Euronav buys 8 VLCC newbuildings from Metrostar

Athens: Euronav has purchased resale contracts for eight VLCC newbuildings from Greece’s Metrostar Management, according to shipbrokers’ reports.

The ships are currently under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea.

Prices for the VLCC newbuildings are unconfirmed; some brokers put the sale at $97m per vessel and some a little less. This is roughly in line with the price of ordering a brand-new VLCC from the yard, brokers told Splash today.

The Euronext-listed owner has also been linked to the acquisition of up to 10 suezmax tankers from an unnamed seller but after many phone calls, Splash has as yet been unable to confirm these reports. The Wall Street Journal suggests that the 10 vessels are being acquired from Connecticut-based Principal Maritime Tankers for around $48m each.

A spokesman for Euronav told Splash today the company does not comment on market speculation.

Metrostar declined to comment on the mooted sale when contacted by Splash today. The Athens-based company currently has eight VLCCs being built at HHI, one of which will arrive this year and the rest in 2016 and 2017.

“It makes perfect sense for Euronav,” the head of research for a major London-based shipbroker told Splash. “They want to order secondhand rather than build new because they don’t want to increase the size of the global fleet.”

“Our outlook is simple and disciplined,” Patrick Rodgers, Euronav’s CEO, told Maritime CEO in early May.

“If we can add to our fleet by an accretive addition then we will closely consider it. However, it will have to mean acquiring assets at NAV [net asset value] or a discount to NAV and for the additional fleet to at least match or more likely reduce the breakeven cost of the enlarged fleet.”

Euronav said in its financial results for the first quarter of 2015 that its management’s market confidence was underpinned by increasing voyage distances, which are driving growth in ton-miles.

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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