(Photo courtesy of www.eagleships.com)
Eagle Bulk Shipping, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGLE) has agreed to acquire a fleet of 26 Supramax vessels for $1.1 billion from the parent of Anemi Maritime Services, a private Greek shipping company. The transaction is subject to completion of customary documentation and closing conditions.
"This accretive transaction leverages management's strong industry relationships and reaffirms our commitment to the Supramax asset class, which we believe is highly versatile and optimally aligned with global trade demands. With a total fleet size of 49 vessels after this transaction, Eagle Bulk will be strongly positioned to generate healthy and sustainable cash flows for shareholders over the long term, said Sophocles Zoullas, Chairman and CEO. “Contracted revenues of approximately $1.2 billion from the fleet
charters provide us with confidence that we will be able to pay down debt, sustain a quarterly dividend
of $0.50 per share over the long term, and execute our growth strategy to increase our returns over time."
The transaction includes:
- 26 Supramax expected to be delivered between 2008 and 2012.
- 21 of the 26 vessels secured by long-term charter
s up to 2018 with
average charter duration in excess of 10 years from today.
- Minimum contracted revenue on the chartered vessels is approximately
$1 billion. Uncapped profit sharing on 17 of the chartered vessels may further enhance revenue potential.
The acquisition will more than double the fleet size from 23 to 49 vessels, expand tonnage by 124%, and reduce the average age of the fleet to 2 years. Upon completion of this acquisition, the Eagle fleet will consist of 46 Supramax vessels and 3 Handymax vessels. The acquisition will also increase the number of sister ships to 41, further enhancing efficiency and economies of scale.
Contracted revenue on the entire Eagle Bulk fleet of 49 vessels is approximately $1.2 billion. Through 2008, Eagle will have up to 16 vessels to charter to further increase contracted revenue.
Eagle Bulk expects
to enter into a proposed new long term $1.6 billion revolving line of credit to be led by Royal Bank of Scotland plc, which is intended to replace its existing credit facility.