Samsung Heavy wins Nordic American suezmax order
Nordic American Tanker Shipping has ordered two suezmax tanker newbuildings at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea at a total price of $130m.
The order comes about three months after the spot-market-oriented suezmax specialist raised $137m via a follow-on share offering in New York. The company had said at the time that proceeds of the follow-on offering, along with existing resources, would go towards the purchase of ?at least four ships? in the coming months.
The order at Samsung confirms Nordic American"s standing as one of the few listed tanker companies that have actually acted on pronouncements of taking advantage of low asset prices and adding ships. Including the two suezmax newbuildings, Nordic American now has purchased six ships since February 2009.
All four 2009 purchases were secondhand ships collectively priced at some $217m. Nordic American also raised $237m via two follow-on offerings last year.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed Nordic American, headquartered in Bermuda and managed from Sandefjord in Norway, relies on a business model of returning all free cash to shareholders as dividend.
Nordic American chairman and chief executive Herbjorn Hansson said of the Samsung orders: ?This is an important step forward in the organic growth of our company. By adding two more ships to our fleet, we will increase our dividend capacity and bolster our earnings potential.
?Our strong balance sheet enables us to contract for these two newbuildings from Samsung. Our dividend policy remains the same as in the past ? a full pay out model.?
The Samsung newbuildings of 158,000 dwt each are scheduled for delivery in the third and fourth quarters of 2011, and are priced at $64.5m-$65m according to a company statement. Compass Maritime, the New Jersey-based brokerage house, has estimated the price of a 150,000 dwt tanker newbuilding today at $63m.
Nordic American and Samsung have a ?preliminary order? for the ships. Nordic American would pay half the purchase price at the signing of the contract, and the balance upon delivery. The advance payments are guaranteed by a ?first class financial institution?, the company said.
There are no plans for another follow-on offering, Nordic American added.
After absorbing the two new ships and assuming no sales, Nordic American"s fleet would increase to 20 double-hulled suezmaxes by the end of 2011, an increase of 67% over the January 2009 fleet of 12 ships.
Assuming no further follow-ons, the company"s share count would have increased by 36% over the same period.