Antwerp-based tanker company Euronav has struck a deal for the acquisition through resale of four VLCCs which are completing construction at Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries for an aggregate purchase price of USD 384 million or USD 96 million per unit.
The vessels are due to be delivered in September 2015, January, March and May 2016 respectively.
In addition and against the payment of an option fee of an aggregate amount of USD 8 million, the seller has also agreed to grant Euronav an option to acquire up to a further 4 VLCCs sisters of the acquired quartet.
Euronav said that the transaction is in line with the company’s principle of not ordering new ships but adding existing vessels to its fleet seeing that these are ex-yard resales.
The vessels will by financed with existing borrowing facilities.
Paddy Rodgers, the company’s CEO, said “Euronav is delighted to enhance our fleet with the addition of four high specification modern VLCCs. The tanker sector continues to perform strongly with a positive outlook. This accretive transaction further cements Euronav’s position as the largest, independent quoted crude tanker platform.”
Euronav reported a very stable quarter with owners resolute in their discipline and freight rates being consistently strong throughout the quarter.
“Robust demand, growing oil supply and increased ton miles during the quarter underpin our confidence that the tanker market is at the start of a sustained multiyear recovery. The market remains dynamic with a number of new trading routes being established over the past year,” the company said.