Star Bulk Carriers announced last week that it has entered into an en bloc agreement with entities affiliated with E.R. Capital Holding GmbH & Cie. KG pursuant to which the Company will acquire three (Step 1) firm operating dry bulk vessels within 2018, and four (Step 2) optional operating dry bulk vessels in 2019.
The Step 1 Vessels will be acquired for an aggregate of approximately 1.34 million common shares of Star Bulk and USD 41.70 million in cash. The number of Step 1 Consideration Shares to be issued is subject to adjustments for the Company’s cash, debt and remaining capital expenditures as of one business day prior to the delivery date of each of the Step 1 Vessels.
The cash portion of the consideration for Step 1 Vessels will be financed through proceeds of a new five-year term loan of USD 41.0 million from a major European commercial bank. Following the consummation of the Step 1 Acquisition, E.R. will own approximately 1.45% of SBLK common shares.
In relation to the Step 2 Vessels, the Sellers have granted four call options to the Company for an aggregate exercise price of USD 115.39 million or USD 28.85 million per Step 2 Vessel, exercisable on April 1st 2019.
After giving effect to Step 1 Acquisition and Step 2 Acquisition, Star Bulk will have a fleet of 115 vessels on a fully delivered basis, aggregate cargo-carrying capacity of approximately 13.39 million DWT and vessels with an average age of 7.5 years.
Petros Pappas, Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk, commented:
“I am very pleased that Star Bulk is acquiring a high quality, modern fleet from E.R. in a structured transaction that combines attractive prices with flexibility for the Company. We are excited to expand our footprint in the Capesize segment, especially in a period that the dry bulk market is tightening. It is also with great pleasure to welcome a prominent ship owner, Mr. Erck Rickmers, to our shareholder base and believe that this transaction validates once again Star Bulk’s ability to use our shares as currency in accretive acquisitions for our shareholders.“
Sea News, September 3