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Seacastle Redux Or Fortress’ 2nd Attempt to Exit

Stripping off the baggage of its container ships and chassis, both unattractive businesses today, Seacastle Inc. has offered the public the opportunity to invest this time in its container leasing subsidiary through an initial public offering of that business, which they have named SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd. This is another example of a part that might be worth more than a whole as management recognized the recent outperformance of the publicly traded container leasing companies, Textainer and TAL International due to operating leverage. Trade has begun to resume which equates to more boxes coming on line, higher utilization and hence more revenue, with little incremental cost. In addition, given the financial constraints of the liner companies due to a very difficult 2009, it is likely that the lines will increase the portion of leased rather than owned containers in their fleet. From that standpoint, timing could not be better.

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