different benchmark rate, may adversely affect interest rates and our cost of capital.”

Currently we have, and during 2019 we had, no interest rate swap agreements outstanding. A possible market disruption in determining the cost of funds for our banks resulting in increases by the lenders to their “funding costs” under our credit facilities, will lead to proportional increases in the relevant interest amounts payable under such credit facilities on a quarterly basis. As an indication of the extent of our sensitivity to interest rate changes based upon our debt level, an increase of 100 basis points in LIBOR would have resulted in an increase in our interest expense by approximately $2.8 million, $3.2 million and $4.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively, assuming all other variables had remained constant.

Concentration of Credit Risk

Financial instruments which potentially subject us to significant concentrations of credit risk consist principally of cash and cash equivalents. We place our cash and cash equivalents, consisting mostly of deposits, with creditworthy financial institutions as rated by qualified rating agencies. We do not obtain rights to collateral to reduce our credit risk.

 

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Inflation

Inflation has had a minimal impact on vessel operating expenses, drydocking expenses and general and administrative expenses to date. Our management does not consider inflation to be a significant risk to direct expenses in the current and foreseeable economic environment. However, in the event that inflation becomes a significant factor in the global economy, inflationary pressures would result in increased operating, voyage and financing costs.

 

Item 12.

Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities.

Not Applicable.

 

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PART II

 

Item 13.

Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies.

None.

 

Item 14.

Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds.

No material modifications to the rights of security holders.

 

Item 15.

Controls and Procedures.

 

  A.

Disclosure Controls and Procedures

As of December 31, 2019, our management (with the participation of the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of our General Partner) conducted an evaluation pursuant to Rule 13a-15(b) and 15d-15 promulgated under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act. Our management, including the chief executive and chief financial officer of our General Partner, recognize that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the disclosure controls and procedures are met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the partnership have been detected. Further, in the design and evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures our management necessarily was required to apply its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.

Based on this evaluation, the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of our General Partner concluded that, as of December 31, 2019, our disclosure controls and procedures, which include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports we file or submit under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of our General Partner, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure, were effective in providing reasonable assurance that information that was required to be disclosed by us in reports we file or submit under the Exchange Act was recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

  B.

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

Our management (with the management of our General Partner) is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Our internal controls were designed to provide reasonable assurance as to the reliability of our financial reporting and the preparation and presentation of our Financial Statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Our internal controls over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that 1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of our assets; 2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of our Financial Statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that our receipts and expenditures are being made in accordance with authorizations of management and the directors of the Partnership and 3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of our assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Our management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based upon the 2013 framework in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. This evaluation included review of the documentation of controls, evaluation of the design effectiveness of controls, testing of the operating effectiveness of controls and a conclusion on this evaluation. Based on this evaluation, management believes that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2019.

However, because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements even when determined to be effective and can only provide reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with relevant policies and procedures may deteriorate.

 

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Deloitte Certified Public Accountants S.A. (“Deloitte”), our independent registered public accounting firm, has audited the Financial Statements included herein and our internal control over financial reporting and has issued an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting which is reproduced in its entirety in Item 15.C below.

 

               

C. Attestation Report of the Registered Public Accounting Firm.

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the Board of Directors and Unitholders of Capital Product Partners L.P.

Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of Capital Product Partners L.P. and subsidiaries (the “Partnership”) as of December 31, 2019, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). In our opinion, the Partnership maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.

We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019 of the Partnership and our report dated February 28, 2020 expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements.

Basis for Opinion

The Partnership’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying “Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Partnership’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Partnership in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ Deloitte Certified Public Accountants S.A.

Athens, Greece

February 28, 2020

 

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  D.

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

There have been no changes in our internal controls over financial reporting during the year covered by this Annual Report that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

 

Item 16A.

Audit Committee Financial Expert.

Our board of directors has determined that director Abel Rasterhoff, the chairman of our audit committee, qualifies as an audit committee financial expert for purposes of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and is independent under applicable Nasdaq Global Select Market and SEC standards.

 

Item 16B.

Code of Ethics.

Our board of directors has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that includes a Code of Ethics (the “Code of Ethics”) that applies to the Partnership and all of its employees, directors and officers, including its chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer or controller, its agents and persons performing similar functions, including for the avoidance of doubt any employees, officers or directors of Capital Ship Management, wherever located, as well as to all of the Partnership’s subsidiaries and other business entities controlled by it worldwide. The Code of Ethics incorporates terms and conditions consistent with the FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act, and includes a Gifts and Entertainment policy.

This document is available under “Corporate Governance” in the Investor Relations area of our web site (www.capitalpplp.com). We will also provide a hard copy of our Code of Ethics free of charge upon written request. We intend to disclose, under “Corporate Governance” in the Investor Relations area of our web site, any waivers to or amendments of the Code of Ethics for the benefit of any of our directors and executive officers within five business days of such waiver or amendment.

 

Item 16C.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services.

Our principal accountant for 2019 and 2018 was Deloitte Certified Public Accountants S.A. The following table shows the fees we paid or accrued for audit and tax services provided by Deloitte for these periods (in thousands of U.S. Dollars).

 

Fees

   2019      2018  

Audit Fees (1)

   $ 529.7      $ 812.2  

Audit-Related Fees

     —          —    

Tax Fees (2)

     10.8        30.0  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 540.5      $ 842.2  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Audit fees represent fees for professional services provided in connection with the audit of our Financial Statements, review of our quarterly consolidated financial information, audit services provided in connection with other regulatory filings, issuance of consents and assistance with and review of documents filed with the SEC.

(2)

Tax fees represent fees for professional services provided in connection with various U.S. income tax compliance and information reporting matters.

The audit committee of our board of directors has the authority to pre-approve permissible audit-related and non-audit services not prohibited by law to be performed by our independent auditors and associated fees. Engagements for proposed services either may be separately pre-approved by the audit committee or entered into pursuant to detailed pre-approval policies and procedures established by the audit committee, as long as the audit committee is informed on a timely basis of any engagement entered into on that basis. The audit committee separately pre-approved all engagements and fees paid to our principal accountant in 2019 and 2018.

 

Item 16D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees.

None.

 

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Item 16E.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers.

None.

 

Item 16F.

Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant.

Not applicable.

 

Item 16G.

Corporate Governance.

The Nasdaq Global Select Market requires limited partnerships with listed units to comply with its corporate governance standards. As a foreign private issuer, we are not required to comply with all of the rules that apply to listed U.S. limited partnerships. However, we have generally chosen to comply with most of the Nasdaq Global Select Market’s corporate governance rules as though we were a U.S. limited partnership. Although we are not required to have a majority of independent directors on our board of directors or to establish a compensation committee or a nominating/corporate governance committee, our board of directors has established an audit committee, a conflicts committee and a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors. Accordingly, we do not believe there are any significant differences between our corporate governance practices and those that would typically apply to a U.S. domestic issuer that is a limited partnership under the corporate governance standards of the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Please see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—C. Board Practices” and “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Memorandum and Articles of Association” for more detail regarding our corporate governance practices.

 

Item 16H.

Mine Safety Disclosure.

Not applicable.

 

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PART III

 

Item 17.

Financial Statements

Not Applicable.

 

Item 18.

Financial Statements

 

     Page  

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

  

CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS L.P.

  

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     F-1  

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2018 and 2017

     F-2  

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016

     F-3  

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Partners’ Capital for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016

     F-4  

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December  31, 2018, 2017 and 2016

     F-5  

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

     F-6  

 

Item 19.

Exhibits

The following exhibits are filed as part of this Annual Report:

 

Exhibit

No.

  

Description

  1.1

   Certificate of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P. (1)

  1.2

   Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P., dated February 22, 2010 (3)

  1.3

   Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P., dated September  30, 2011 (4)

  1.4

   Second Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P., dated May 22, 2012 (7)

  1.5

   Third Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P., dated March 19, 2013 (8)

  1.6

   Fourth Amendment to Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Capital Product Partners L.P., dated August  25, 2014 (10)

  1.7

   Certificate of Formation of Capital GP L.L.C. (1)

  1.8

   Limited Liability Company Agreement of Capital GP L.L.C. (1)

  1.9

   Certificate of Formation of Capital Product Operating GP L.L.C. (1)

 

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Exhibit

No.

  

Description

    2.1

   Description of Securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act.

    4.1

   Loan Agreement with HSH Nordbank AG and ING Bank N.V., London Branch, as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners relating to a term loan facility of up to US$460,000,000, dated September 6, 2017 (13)

    4.2

   Deed of Amendment and Restatement relating to the Loan Agreement with Hamburg Commercial Bank AG and ING Bank N.V., London Branch, dated March 8, 2019 (15)

    4.3

   Amended and Restated Omnibus Agreement, dated September 30, 2011 (4)

    4.4

   Amended and Restated Management Agreement with Capital Ship Management, dated March 25, 2017 (13)