Greek owner of drybulk carriers DryShips Inc. has acquired a very large gas carrier (VLGC) for a price of USD 83.5 million, the first vessel under a “zero cost” option agreement signed earlier in January.
Currently under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the VLGC will be employed on a fixed rate time charter with five years firm duration to an oil major. The charterer has options to extend the firm employment period by up to three years.
The company financed the closing price of USD 21.9 million by using part its undrawn liquidity under the USD 200 million new Sifnos revolver, which now stands at USD 142.9 million. The USD 61.6 million balance of the purchase price for the VLGC will be payable in installments until the vessel’s delivery from HHI.
DryShips said that it expects a total gross backlog associated with this time charter of up to USD 92.7 million including the optional periods, and expects to take delivery of the vessel in June 2017.
“We are very pleased to have acquired our first high specification VLGC newbuilding opening a new era of investments since the restructuring of our balance sheet,” Anthony Kandylidis, President and Chief Financial Officer, said.
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 buy up to four VLGCs at a price of USD 83.5 million per vessel.
The new ships are scheduled for delivery in June, September, October and December of 2017, respectively.