Western Bulk’s Shipholding division has agreed to enter into one additional Japanese lease time charter contract with extension and purchase options. The vessel is a 63,000 dwt new I-Star design from Imabari and has been developed with input from Western Bulk. This is the third vessel of this new design that Western Bulk has on charter with purchase options, and it is the latest Ultramax Eco-design from Japan.
The charter will commence upon delivery from the yard in 2017. The contract is for minimum 7 years and up to 10 years duration with annual purchase options for Western Bulk from year 5.
“I’m very pleased with this contract, adding a high quality vessel with excellent Eco-features to WB Shipholding’s fleet. We regard such lease contracts as highly preferable compared to ordering vessels ourselves, as they are fully financed deals with no covenants, competitive rate levels and exciting optionality that give an attractive upside potential, just as if we had owned the vessel ourselves,” says Jens Ismar, Chief Executive Officer of Western Bulk.
With this vessel, WB Shipholding has a fleet of 23 vessels and newbuildings, of which 4 vessels are partly owned, 5 vessels and 14 Eco-newbuildings are chartered in with extension and purchase options. The chartered-in vessels with purchase options are chartered at attractive rate levels. The last 12 contracts concluded since beginning of 2012 (including the contract above) are all Supra- and Ultramaxes with an average rate per vessel of approximately USD 12,900/day for the firm charter period. Contracts with purchase options effectively give WB Shipholding an attractive and fully leveraged exposure towards a potential future rebound in vessel values.
Western Bulk, October 29, 2013