In a conversation with Ridgebury Tankers CEO Robert Burke this afternoon, he confirmed that his company has agreed to acquire four MR tankers from Yasa Shipping. The ships were all built at Hyundai Mipo in 2009.
Upon delivery, Ridgebury’s fleet will consist of these four ships, plus 2 Japanese-built MR product tankers, and a Suezmax resale from Samsung Heavy Industries.
“We’re just going to sit on this for a bit and see where the market moves,” commented Burke on the growth of his fleet. “We could go toward crude if the market turns…there’s a lot of pain in that area, or go with product tankers. We just don’t know yet.”
The “pain”, Burke notes, is in reference to Frontline’s recent announcement that the tanker market is “massively oversupplied” and that scrapping tankers older than 15 years may the be the best course of action from an investment standpoint.
On the day to day of his business, Burke notes things are going well. He has a few new hires in the pipeline and his relationship with private equity firm Riverstone Holdings has been going extremely well.
“Riverstone are great equity partners, and quite frankly great guys. They know the energy business, provide valuable guidance and significant confidence in our ability to run the business and make decisions.”
As for other deals outside of the shipping biz, Burke said no. “A significant portion of my net worth is invested in Ridgebury… that’s pretty much the first thing equity firms ask before they invest with you.”
I suppose if you’re asking for a $200 million equity investment, that makes a lot of sense.