Star Bulk Acquires a Capesize Bulk Carrier to Replace the Recently Sold Capesize Star Alpha.
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. yesterday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a Capesize bulk carrier of approximately 171,000 dwt, built in 2000 in Japan, for approximately $42.5 million from a third party. The vessel will be financed through a combination of company cash and bank debt. The vessel, to be renamed the M/V Star Aurora, is currently expected to be delivered charter-free to Star Bulk within October/November 2010.
Star Bulk intends to secure period time-charter employment for the vessel prior to its delivery to the Company.
The Company acquired the vessel to replace the Capesize Star Alpha which was sold and delivered to its buyers in the fourth quarter of 2009. This acquisition will bring Star Bulk's fleet to twelve vessels of approximately 1.1 million dwt and an average age of approximately 10.2 years.
Akis Tsirigakis, President and CEO of Star Bulk, commented: "We are pleased to acquire a younger capsize vessel of quality to replace the older one sold. Currently, our fleet is contracted 92% for 2010 and 46% for 2011 operating days, amongst the highest contract coverage. We continue to focus on enhancing shareholder value supported by our strong balance sheet and liquidity."
Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks such as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock and warrants trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbols "SBLK" and "SBLKW" respectively. Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of eleven dry bulk carriers with definitive agreements to buy one as well as sell one of them. The fleet consists of three Capesize, and eight grab-fitted, self-discharging Supramax vessels with an average age of approximately 10.2 years and a combined cargo carrying capacity of 931,178 deadweight tons.