Greek dry bulk giant Star Bulk Carriers has entered into an agreement with Germany’s E.R. Capital Holding to acquire up to seven vessels.
The deal sees Star Bulk taking three vessels firm during 2018, while it also has options on an additional four vessels to acquire in 2019. The initial three vessels are made up of two capesizes and a supramax, all Hyundai-built during 2010, while the optional four vessels are all 2010-built Korean capesizes.
Star Bulk is paying for the initial three ships by issuing 1.34m common shares and $41.70m in cash, the cash portion being financed by a new five-year loan. The optional vessels are priced at a total of $115.39m ($28.85m each), and if taken will be paid for with 100% cash or by 75% cash and 25% shares.
Petros Pappas, chief executive officer of Star Bulk, commented: “I am very pleased that Star Bulk is acquiring a high quality, modern fleet from E.R. in a structured transaction that combines attractive prices with flexibility for the company. We are excited to expand our footprint in the capesize segment, especially in a period that the dry bulk market is tightening. It is also with great pleasure to welcome a prominent shipowner, Mr Erck Rickmers, to our shareholder base and believe that this transaction validates once again Star Bulk’s ability to use our shares as currency in accretive acquisitions for our shareholders.“
The initial deal will take Star Bulk’s fleet to 118 vessels. Star Bulk has grown significantly of late, having picked up 15 vessels from the acquisition of Arne Blystad’s Songa Bulk and another 16 vessels from Italy’s Augustea.