Dry CargoEurope

Economou’s DryShips offloading 17 ships

George Economou is actively marketing more bulkers for sale. Brokers confirm to Splash that a total of 15 panamaxes and two supramaxes are being put in the shop window, as part of the Greek owner’s rejigging of New York-listed DryShips.

In September Economou announced plans to sell 13 capesizes and four panamax bulk carriers to a private firm he holds as part of bigger plans to revitalise the company, which in the process will likely see its listing in New York revoked.

At the time of the announcement, DryShips said the remaining 20 panamax and two supramax bulk carriers in its fleet have been classified as held for sale.

Since last week 15 panamaxes and two supramaxes have been touted for sale, Splash understands.

“It looks like they were all expensive ships bought back in 2007-2008,” one broker said.

Panamax sales have been quite common in recent months, despite the dreadful market conditions, with buyers taking advantages of low secondhand prices. In total there are around 35 panamax secondhand bulk carriers for sale around the world at the moment, broking sources reveal.

The DryShips sales are Economou’s way to get back on an even keel having read the dry bulk markets wrong during the past eight years.

“Fast forward six months and the company will have no assets but will have very little debt, some net cash and its stake in Ocean Rig, and it can basically start anew,” Amit Mehrotra, Deutsche Bank’s lead shipping analyst, told Splash last month.

The company has until close of play today to boost its share price to above the $1 per share or else lose its listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. It closed on Friday at $0.20 suggesting delisting is inevitable.


With additional reporting by Sam Chambers

Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.
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