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DryShips sheds stake in Ocean Rig and sells three capes to Economou

DryShips will sell its entire stake in Ocean Rig, which shares a common chairman and CEO in George Economou, and has sold three of its 200,000-dwt super-capesize bulkers to entities controlled by Economou.

The NASDAQ-listed company will sell its Ocean Rig equity to an “unrestricted subsidiary” of the offshore drilling contractor for around $49.9m.

The proceeds will be used to pay off some of the outstanding amount under the $70m revolving credit facility lent by an Economou-controlled company in late March, as well as for general corporate purposes, DryShips said.

The lender will release its lien over the Ocean Rig shares and will waive any events of default, if a similar agreement is reached with Dryships’ other lenders, in exchange for certain loan-to-value (LTV) covenants being introduced under the revolver agreement.

DryShips suspended its debt repayments on March 9 “to preserve cash liquidity” after reporting a net loss of $2.84bn for its fiscal year 2015.

“We are pleased to have reached a preliminary agreement with one of our lenders to waive any events of default and we hope that the rest of the lenders follow suit, recognizing the pro-active approach of the company to reduce its debt burden and cash flow burn,” Ziad Nakhleh, DryShips’ CFO, said in a release.

Separately, the super-capes Fakarava (206,200 dwt, built 2012), Rangiroa and Negonego (both 206,000 dwt, built 2013) were sold for a net price of $102.1m en bloc, which DryShips said has reduced its total bank debt to $213.7m.

The sale price was determined “at fair market value as supported by independent third-party broker valuations”, DryShips said. VesselsValue.com estimates the trio’s current market value at $74.98m.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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