DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) announced Monday that it has entered into agreements to acquire four modern Newcastlemax bulk carriers as the company continues to diversify its fleet.
The agreements were entered into with unaffiliated third parties.
The four Newcastlemax bulk carriers are approximately 206,000 DWT each and have an average age of 3.0 years. DryShips said it expects to take delivery of the vessels before the end of June 2017.
DryShips will finance the total gross purchase price of approximately $124 million using cash on hand. Current liquidity stands at approximately $455 million, the company said.
Two of the vessels will be employed under time charter contracts, while the other two will trade in the spot market.
“We are very pleased to have increased the size of our drybulk fleet by acquiring four modern sister vessels at historical low prices,” commented George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Spot rates for drybulk vessels have continued to improve since the beginning of the year and our outlook for drybulk is positive given the modest order-book and the continued strength of the Chinese economy that generates demand for raw commodities. We continue to look at opportunities to diversify and grow our fleet with high quality tonnage and significant operating leverage.”
DryShips’ owned fleet now consists of 13 Panamax bulk carriers, one Very Large Crude Carrier, on Aframax tanker newbuilding, two Very Large Gas Carrier newbuildings, and six offshore support vessels, comprising two platform supply and four oil spill recovery vessels.
Newcastlemax vessels are typically referred to as having a maximum beam of 50 meters and maximum length overall of 300 meters i.e., the largest vessel able to enter the port of Newcastle, Australia.