Star Bulk to Strengthen Its Fleet with 18 Bulkers

Bulk carrierIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Greece-based dry bulk shipping firm Star Bulk Carriers has entered into definitive agreements to acquire eighteen dry bulk vessels in two all‐share transactions.

Three of the units will be acquired from Oceanbulk Container Carriers for an aggregate of 3.39 million common shares of Star Bulk.

This transaction, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, remains subject to customary closing conditions. The three vessels are being constructed at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, with expected delivery dates in first quarter of 2019.

The remaining fifteen vessels will be acquired from Norwegian shipowner Songa Bulk. Star Bulk will issue an aggregate of 13.725 million common shares and pay USD 145 million in cash for the acquisition of all of Songa’s fifteen modern dry bulk vessels.

The cash portion of the Songa consideration will be financed through proceeds of a new five‐year capital lease of USD 180 million with China Merchants Bank Leasing with a margin of 280 bps, thus offering approximately USD 35 million of additional liquidity for Star Bulk.

Expected to close by the third quarter 2018, the Songa transaction remains subject to the approval from the general meeting of Songa with a 2/3 majority of the votes cast and other customary closing conditions.

With the closing of the Songa transaction, the company intends to apply for a secondary listing of its common shares for trading on Oslo Børs, a regulated stock market operated by Oslo Børs ASA of Norway.

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