Two-year-old Dubai Navigation Corp (DNC) has just taken on a trio of ships from Viken Shipping, marking a strategic move into the tanker sector.
The shipowner moved beyond its dry bulk and feeder boxship origins, pouncing for an en bloc deal for three 13-year-old LR2 tankers. Top management is now on the look out for some further bulker acquisitions.
“We believe this an interesting opportunity as the prices on tankers are recovering,” says Lars Juul Jorgensen, the company’s CEO.
The new entrants into the DNC fleet have now been renamed Dubai Horizon, Dubai Harmony and Dubai Hope and have been chartered to MISC’s AET for three years with a one-year option.
The three tankers take the fleet to eight ships including two feeders, two panamax bulkers and a handy bulker. Jorgensen reveals to Maritime CEO the company aim is to get that number up to 10 to 12 by the end of the year, if market sentiment picks up and this growth could be achieved on its own or via joint ventures and strategic partnerships.
A frustration for Jorgensen and his finance team as he looks to expand is one felt by many smaller names in shipping, namely banks’ increasingly favouring the biggest names in the industry.
“Competitive debt finance for smaller companies like DNC at levels the stock listed companies are getting is desired,” Jorgensen says, going on to explain: “DNC is a smaller company, however having no legacy issues, being transparent with a simple company structure, with a conservative chartering strategy and low risk ship investment, we are being charged with higher premiums in comparison with public stock listed companies. The vast majority of the public companies in UAE, USA, Singapore, Norway have their stocks trading well below NAV, which banks and funds should realise and focus on DNC and similar structured companies.”
Despite his youthful looks, Jorgensen has been involved in shipping since 1991, working for many brokers as well as owners including Torm and Tsakos over the years.