Star Bulk Carriers, a Marshall Islands-based drybulk company, has signed a deal to purchase two Ultramax bulk carriers, M/V Supra Challenger I and M/V Supra Challenger II, for a purchase price of $58.1m.
Built by Japan-based Imabari Shipbuilding Group in November 2012 and September 2013, both the vessels are expected to be delivered to Star Bulk by early December 2013 and 15 January 2014 respectively.
Star Bulk plans to fund the purchase in two parts, one from cash on hand and the other from commercial bank debt financing.
The vessels, which will be renamed Star Challenger and Star Fighter, have a carrying capacity of 61,462dwt each.
Following the closure of the transaction, Star Bulk will own a fleet of 15 dry bulk vessels, including five Capesize vessels, two Ultramax vessels and eight Supramax vessels.
The fleet of Star Bulk will have a total carrying capacity of approximately 1,413,525dwt and an average age of approximately 9.5 years.
Star Bulk CEO and president Spyros Capralos said the two vessels being acquired are considered among the top vessels in their class, as they are built by one of the best shipyards in the world, have average age below one year, high specifications and increased cargo capacity compared to the standard Supramax vessels.
"Upon full delivery of our nine newbuildings we will have a total of 24 owned vessels in the water, representing more than 100% growth on deadweight tonnage basis.
"We remain committed in executing our growth strategy, and we believe that this accretive acquisition will immediately enhance our cash flow generation capacity and contribute to the long-term value creation for our shareholders," Capralos added.
The company has also entered into agreements with shipyards in Japan and China for the construction of nine dry bulk vessels featuring fuel efficient specifications.
The dry bulk vessels include two 208,000dwt Newcastlemax, one 209,000dwt Newcastlemax, two 180,000dwt Capesize, two 61,000dwt Ultramax and two 60,000dwt Ultramax dry bulk vessels.
All vessels are expected to be delivered by 2015 and early 2016.