TOP Tankers Inc entered into agreements to acquire three drybulk vessels, including:
One 2002 built super handymax, or supramax, vessel of 51,200 dwt, built
. The vessel will be chartered back to the sellers for a period
of 18 months at a daily net rate of $25,650 on a bareboat basis.
One 1995 built panamax vessel of 73,506 dwt, built in South Korea. The
vessel will be time-chartered for a period of 24-26 months at a daily
net rate of $29,700.
One 2000 built handymax vessel of 45,526 dwt, built in Philippines. The
vessel will be time-chartered for a period of 14-16 months at a daily
net rate of $22,000. This agreement is subject to charterers' approval
which is expected to be granted by July 16, 2007.
The vessels are scheduled to be delivered to the Company between September 2007 and January 2008.
Evangelos Pistiolis, the Company's CEO, said "This acquisition represents the Company's first entry into the drybulk sector, which has demonstrated significant growth in the past few years and is expected to remain robust based on strong fundamentals. Through the newly-acquired drybulk vessels, we will be able to serve customers in the steel, electric utility, construction and agri-food industries, and implement a diversification strategy. By entering into the drybulk sector, we can further enhance our risk profile by reducing our dependence on the tanker industry.
"Our management team has significant experience operating large and diversified fleets of tankers and drybulk carriers and has expertise in all aspects of the commercial, technical, management and financial areas of the business. We believe that our current management structure, operations and financial systems are well equipped to accommodate the expansion of our fleet into this new area.
"We believe that a strategy of growing a relatively significant fleet in selected sectors will provide us with the ability to develop a strong presence in multiple sectors of the shipping industry and to build and maintain enduring relationships with charterers. We intend to continue to review the market for drybulk and tanker vessels to continue our program of acquiring suitable vessels on terms we deem advantageous."
The aggregate purchase price of the vessels is approximately $149.1 million.
TOP intends to finance the acquisition of the vessels through new loan facilities and net proceeds of $29.46 million from recently completed sales of 4.3 million shares of its common stock. These securities were sold by the Company's sales agent, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., through a combination of at-the-market sales and previously announced, negotiated transactions.