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Belships continues rapid expansion with supramax buy

Norwegian owner Belships has acquired another bulker on the secondhand market, snapping up 2007-built Japanese supramax Sephora from Elias Kulikundis’ Prospero Marine.

Belships paid $12m for the vessel, higher than the fair market value of $11.3m placed on the vessel by MSI, with 50% being settled in cash and 50% in shares.

Shortly after appointing new CEO Lars Christian Skarsgård late February, Belships arranged a new $110m loan of which $30m was earmarked for fleet growth.

The company put the funds to use early in April with the acquisition of 2008-built 58,700 dwt supramax bulk carrier Viola. It paid Wenaasgruppen $13m for the vessel, also via a 50-50 mix of cash and shares.

Belships then went on to acquire the 2016-built Chinese ultramax Sofie Victory from EGD Ultra Eco for $24.15m, again paying via both cash and shares.

Delivery of the Sephora is scheduled to take place in July, and the transaction takes the Belships fleet to a total of 19 vessels, all supramaxes and ultramaxes.

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Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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