Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) has reached an en bloc agreement with ER Capital’s affiliates for the two-stage acquisition of up to seven dry bulk vessels.

SBLK will take delivery of three firm-operating dry bulk vessels by the end of 2018, in the first stage.

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Its second stage will involve the delivery of four operating dry bulk vessels, as an option. Vessel delivery is scheduled for 2019.

The purchase consideration for the first stage transaction will include the issue of approximately 1.34 million shares of SBLK’s common stock, in addition to $41.7m in cash.

The acquisition will result in ER Capital gaining 1.45% stake in SBLK.

TUI Cruises has awarded a contract to Panasonic Avionics and its subsidiary ITC Global for providing connectivity services.

The four-year contract will involve deployment of connectivity services on two of TUI’s new cruise ships Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2.

Connectivity solutions on the ships will allow the cruise line to offer uninterrupted internet access to crew members and guests.

The two cruise ships will be equipped with 2.4m multi-band antenna systems.

A letter of intent (LoI) has been signed between Iridium Communications and Rolls-Royce Marine (RRM) to bolster the capabilities of autonomous vessels.

Under the agreement, the companies will partner to study the viability to integrate Iridium Certus, the next-generation L-band satellite broadband service of Iridium into Ship Intelligence solutions of RRM.

RRM intends to expand autonomous vessels reach to global waterways.

UAE-based Zaitoun Green Shipping has established a consortium with the key players in shipping industry to create an enhanced business model for the container shipping market.

“The acquisition is expected to be complete by October.”

Consortium partners include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery and Equipment, MacGregor, Wärtsilä, Winterthur Gas and Diesel, WIN GD, Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), CargoTech, and Carinafour.

The collaboration will work towards achieving higher levels of performance and efficiency, improve environmental footprint, focus on technological advancements, and ensure safety in operations.

A collaboration framework agreement has been signed between Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Dalian) (CHI Dalian) for development and marketing of rectangular sulphur-oxide (SOx) scrubbers.

The partnership intends to provide a single-stop solution covering the design, manufacturing and installation process of scrubbers.

CHI Dalian will be responsible for production, assembly, delivery and installation of scrubbers under the agreement.

Norway-based weather services provider StormGeo has plans to acquire NHST Media Group’s Nautisk, a maritime charts and publications company.

StormGeo will integrate its routing and weather services with charts and publications solutions of Nautisk, upon completion of the acquisition.

The integrated platform assists the customers of both companies in optimising routing and receiving proper charts. It also creates a voyage path without toggling between different systems.

The acquisition is expected to be complete by October.

Norway-based lifeboat manufacturer Norsafe has been acquired by Viking Life-Saving Equipment A/S for an undisclosed sum.

Viking intends to expand its portfolio of lifeboats and other products and strengthen its global footprint through the acquisition, which is scheduled for completion in October.