Diamond S Shipping announced today that it has completed the acquisition of 30 medium-range product tankers and related charters from Cido Shipping of Hong Kong.

The product tankers, built between 2007 and 2010, are under long-term charters with a number of global shipping companies, including A.P. Moeller, d’Amico, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Overseas Shipholding Group and ST Shipping. The tankers are being added to Diamond S’ fleet of ten new buildings now under construction, with the first delivery scheduled for January 2012.

A group of institutional investors led by WL Ross & Co. and First Reserve Corporation​, and including China Investment Corporation​, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited​, Morgan Creek Capital Management and PPM America Capital Partners, have committed almost $1.0 billion of equity capital to Diamond S. Diamond S has also arranged $1.075 billion of debt financing from a consortium of banks led by Nordea Bank Finland and DnB Nor Bank ASA.

“With a powerful balance sheet and one of the youngest large fleets in the industry, Diamond S is uniquely positioned to be one of the world’s leading crude and product ocean transportation companies,” said Craig H. Stevenson, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Diamond S. “We intend to take full advantage of increasing demand by major energy companies for environmentally secure, fuel-efficient vessels in the global fuel business,” Stevenson added.

“We see the global shipping industry as being in an inflection point,” said Wilbur Ross​, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Diamond S and founder of the WL Ross & Co. investment firm. “Well-capitalized shipping companies like Diamond S will see many opportunities as the industry consolidates and begins to recover to take advantage of growth in the Eastern hemisphere and rapidly changing demand dynamics in the Western hemisphere,” Ross said.

“We are pleased to support Craig in the successful execution of this next stage of expansion as he continues to build and diversify a best in class fleet,” said Timothy Day, Managing Director of First Reserve Corporation.

Source: PR Newswire, October 14, 2011

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