Star Bulk Carriers Corp., a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargos, announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire two modern Ultramax bulk carriers, the M/V Supra Challenger I and M/V Supra Challenger II, from an unaffiliated third party for an aggregate total consideration of $58.1 million.
The vessels have a carrying capacity of 61, 462 deadweight tons each and were built in Japan by Imabari Shipbuilding Group, in November of 2012 and September of 2013 respectively. The vessels, to be renamed Star Challenger and Star Fighter, are expected to be delivered to Star Bulk in early December 2013 and by January 15, 2014 respectively.
Upon completion of the acquis ition, Star Bulk will own 15 dry bulk vessels, consisting of five Capesize vessels, two Ultramax and eight Supramax vessels with average age of 9.5 years. The company also has a total of nine vessels under order at high quality shipyards in Japan and China, consisting of three Newcastlemax, two Capesize and four Ultramax vessels with fuel-efficient specifications, with expected deliveries in 2015 and early 2016.
The company plans to finance this acquisition in part through cash on hand and in part through commercial bank debt financing. The company is currently in discussions with several major lending institutions to secure commercial bank debt financing for the two vessels.
Spyros Capralos, President and CEO of Star Bulk commented, “It is with great pleasure to announce one more step of the continuing transformation of Star Bulk, started in last July. The two vessels we acquired are considered among the top vessels in their class, as they are built by one of the best shipyards in the world, have average age below one year, high specifications and increased cargo capacity compared to the standard Supramax vessels. Upon full delivery of our nien newbuildings we will have a total of 24 owned vessels in the water, representing more than 100% growth on deadweight tonnage basis. We remain committed in executing our growth strategy, and we believe that this accretive acquisition will immediately enhance our cash flow generation capacity and contribute to the long-term value creation for our shareholders.”