Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHIP) (NASDAQ: SHIPW) announced that it has closed on its previously announced agreement to purchase a 50% ownership interest in Bulk Energy Transport (Holdings) Limited (BET) from Constellation Bulk Energy Holdings, Inc. BET's other equity owner is Mineral Transport Holdings, Inc., which is an affiliate of members of the Restis family, one of the Company's major shareholders. The purchase price for the shares was $1.
BET owns five drybulk carriers, four Capesizes and one Panamax. As result of this acquisition, the Company's controlled fleet increases to a total of 11 vessels with a carrying capacity of approximately 1,043,296 dwt and an average age of about 13 years.
Concurrently with the closing of the acquisition, BET has entered into a technical management agreement with Enterprises Shipping and Trading, S.A. and a commercial brokerage agreement with Safbulk Maritime S.A. at terms similar to those that the Company's existing fleet has with these entities. Each of EST and Safbulk are affiliated with members of the Restis family and are the technical manager and commercial broker of the Company's current fleet.
The Company has also entered into a shareholders' agreement with Mineral Transport, pursuant to which the Company will control BET's Board of Directors and appoint BET's Managing Director. The shareholders agreement also addresses customary matters such as transfer of shares and shareholder reserved matters.
Dale Ploughman, the company's Chief Executive Officer, stated "This acquisition is the first step in our objective of transforming Seanergy into a leader in the global shipping industry. We are pleased to have closed it in just one month since we announced it. With the BET acquisition we expand the range of vessels offered to our clients and increase our revenue and profit generation capability. The acquisition is an important step as it enhances our shareholders' value and still gives us the ability to focus on fleet growth opportunities during a time of relatively soft asset values in the dry bulk sector. The Proforma Net Book Value of BET is approximately USD 22.8 million and going forward BET is expected to add to Seanergy approximately USD 32 million of EBITDA up to December 2010 (Please refer to a subsequent section of the press release for a reconciliation of EBITDA and net income). By consolidating all of our vessels under one umbrella with technical and commercial management agreements with EST and Safbulk respectively, we expect to generate synergies and economies of scale further optimizing our fleet operations."