Seanergy Maritime has had to accept sharply reduced rates for two handysize vessels in its first charter replacements since it became a fully operating company last year.
Restis-backed dry bulk owner Seanergy Maritime has had to accept sharply reduced rates for two handysize vessels in its first charter replacements since it became a fully operating company last year.
The Nasdaq-listed company had enjoyed a first year of healthy rates for its initial fleet of six bulkers which were all time chartered to South American Marine, a Restis affiliate.
The 38,623 dwt African Zebra had been earning $36,000 daily on a one-year deal and will now be earning $7,500 per day as a floor rate for 22-25 months.
The 24,110 dwt African Oryx has been chartered for the same period at $7,000 per day instead of its previous daily rate of $30,000.
Both have been taken by MUR Shipping, one of the leading international charterers of handysize tonnage.
The Restis family has a longstanding operating joint venture with the MUR group but the charters are said to be directly with the company as a ?first class chartering entity?.
Both agreements provide for a 50% adjusted profit share to be distributed equally between owners and charterers based on the Baltic supramax index.
Based on only the floor rates for the minimum period, the two ships are expected to generate at least $9.7m in gross revenues.
According to Seanergy chief executive Dale Ploughman, the level of earnings, although slashed, is sufficient for the vessels to remain profitable.
?The minimum floor employment rates for the African Oryx and the African Zebra are well above break-even operating costs and the added incentive of the profit sharing arrangement allows us to benefit from the potential market upside,? he said.
The company was continuing to seek employment opportunities for its remaining four vessels.
?Our strategy is to employ our vessels predominantly under long term coverage generating stable and visible cash flows,? Mr Ploughman said.
Just last week Seanergy reached agreement to acquire 50% of the fleet of four capesizes and one panamax under Bulk Energy Transport, launched two years ago as a joint venture between Baltimore based energy provider Constellation Energy and the Restis family.
If the deal completes as expected later this month, Seanergy will be buying Constellation"s stake for a ?nominal? cash amount.
An impulse to expand can also be detected behind a decision approved at the company"s annual general meeting last week to amend Seanergy"s articles of incorporation to raise the number of authorised shares of common stock from 100m shares to 200m.
It is understood, though, that no new share issue has been scheduled for the time being.