Star Bulk Signs Second Capesize Newbuilding Contract
Star Bulk Carriers Corp., yesterday announced that it has signed a contract with ship-builder Hanjin to build a second Capesize vessel of 180,000 deadweight tons, a sistership to the first vessel ordered, with expected delivery in November 2011. The Company intends to finance both newbuildings through a combination of company cash and bank debt. Star Bulk has received offers for debt financing at favorable financing cost/terms. The Company has not yet decided the ratio of Company cash to bank debt that it will utilize.
Akis Tsirigakis, President and CEO of Star Bulk, commented: "We are pleased to continue our organic growth through another most competitive acquisition of a newbuilding Capesize vessel from a high quality ship builder. We are also pleased that our senior debt lenders continue to support our acquisition plans via offers of favorable financing terms.
"Currently, our fleet is contracted for 92% of 2010 and 58% of 2011 operating days, amongst the highest contract coverage in the industry, providing future earnings visibility. 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 trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "SBLK".
Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of eleven dry bulk carriers with definitive agreements to buy one and sell one Capesize vessel as well as to build two Capesize vessels. The total fleet consists of six Capesize, and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,462,377 deadweight tons. The average age of our current operating fleet is 10.3 years.