DryShips Buys New Suezmax Tanker

Athens-based dry bulk shipowner DryShips Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquired one 158,000 dwt Suezmax tanker currently under construction in China.

DryShips said that it plans to finance the total gross purchase price of around USD 64 million using cash on hand and expects to take delivery of the vessel during May 2017.

Under the deal, which was signed with an entity affiliated with the company’s Chairman and CEO, George Economou, the vessel will be time chartered back to the seller and employed from the time of delivery under a five year time charter plus optional periods in charterer’s option at a base rate plus profit share.

The charterer will also be granted purchase options at the end of each firm period. The total expected backlog under the time charter, assuming an average spot market for Suezmaxes for the next 5 years of USD 25,000 per day is estimated to be some USD 43.1 million, DryShips informed.

The company added that the transaction received an approval by the audit committee of the company’s Board of Directors and the independent members of the company’s Board of Directors.

The purchase was unveiled as part of DryShips’ financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, in which the company said that its net loss for the period shrunk to USD 10.7 million, compared to a net loss of USD 61.1 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.

DryShips added that it has now fully repaid its last commercial loan facility and following the Sifnos Loan Facility’s latest amendment, the company has completed the restructuring of its balance sheet over the last 6 months, resulting in all of its assets being unencumbered.

Earlier this month, the shipowner received a firm commitment from a major European bank and an Asian export credit agency for a secured term loan facility of up to USD 200 million to partly finance the delivery of its four very large gas carriers (VLGCs). The commitment remains subject to documentation and successful syndication.

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