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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Belships Continues Fleet Expansion

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 26, 2024

© AytugAskin / Adobe Stock

© AytugAskin / Adobe Stock

Norwegian dry bulk shipowner Belships announced further expansion of its Ultramax fleet through a pair of vessel acquisitions and newbuild orders.

The company said on Wednesday it has declared an option to purchase the bulk carrier Belmar for $25.5 million. The vessel, which has been leased since its delivery as a newbuilding in 2021, will be taken over in Q4 2024. Belships said it will finance the acquisition using its available cash.

In addition, Belships has agreed to pay $41 million to acquire a Japanese-built Ultramax of 64,000 dwt built in 2024 from an undisclosed, unrelated party, for scheduled delivery within Q1 2025. The company said it intends to utilize its available Accordian Tranche, which implies financing for 60% of the purchase price and the remaining will be financed from the company’s available cash.

The previously announced sales of the two Supramax vessels Belfriend and Beltide are expected to be handed over to their new owners within Q3 2024. As the vessels are free of debt, the sales proceeds of $56.6 million will add to Belships’ strong cash position.

Lastly, Belships has expanded its newbuilding program with two new 64,000 dwt Ultramax bulk carriers, which will be delivered in 2027 and 2028. The vessels are leased on similar terms as previously announced transactions, and Belships is not required to make any down payments for these vessels. Belships now has a total of 12 newbuildings under construction at Japanese shipyards with delivery between 2024 and 2028. All vessels are 100% financed through lease agreements for 7 to 10 years with purchase options.

“These acquisitions add to a pipeline of growth, increasing our company’s fleet and earnings potential by a third over the next few years. Access to the highest-quality vessels and shipyards combined with financing is our competitive advantage, and we firmly believe this will continue to create value for our company and shareholders,” said Lars Christian Skarsgård, CEO of Belships ASA.

Including the announced transactions, and newbuilding program, the Belships fleet will count 41 vessels consisting entirely of Ultramax bulk carriers with an average year of build of 2021.