Bermuda-based SFL has agreed to sell its seven handysize dry bulk vessels to an undisclosed Asian buyer for around $100m.

These ships, which have a cargo capacity of between 32,000dwt and 34,000dwt, are anticipated to be handed over to their new owner before the end of the year.

SFL expects more than $50m in net cash proceeds from the deal, after associated debt is repaid, as well as more than $40m in aggregate book gains.

The firm also noted that the sale will not affect the charter backlog and plans to reinvest the net proceeds in new assets.

These ships have been working in the spot market for the last five years following redelivery from their initial charters.

The aim was to trade these ships in the spot market until markets improved, as long-term chartering opportunities for ships in the handy segment were limited.

SFL Management CEO Ole Hjertaker said: “Our primary business strategy is to own and charter out vessels long term to strong counterparties, and we have added more than $850 million to our charter backlog in 2021.

“The seven small bulkers were redelivered from the initial charters when the market was soft, and instead of divesting the vessels at the time, we have waited for improved market conditions.

“Asset values in the segment are up 75% this year, and we believe this is a good time for a strategic sale of these vessels.”

Recently, SFL agreed to acquire three Suezmax tankers, along with long-term time charters to an unnamed commodity trading and logistics company.