dryshipsATHENS – DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) announced today the sale, via novation, of two of its 158,000 DWT suezmax dry bulk carriers, the Esperona and Blanca, which are under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries.

The tankers were initially ordered by Dryships at the end of 2010 with a staggered delivery over a two year period.  Dryships’ idea at the time, according to their Chairman and CEO George Economou, was that “the staggered deliveries for our newbuildings over the next three years will allow us to take advantage of an improvement in market conditions.”

For the dry bulk market, conditions have been quite challenging since 2010.

This sale was no ordinary sale either…

Under the terms of the agreements dated December 27, 2012, the undisclosed buyer assumes all rights, benefits, liabilities and obligations under both shipbuilding contracts, in exchange for cash consideration of $21.4 million (that is, $10.7 million for each vessel) paid by Dryships to the buyer.

As a result of this transaction, Dryships is released from all its obligations under the shipbuilding contracts, both as the contracting party and as a guarantor.

George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dryships, commented: ‘‘As we have stated recently, the reduction or elimination of CAPEX has become a top priority for the company. With the sale of these vessels, Dryships has reduced its CAPEX by approximately $101 million, after taking into consideration the payment of $21.4 million to the buyer of the vessels.’’

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