General Maritime Corporation
will sell six double-sided Aframax tankers en bloc to Seatankers Management Co. Ltd., Cyprus for $127.5 million. The Company also announced that it has agreed to sell the Genmar Commander
, a 1989-built single-hull Aframax vessel, to Polembros of Greece for $18.5 million. The Company expects to realize a net gain of $22.5 million from the sales. The Company intends to utilize the proceeds to pay down debt and for corporate purposes which may include share repurchases; therefore the proceeds will be excluded in the calculation of the dividend for the applicable quarters. Deliveries of the six double-sided vessels are expected to take place from November 2005 thru January 2006. Delivery of the Genmar Commander is expected to take place late November 2005.
Peter C. Georgiopoulos, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, "We are pleased to have sold our last single-hull and double-sided vessels and have once again acted opportunistically thereby modernizing the Company's fleet and creating shareholder value. In a little over six weeks the company has transformed itself into a more modern fully double hull company with over a billion dollars in liquidity. The Company has substantially strengthened it balance sheet, which it intends to draw upon to create future shareholder value. In addition to pursuing opportunities to expand our fleet, we will also consider other value-creating transactions such as stock buybacks. At the same time, we intend to continue to provide shareholders with the opportunity to receive a cash dividend."
Following completion of the recently-announced sales of 17 vessels and including the four Suezmax newbuildings to be delivered between 2006 and 2008, the average age of General Maritime's fleet will be reduced to 9 years, and its entire fleet will be double-hull.