Crude Carriers Receives M/T Aias, Option on M/T Atlantas
Crude Carriers Corp. (NYSE: CRU) announced that it took delivery of the M/T Waltz to be renamed M/T Aias (150,096 dwt), June 3, 2010. In addition, the 12-month fixed-price option to acquire the M/T Atlantas from Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. commenced on June 1, 2010.
The M/T Aias, a modern, high-specification Suezmax-class oil tanker was built in 2008 at Universal Shipbuilding Corporation in Japan, the same yard as its sister ship M/T Amoureux which was delivered to the company on May 10, 2010. The vessel was acquired at a purchase price of $66.2m, a cost significantly below the average 10-year historical values and is the fourth vessel of the Company's fleet to be delivered. The acquisition will be financed with cash and with $59.6 million of debt drawn down from the company’s $15m revolving credit facility. The vessel was delivered as planned within the expected time frame, became immediately available for operations and is currently trading in the spot
The company expects to take delivery of the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) M/T Achilleas in the second half of June. Following its delivery, the Company’s fleet will consist of five vessels, comprised of two VLCCs and three Suezmax-class tankers with a weighted average age of approximately 1.2 years and a total carrying capacity of approximately 1,060,000 dwt.
The newly built VLCC M/T Atlantas was delivered to Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. from Daewoo Shipyard in South Korea on June 1, 2010, and hence the zero-cost option granted to Crude Carriers Corp. to acquire the vessel is expected to expire on June 2, 2011.
As announced in the Company’s press release of May 4, 2010, Crude Carriers Corp. secured a 12-month option from the date of delivery, to purchase the vessel at the same acquisition price of $108m plus delivery costs. The option is exercisable at the sole discretion of the Company's Board of Directors.
Immediately upon its delivery from the shipyard the 320,000 dwt vessel commenced a voyage charter with BP Shipping Ltd. Evangelos Marinakis, Crude Carriers’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are very pleased with the successful delivery of the M/T ‘Aias’, thus completing the acquisition of the two additional Suezmaxes which we acquired shortly after our IPO. In addition, the commencement of our zero-cost, 12-month option to acquire the M/T Atlantas at a fixed price provides our shareholders with visibility of the next step in our growth path. We believe that both the recent acquisition of our two Suezmaxes and the 12-month purchase option were concluded at attractive prices compared to current market levels and are in line with our strategy of acquiring modern high-specification vessels at opportune times in the cycle. We are committed to building Crude Carriers into an industry leader and positioning the company to take advantage of the favorable fundamentals of the crude oil tanker market.”