George Economou’s DryShips has gone back to its favourite source of finance, the little-known Kalani Investments, who have agreed to buy up to $226.4m worth of DryShips common shares over a period of 24 months.
DryShips has wasted no time taking advantage of the deal and newfound liquidity, announcing the acquisition of an aframax tanker, three kamsarmax bulkers, and two newbuild VLGCs which DryShips took via options from Economou’s TMS Cardiff last year at no cost.
The secondhand aframax tanker was built in 2012, while the karmsarmaxes consist of two second-hand vessels and a newbuild scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2017. With the exception of the VLGCs, which are tied to long-term contracts, the vessels will be employed in the spot market.
Economou, DryShips chairman and CEO, commented: “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of six more vessels since the beginning of our transformation project that started at the end of last year. In the last three months, we have acquired a total of fourteen vessels with an average age of two years, for a total cost of approximately $662 million. We have been able to deploy all of the $400 million of fresh capital raised in a very short time frame taking advantage of historically low prices to diversify our portfolio of vessels and re-build our fleet’s earning capacity that will underpin our recently announced dividend policy. With this latest capital raise we will be closing the first cycle of acquisitions for DRYS and we will continue to scour the various shipping segments for further opportunities as they arise.”
While Economou continues to push for fleet expansion at DryShips backed by funds from Kalani and his own Sifnos, shareholders have once again reacted negatively to the news which will cause a further dilution of share value.
DryShips shares were pushed down over 18% to $1.34, and since the beginning of the year the shares have lost more than 95% of their value.
Kalani Investments, which was founded in 1996 and based in the British Virgin Islands, has also invested in Greek tanker owner Top Ship and sealed a $150 share deal with Diana Containerships.