Athens: Bulk carrier owner Freeseas has acquired a 51% stake in Standcorp International, a new company that will operate tankers. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The rest of the shares in Standcorp are owned by entities associated with Athens-headquartered Marvin Shipping, which specialises in the operation of oil and chemical tankers.
When contacted by Splash for comment today, Marvin said that Standcorp was established as a legal entity this year but its management has long history of tanker expertise.
Standcorp intends to operate both crude and product tankers in “a large array of sizes”, which it will contract on timecharter or bareboat charters, a statement said today. The tankers will trade in the spot market or undertake contracts of affreightment.
The new company says it hopes to operate in niche tanker markets such as West Africa, as well as in more conventional tanker trades.
Standcorp says it won’t limit itself purely to tanker operation in the future and “depending on market conditions” will operate bulk carriers, which it will buy, charter in or possibly form vessel-sharing agreements with other shipowners such as Freeseas.
“We are excited with our decision to enter this venture which positions the company in new markets and presents us with new opportunities in cooperation with experienced partners,” Ion G. Varouxakis, chairman, president and CEO of Freeseas said of the acquisition.
“At a time when the dry-bulk market is at a standstill, we expect that FreeSeas shall be able to generate income and create value for its shareholders by getting involved in the tanker sector, which offers higher returns on investment, as operators only in the first stage, and gain experience in the sector.”