Shipping industry led by M&A of assets boosting operations

Escalating demand for worldwide transport is leading to shipping conglomerates to aggressively move forward with acquiring and investing in new vessels and other assets to keep up with rising demand and operate more efficiently.

CSBC DryShips NAT oceanfreight Scorpio Seanergy Seaspan ship shipping VLGC

Increasingly, globalized trade and escalating demand for world-wide transport is leading to shipping conglomerates to aggressively move forward with acquiring and investing in new vessels and other assets in order to keep up with rising demand and operate more efficiently. A few of the prominent shipping companies in the news this week include: Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. , DryShips Inc., Scorpio Tankers Inc. , Seaspan Corporation and Nordic American Tankers Limited.

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp., announced that on May 31, 2017 it took delivery of the M/V Partnership, a 179,213 dwt Capesize dry bulk vessel, built in 2012 by Hyundai in South Korea. The Company entered into the agreement to acquire the M/V Partnership in April 2017. The Company funded the gross purchase price of US$32.65 million by a secured loan facility from a European bank and from financing arrangements with the Company’s sponsor.

Stamatis Tsantanis, Seanergy’s CEO, commented, “We are pleased to take delivery of another modern Capesize vessel. We remain committed to expanding our quality fleet in the Capesize segment, which we strongly believe represents the best fundamentals in the dry bulk industry. We will continue to actively pursue accretive acquisition opportunities of quality Capesize vessels with an aim of increasing value for our shareholders.”

Following this delivery the Company owns a modern fleet of eleven dry bulk carriers, consisting of nine Capesizes and two Supramaxes, with a combined cargo-carrying capacity of approximately 1,682,582 dwt and an average fleet age of about 8.1 years.

In other shipping industry developments:

DryShips Inc., a diversified owner of ocean going cargo vessels, announced this week it has received firm commitment for a senior secured credit facility of up to US$150 million with ABN AMRO bank and KEXIM, to partly finance the delivery of its four Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs). The facility remains subject to definitive documentation. The facility will be secured by the Company’s four VLGCs, will have a tenor of six years, will bear an interest rate of LIBOR plus margin and will have an amortization profile of approximately 12 years.

Scorpio Tankers Inc. announced this month that it has entered into definitive agreements to merge with Navig8 Product Tankers Inc. and acquire Navig8’s 27 operating product tankers. Subject to the terms and conditions of these agreements, Scorpio will acquire four LR1 tankers prior to the closing of the merger (the ‘LR1 Vessel Acquisitions’) and the remaining 23 tankers upon the closing of the merger, in exchange for the issuance of 55 million shares of Scorpio common stock to the Navig8 shareholders. In connection with the LR1 Vessel Acquisitions, Scorpio will pay cash consideration of US$42.2 million, which is net of assumed debt. This cash is expected to remain with Navig8 through closing and will form part of the balance sheet of the combined company, subject to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement.

Seaspan Corporation announced last week that it has accepted delivery of the YM Wind, a 14000 TEU containership that will commence a fixed rate charter with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. for a ten-year term with an option to extend for an additional two years. The new containership, which was constructed at CSBC Corporation, Taiwan, is the ninth 14000 TEU SAVER design containership to join Seaspan’s fleet, and expands the company’s operating fleet to 89 vessels.

Nordic American Tankers Limited – the chairman and CEO and his immediate family increase its holding in NAT. A company owned by the NAT Chairman and CEO, Herbjorn Hansson and his son, Alexander, this week bought 250,000 shares in NAT at an average price of $5.70 per share. In addition to the holdings of the past, following the transaction, the immediate Hansson family holds shares equivalent to 3.2% of NAT.