Norway-based shipping company Belships has signed an agreement to acquire a second-hand Ultramax bulk carrier.

Built by a Chinese shipyard in 2017, the bulk carrier will be acquired in a cash and shares deal.

Belships has agreed to acquire the vessel for $21.75m, with 80% paid in cash and the remaining amount settled through the issuance of 4,988,000 new Belships shares to the seller. Each share will carry a price of Nkr7.5 ($0.88).

It is estimated that the cash breakeven for the ship upon delivery will be approximately $9,500 a day, including operational costs.

About 60% of the total purchase price of the vessel is expected to be funded through bank financing.

The vessel is expected to be delivered during Q2. It carries an existing time charter party at a marginally cash-positive rate which is expected to be completed by the end of October.

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Belships CEO Lars Christian Skarsgård said: “This is another milestone for Belships. We expand our fleet whilst maintaining capital discipline in our quest to grow the company further.

“The goal remains focused on creating value for our shareholders and increase the attractiveness of trading our shares.”

The company noted that the deal, which is expected to be completed this month, is conditional upon the fulfilment of certain steps by the parties involved.

Upon completion of the transaction, Belships will have 25 Supramax and Ultramax bulk carriers, with an average age of five years, along with four new buildings that are scheduled to be delivered this year.