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New US$140 million loan for Belships to support fleet expansion

Published by , Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

The Belships Group has secured a US$140 million loan facility. The loan replaces the Group's current senior debt of US$105 million.

The new loan will be available in two tranches. An initial tranche of US$110 million will replace Belships existing loan and strengthen the Group's working capital. An accordion tranche of US$30 million will be available for fleet expansion.

Following the merger with Lighthouse Group in December 2018, Belships currently owns twelve supramax and ultramax dry bulk vessels. In addition, the Group operates three ultramax on time and bareboat charter with purchase options. An ultramax newbuilding being delivered next year will bring the fleet to a total of sixteen vessels. The Group has a balanced portfolio, with ships operating both on time charter and in the spot market. Belships is actively pursuing an expansion strategy and expects to acquire additional supramax and/or ultramax vessels going forward.

The new loan enables fleet growth while also further improving the Group's financial robustness. Under the new financial framework, the Group will be cash positive (after opex, overhead and debt service) at a day rate of approximately US$7000 for the remaining open ship days in the coming 24 months. In addition Belships' cash holding upon completion of tranche one of the refinancing will be approximately US$30 million.

The loan has a margin of 275 basis points with the first downpayment in 3Q20. The initial tranche is based on a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 55%, while the accordion tranche is based on an LTV of 60%. Lenders for the new loan facility are DNB Bank, Danske Bank and Sparebank 1 SR-Bank.

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