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Changes on deck at FreeSeas

Changes on deck at FreeSeas
Dry bulk shipper FreeSeas is bringing in someone new to navigate.

Dry bulk shipper FreeSeas is bringing in someone new to navigate.

Amid a financial storm, dry bulk shipper FreeSeas is bringing in someone new to navigate. On Monday the company announced that it appointed Dimitris Filippas as interim chief financial officer effective immediately and it has begun a search for a permanent replacement, according to TradeTheNews.com. Filippas was previously assistant to the CFO Dimitris Papadopoulos, who has departed the company. Papadopoulos will remain on as an adviser to the board and management. Papadopoulos became the chief financial officer of FreeSeas in May 2007.

FreeSeas shares sank 8.3%, or 14 cents, to $1.54 at the close on Monday. Its shares have tumbled 73.5% since the beginning of the year.

?At this pivotal juncture in our industry's development, the role of the CFO is more critical than ever before,? said Ion Varouxakis, president and CEO of FreeSeas. ?We will be both prudent and timely in finding the appropriate candidate to enhance our management team.?

FreeSeas has a fleet of seven handysize vessels and two handymax ships. Handysize ships are more flexible because of their smaller size, which allows them to enter smaller ports. Handysizes can also carry a wider variety of cargo and often contain cranes with which to load and offload cargo.

The company has said that it decided to specialize in these sectors of the market because they are more resistant to economic downturn and will allow it to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.

Last month, the company announced it changed its dividend policy and now will only distribute 50.0% of its cash flow after expenses, debt and reserves. Varouxakis said the cut in the dividend will allow it to take advantage of acquisition opportunities.


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