Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE: SB), an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, announced the sale of a Panamax Class Vessel. Safe Bulkers has entered an agreement to sell a 76,000 dwt Panamax class vessel built in 2003 for $33m, excluding commissions to brokers. The vessel will be delivered to its new owners in December 2009. The extended delivery period, which exceeds the market standard of three months, will permit the company to employ the vessel in the spot market through December 2009. Proceeds from the sale of the vessel will strengthen the company's balance sheet.
The company also provided additional details regarding its entry into a resale agreement to acquire a Capesize class newbuild vessel to be delivered in April 2010, which had been previously announced in a press release dated June 8, 2009. The acquisition price for the 177,000 dwt newbuild is $63m, including commissions, and the vessel will be delivered by the Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co., part of the SWS group.
Polys Hajioannou, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, said "The sale of one of our older vessels for $33 million, excluding commissions to brokers, is consistent with our business strategy of operating a young, high quality fleet while taking advantage of attractive opportunities to make vessel sales and acquisitions. One such recent opportunity involved a previously-announced acquisition of a Capesize vessel for $63 million, including commissions, from a well-regarded shipyard. We continue to actively manage our fleet during this global economic downturn."