Shareholders of Norwegian shipowner Songa Bulk have approved the earlier announced sale of fifteen vessels to Greece-based dry bulk shipping firm Star Bulk Carriers.
Under the deal, Star Bulk will acquire 15 operating vessels of Songa for an aggregate of 13.725 million common shares of the company and USD 145 million in cash.
The approval of the shareholders of Songa was a condition to the closing of the vessel purchase transaction, which was unveiled mid-May.
The transaction remains subject to other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be undertaken by the third quarter of 2018, according to Star Bulk.
Since the beginning of 2018 around 230 second-hand sales have been reported in the dry bulk sector, according to Intermodal’s market insight.
Handysizes and Ultramaxes seem to have sparked the greatest interest with 160 sales in the dwt range. The high demand for such tonnage has seen asset values leap upwards.
“We recently saw a 38k dwt non-Japanese bulk carrier built in 2011 being sold for USD 11.3 million and a 33k dwt Japanese unit built in the same year fetching more than USD 15 million. Both these prices are indicative of the increasing popularity Handysize vessels above 33kdwt are currently enjoying,” Intermodal’s George Iliopoulos said.
Supramax and Ultramax bulkers were also the popular choices of owners, with Chinese and Japanese-built tonnage attracting the most buyers.
Two types of Supramaxes attracted buyers’ interest, according to Intermodal, small Supras ranging between 50,000 and 52, 000 dwt, built in the early 2000’s and bigger vessels over 55,000, built between 2006- 2012.
A 2006-built MV Darya Vishnu fetched a price in excess of USD 13 million. For the purpose of comparison, about a year ago, a sister ship of the bulker, was sold for around USD 10 million, only to be resold at the end of 2017 for slightly above USD 11.5 million.
“Prices appear to be on the rise again and the performance of the freight market during the summer season will definitely help shape expectations for the last quarter of the year,” Iliopoulos added.
Euroseas, a Greece-based owner of containerships and bulk carriers, has spun off its drybulk fleet into a separate company.
The company said that it filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin-off its drybulk fleet into a separate company, EuroDry Ltd., which has applied for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
“We believe that separate drybulk and containership investment options will give our shareholders the flexibility to adjust their holdings, if they so wish, between the two sectors. We also anticipate that the creation of sector-focused companies will allow the capital markets to appreciate the value that our public platforms can create as consolidators in their respective fields,” Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said.
EuroDry Ltd. is a middle range drybulk owner with six vessels in its fleet, three of which are newbuildings, one Ultramax and two Kamsarmaxes, and three Panamaxes built post-2000.
Euroseas Ltd., the only feeder containership public company, has a fleet of eleven vessels now.
“We plan to take advantage of growth opportunities in each of the two sectors to increase the size of each respective company as we believe that they are both well positioned to do so both in terms of their capital structure and their contract mix,” Pittas said.
The company reported a net loss of USD 3.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, as compared to a net loss of USD 2.2 million for the first quarter of 2017.
Regarding developments post-March 31, Euroseas said that it took delivery of newbuilding M/V Ekaterini, a 82,000 dwt drybulk vessel, which entered into a two-year charter at a rate of USD 13,000 per day.
Euroseas also reported that its containership, M/V EM Astoria, suffered propeller damage and will require repairs that will prevent the vessel from trading.
“The company is making every possible effort for the vessel to resume trading in the shortest possible time,” Euroseas said.
Greek shipowner DryShips has inked sale and leaseback agreements for six bulkers with Chinese lenders.
Under the financing arrangement signed in May, five ships will be transferred to the buyer for 50 pct of the agreed aggregate purchase price of USD 164 million. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries will bareboat charter each vessel back for a period of eight years, with expiry set for May 2026.
The ships in question are three Newcastlemaxes, Marini, Morandi and Bacon and two Kamsarmaxes, Castellani and Nasaka.
DryShips said that the vessels are expected to be delivered and leased back to the company during May 2018.
The Greek shipping company has options to re-acquire each vessel during their respective bareboat charter periods, starting from the first anniversary of each vessel’s delivery date. There is also a purchase obligation upon the expiration of each bareboat agreement for 46.67 pct of the financing amount.
The deal was sealed just a month after Dryships entered into a finance lease arrangement with a Chinese leasing company for Kelly, a Kamsarmax drybulk vessel, under similar terms. The vessel will be chartered back for a period of ten years and DryShips has an option to buy back the ship.
Separately, DryShips said that it has decided to sell its 2001 built Panamax vessel, the Maganari, to an unaffiliated buyer for USD 9.7 million. The vessel is scheduled for delivery to the buyer by end of May 2018.
The owner of bulkers, tankers and gas carriers ended the first quarter of 2018 with a net profit USD 0.8 million, rebounding from a loss of USD 11 million reported a year ago.
Noble Group has found a buyer for the second of four second-hand Kamsarmaxes earmarked for sale as part of the commodity trader's plan to cut debt.
Specifically, the Hong Kong-based company inked a deal with Ocean Liberty Marine Limited and Transmed Shipping Limited for the sale of the 81,502 dwt Ocean Vission.
The 2015-built ship, flagged in Hong Kong, is being sold for USD 24 million, payable in cash.
The bulker is mortgaged to a financial institution and part of the proceeds from its sale will be used to pay down the owed amount.
The net proceeds arising from the sale, upon debt repayment, will be around USD 8.2 million, Noble said.
The sale is subject to the approval of Noble Group’s shareholders, with the transaction expected to be completed by June 15, 2018.
The commodity trader expects that its net gain from the vessel disposal would be approximately USD 0.2 million.
The first vessel from the quartet, the 2015-built Ocean Integrity, was sold at the beginning of March to Bianca Corporation and Primerose Shipping.
The remaining vessels, 2014-built Ocean Ambition and 2015-built Ocean Forte, are yet to find their buyers.
Five Handysize dry bulkers have joined the fleet of Oslo-listed shipowner Ocean Yield ASA over the past couple of days.
Three 2015-built and one 2014-built handysize bulkers were delivered today, the company said. Upon delivery, the vessels commenced 10-year bareboat charters to companies owned and guaranteed by Interlink Maritime Corp.
As informed earlier, Interlink Maritime will have certain options to acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first purchase option exercisable after five years in addition to an obligation to repurchase the vessels at the end of year ten.
The ships in question are named: Interlink Amenity, Interlink Levity, Interlink Sagacity, Interlink Priority and Interlink Dignity.
The ships were bought in February 2018, as Ocean Yield ventured into the dry bulk market.
The debut in the dry bulk sector was marked by the company’s purchase of two 2018-built handysize dry bulk vessels with 12-year bareboat charters earlier that month.
The quartet is being handed over on the back of a newbuilding delivery from two days ago.
The 2018-built handysize dry bulk vessel La Loirais has commenced a 12-year bareboat charter to a company owned and guaranteed by French Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group (LDA).
The ship was built by Chinese shipbuilder Jiangmen Nanyang Ship Engineering together with another Handysize, also intended for LDA, La Fresnais, which was delivered in February.
Monaco-based owner and operator of dry bulk carriers GoodBulk has decided to expand its fleet with a 2007-built Capesize vessel.
The company entered into an agreement with an undisclosed party to acquire the 174,000 dwt vessel built by China’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding.
As informed, the bulker is scheduled to be delivered to the company in June 2018 and is expected to be funded with cash on hand and availability under existing credit facilities.
What is more, GoodBulk said it delivered the 2003-built bulker Aquabeauty to its new owners. Earlier this year, the company sold the Capesize bulker to unidentified Greek buyers in an effort to modernize its fleet.
Following the latest fleet reshuffling, GoodBulk will have a fleet of 25 bulkers, comprising 22 Capesize, one Panamax and two Supramax vessels.
Singapore-incorporated Mercator Lines has sold its 1997-built bulk carrier M/V Vrinda to Best Oasis Limited from Hong Kong.
The company said that the sale would bring it USD 4.25 million in net proceeds, which Mercator plans to use to repay outstanding debts.
The sale is expected to be completed by April 6, 2018, subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
The Indian-flagged Panamax bulk carrier features 69,200 of dwt.
Based on the data from VesselsValue, the sale took place on March 14 and will see the bulker get demolished at an unknown yard.
In October 2017, the High Court of the Republic of Singapore appointed liquidators of Mercator Lines as the shipping company moved forward with the winding up of its business.
The company applied for winding up of its business in September 2017 after it spent months under judicial management.
During this time the Judicial Manager Yit Chee Wah held discussions with several potential investors to explore transferring the company’s listing status and/or its restructuring. However, these attempts failed.
Faced with liquidity shortage and poor business performance, Mercator Lines decided to exit the dry bulk business and sell its fleet of 11 dry bulkers at the beginning of 2016.
According to VesselsValue’s data, Vrinda was the only live vessel in the company’s fleet.
Owner and operator of dry bulkers GoodBulk took delivery of another Capesize vessel, the 2013-built Aquasurfer, on March 1.
Featuring 178,854 dwt, the ship is the sixth of the seven initial Capesizes acquired from funds managed by CarVal Investors in late October 2017.
The Capesize, built by South Korean Sungdong, was financed with a combination of cash on hand, availability under existing credit facilities and the issuance of 1,547,000 new common shares to funds managed by CarVal.
The vessel is expected to be employed in the spot market via the Capesize Revenue Sharing Agreement managed by C Transport Maritime SAM (CTM).
Following delivery of the Aquasurfer and the sale of the Aquabeauty, GoodBulk will have a fleet of 19 Capesize vessels, one Panamax vessel, and two Supramax vessels on the water, with an additional two Capesizes expected to be delivered within the beginning of the second quarter of 2018.
Furthermore, the company informed that it completed a fourth closing of the December 20, 2017 rights offering issuing 415,017 common shares for gross proceeds of USD 6.32 million on March 2, 2018.
Ocean Yield ASA has decided to buy five Handysize dry bulkers with 10-year bareboat charters to companies owned and guaranteed by Interlink Maritime Corp, owner and provider of dry bulkers to agricultural and industrial commodities companies, and other end-users.
The purchase price is approximately USD 75 million net of pre-paid charter hire, the Norwegian shipowner said.
One vessel will be delivered from the shipyard in April 2018, while three of the vessels are built in 2015 and one in 2014.
The transaction is subject to final agreement on documentation.
” In our opinion the timing for making new investments in shipping is excellent and we remain committed to continuing to increase and further diversify our portfolio of modern vessels on long-term charter in order to support attractive dividends to our shareholders,” Ocean Yield ASA’s Chief Executive Officer Lars Solbakken said.
Interlink Maritime will have certain options to acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first purchase option exercisable after five years in addition to an obligation to repurchase the vessels at the end of year ten.
Interlink Maritime owns a fleet of 28 Handysize vessels, including three newbuildings. The company is majority-owned by the Carlyle Group, which is a global alternative asset manager with USD 174 billion of assets under management across 306 investment vehicles.
Ocean Yield’s latest purchase comes on the back of an investment in two 2018-built handysize dry bulk vessels with 12-year bareboat charters earlier this month which marked the company’s entrance in the dry bulk sector.
The bulkers will be chartered to companies owned and guaranteed by French maritime firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group (LDA).
According to Solbakken, the company sees potential for more transactions in the sector especially in the wake of improved earnings in the dry bulk market.