DryShips to Enter Gas Carrier Market with Four New VLGCs

Greek owner of drybulk carriers DryShips Inc. has agreed to enter into a “zero cost” option agreement to purchase up to four high specifications very large gas carriers (VLGCs) capable of carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Each of the four VLGCs, which are currently under construction at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), are going to be employed on long term charters to major oil companies and oil traders. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in June, September, October and December of 2017, respectively.

Under the terms of the LPG option agreement, entered into with companies controlled by DryShips’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George Economou, the company will have three months to exercise four separate options to purchase up to four VLGCs at a price of USD 83.5 million per vessel.

If DryShips exercises all four of its options, the total purchase price of the VLGC fleet will be USD 334 million.

The transaction has been approved by the independent directors of the company based on third party broker valuations.

DryShips said that it intends to finance any acquisition of the vessels by using cash on hand, its undrawn liquidity under the new Sifnos revolver and proceeds from its issuer managed equity transaction.

If acquired, the vessels will be managed by TMS Cardiff Gas on the same terms as the previously announced new TMS agreements.

DryShips currently operates a fleet of 13 Panamax bulk carries with a total size of 972,100 dwt, according to data provided by VesselsValue.

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