Stalwart Tankers Inc, an Athens-based “prospective” chemical tanker owner led by Dimitrios J. Souravlas filed for IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
In their IPO filing, Stalwart notes, “We believe that these dynamics indicate that the market for chemical tankers is in the early stages of a recovery from cyclical lows.” They cite data from Drewry Maritime Research which shows that charter rates for stainless steel tankers increased by 8.4 percent in 2013 while the orderbook for stainless steel tankers has remained conservative at 7.9% of the overall fleet.
Stalwart notes that they currently do not own any ships, however upon closure of the IPO, will acquire five Liberian-flagged, Japanese-built chemical tankers followed by an aggressive fleet expansion program of new and second-hand vessels.
In their filing, the company notes that they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) with an undisclosed Korean shipyard valued for four mid-size stainless steel chemical tankers with scheduled delivery dates expected to begin in 2016, as well as option to acquire an additional two vessels with potential delivery dates during 2017. The newbuilding and the options come at an aggregate price of $174 million and $87 million, respectively.
In addition Stalwart reveals plans to acquire five secondhand stainless steel chemical tankers built at various times between 2005 and 2010 and each with approximately 20,000 to 25,000 dwt capacity.
Stalwart’s fleet will be placed under a combination of short- and medium-term time or bareboat charters, and in the spot market.
As a protection against the expansion of global chemical tanker capacity, Stalwart notes that “in contrast to oil tankers and drybulk carriers, the number of shipyards with the technical capability to build stainless steel vessels is quite limited and, as such, a sudden influx of supply beyond what is already on order is unlikely.”