Dry bulk shipping firm Star Bulk Carriers (Nasdaq: SBLK), announced today signed agreements to acquire two recently-built Ultramax bulk carriers, the M/V “Supra Challenger I” and M/V “Supra Challenger II” for a total consideration of $58.1 million. This is the latest step forward for a company which is gradually coming out of a period of extraordinary financial challenges which have forced reverse stock splits, reduced dividends, and loan covenant restructurings over the past year.
The two 61,462 deadweight ton vessels were built by Imabari Shipbuilding Group in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and are to be renamed “Star Challenger” and “Star Fighter.” Vessel deliveries are expected by mid-January 2014.
With addition of these two vessels, Star Bulk will own 15 bulk carriers consisting of 5 Capes, 2 Ultramax and 8 Supramax. In addition, the company has nine ships under construction including of 3 Newcastlemax, 2 Capesize and 4 Ultramax.
On the other side of the spectrum is their competitor Scorpio Bulkers… a product tanker company which decided to jump head first into the dry bulk sector this summer with the order of 11 brand new Ultramax-sized bulk carriers. This initial order was followed by subsequent orders which have brought their newbuild tally to 26 Ultramax-sized and 10 Kamsarmax- sized vessels, all of which will be delivered in the next three years.