Athens: Euronav has confirmed it will pay Greece’s Metrostar Management $96m per vessel or $384m in total for four VLCC newbuildings being built at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea.
The Euronext-listed company has also paid the seller combined option fees of $8m to secure the option to acquire four further VLCC newbuildings, for which Euronav would pay $98m each.
The four firm vessels are due to be delivered in September this year, and in January, March and May 2016.
“This transaction is consistent with three core company principles,” Euronav explained in a statement today. “Firstly, these vessels are ex-yard resales, which do not add supply to the market and therefore meet our stated aim to only add existing vessels to our fleet and not to order new ships. Ordering new vessels only reduces the value of the existing fleet globally. In addition there is the benefit of buying such vessels in series with the synergies of sister ships.
“Secondly, the time lag between the purchase and the deliveries to the company will be very similar to buying a fleet on the water, therefore allowing the capital deployed to be rewarded by the freight market imminently.”
Euronav says the acquisition is part of its ongoing scheme to continually “rejuvenate” its fleet. The newbuildings will be financed using existing credit facilities.
Paddy Rodgers, Euronav’s CEO, commented: “The tanker sector continues to perform strongly with a positive outlook. This accretive transaction further cements Euronav’s position as the largest, independent quoted crude tanker platform.”
The Belgium-headquartered company previously denied market rumours that it planned to buy an additional 10 suexmax tankers.