Star Bulk Acquiring Oceanbulk to Create Largest U.S. Listed Dry Bulk Company

Photo courtesy Star Bulk
Photo courtesy Star Bulk

Athens-based Star Bulk Carriers Corp. announced today an all-stock deal to acquire 15 dry bulk carriers and 26 newbuilds as part of a full acquisition of Oceanbulk Shipping, which will create the largest U.S.-listed dry bulk shipper.

The new vessels will add an aggregate capacity of approximately 1.75 million deadweight tons to Star Bulk’s fleet and includes five Capesize vessels; two post-Panamax vessels; six Kamsarmax vessels; and two Supramax vessels.

Plus contracts for the construction of 26 fuel-efficient, eco-design newbuilding dry bulk vessels including eight Newcastlemax vessels; eight Capesize vessels; and ten Ultramax vessels

The newbuilds are scheduled to be delivered in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and upon delivery, will create the largest, diversified, ultra-modern U.S.-listed dry bulk company with a fully delivered fleet of 69 vessels approximating 8.7 million deadweight tons.

Upon completion of the transaction, Oaktree Investors will own 61.3% of Star Bulk’s shares of common stock and the Pappas family, including Mr. Petros Pappas and his immediate family members, will own 12.5% of Star Bulk’s common stock. Mr. Petros Pappas will become the Chief Executive Officer of the company and Mr. Spyros Capralos will become Non-Executive Chairman of the Board.

Based on 54.104 million newly issued shares valued at $653 million on last Friday’s close, the combined market capitalization of Star Bulk, assuming the June 13, 2014 closing share price of $12.07 per share, would be $1,009 million.

Petros Pappas, Chairman of Star Bulk Carriers Corp., commented, “I am looking forward to assuming the CEO role and will focus on, among other things, maximizing the performance of the existing fleet, overseeing the successful delivery of the significant existing newbuilding program, and positioning the Company to grow quickly and significantly in the highly fragmented dry bulk sector”.

The Transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days.