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Belships ASA acquires Ultramax bulk carrier

Published by , Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

Belships ASA has agreed to acquire a new-building resale financed through a bareboat agreement for 10 years.

The 61 000 DWT Ultramax bulk carrier of Japanese design is expected to be delivered upon completion of construction at a Chinese yard during November 2021 and will be named BELFORCE. The estimated cash breakeven for the vessel upon delivery is approximately US$10 900/d including operational expenses. Belships will pay a sum of US$3.0 million upon signing contract, expected to occur during 2Q21, and which will be financed from available cash. The agreement comes with purchase options significantly below current market values and can be exercised after the third year until the end of the charter. There are no obligations to purchase the vessel. The agreement is conditional upon certain subjects being lifted by the parties involved. Conclusion is expected within June 2021.

Belships is taking over an existing contract for a brand-new vessel soon ready for delivery whilst the orderbook approaches the lowest levels seen in 30 years. This vessel transaction signals the competitive advantage Belships has in sourcing ship finance. Belships’ fleet continues to increase and improve with only modest cash investments. Japanese-design Ultramax bulk carriers entering the fleet represent some of the highest quality and lowest fuel consumption available in the market today.

BELFOREST has been fixed for a time charter contract to a global agricultural corporation for approximately one year at a daily rate of US$21 250/d gross. The contract starts running within the end of May 2021.

"This is another step in expanding and developing Belships. We expect this vessel acquisition to add to the company’s increasingly compelling earnings prospects. Together with the latest time charter contract we believe these agreements will generate outsized returns and contribute to generate distributable income," said Belships CEO, Lars Christian Skarsgård.

The previously announced sale of BELORIENT has been completed and the vessel has been delivered to its new owners.

Belships has a uniform and modern fleet of bulk carriers well positioned to capitalise on a strong dry bulk market. Five new-buildings are expected to be delivered between August - November 2021, all of which have finance arranged. Following completion of all announced transactions, the Belships fleet will count 26 Supramax/Ultramax bulk carriers, with an average age of under five years and average cash breakeven of approximately US$10 500. The strategy is to develop Belships as an owner and operator of geared bulk carriers, through quality of operations and pursue accretive growth opportunities for the purpose of maximising shareholder value.

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