Textainer Group is preparing a $304.2 million securitization of shipping container leases.

The deal, Textainer Marine Containers III Series 2013-1, will issue a single tranche of notes with a preliminary ‘A’ rating from Standard & Poor’s.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith is the structuring agent and initial purchaser of the transaction, which is expected to close Sept. 25.

The securitization trust is collateralized by a portfolio containing 96,043 containers with a net book value of $376,650,075, according to S&P’s presale report. This collateral would be shared by future series issued by the trust.

S&P said the pool is diversified by container type – there are including high-cube dry containers, high-cube reefer containers, and standard reefers. Most types benefit from relatively stable demand; 99.75% are currently out on lease.

The fleet's average age in this transaction is 1.77 years, which S&P said is relatively young for assets that typically have 15-year useful lives. The issuer's fleet comprises 92.65% long-term leases and 6.81% finance leases

However S&P cited as a weakness the fact that the five biggest customers, whose performance may affect the trust's revenue receipts, currently hold approximately 51.7% of the pool.

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