Eagle Bulk Shipping
Inc., a global marine transportation company specializing in
the Supramax segment of the dry bulk shipping industry, announced
that it has entered into an agreement to acquire three Supramax drybulk
carriers for $105 million.
The first vessel, built 2004, is expected to be delivered to the
Company later this month and will commence an 18 to 22 month time
charter at a rate of $18,750 per day. The second vessel
, built 2003, is
expected to be delivered in July and will commence an 18 to 22 month
time charter at a rate of $19,000 per day. The third vessel
2004, is expected to be delivered in July and will continue its
existing 11 to 13 month time charter, begun in May 2006, at a rate of
$18,500 per day.
The vessel acquisition will be funded by a portion of the net proceeds
of a private placement made
by the Company, together with borrowings
from the Company's $330 million revolving credit facility. The Company
does not expect the issuance of common stock in the private placement
to affect the level of dividend per share for the second quarter that
would otherwise be payable to the Company's shareholders under the
Company's dividend policy.
Sophocles N. Zoullas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said,
"This investment is evidence of our confidence in the operating
superiority of the Supramax vessel class
, which is very well-positioned
for today's global trade of dry bulk cargoes. These new vessels will
expand our Supramax fleet from 9 vessels to 12 vessels, our total fleet
from 13 vessels to 16 vessels, and increase our cargo carrying capacity
by 24% to 789,750 deadweight tons. The addition of the new vessels
further reduces our fleet's average age to approximately five and a
half years. The acquisition also increases the number of sister ships
from six to eight," Mr. Zoullas concluded.