DryShips Offloads Tanker Fleet

Owner and operator of ships DryShips Inc. has entered into firm sales agreements with entities controlled by the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, George Economou, to sell its four Suezmax tankers.

The tanker fleet, comprised of Vilamoura, Lipari, Petalidi and Bordeira, is to be sold for an en-bloc sales price of USD 245 million.

In addition, it has entered into agreements with entities controlled by Mr. Economou to potentially sell its six Aframax tankers, Belmar, Calida, Alicante, Mareta, Saga and Daytona.

The company said that the agreements to sell the Aframax fleet are not effective until the purchaser confirms his unconditional acceptance latest by June 30, 2015.

Under the terms of the firm sales agreements on the four Suezmax tankers, the purchasers will pay upfront 20% to DryShips and the balance purchase price will be due on delivery which will be between July 1, 2015 and October 31, 2015.

Under the terms of the agreements on the six Aframax tankers, the purchasers could potentially acquire these tankers for an en-bloc sales price of USD 291 million, as long as they confirm their unconditional acceptance by June 30, 2015, DryShips said.

“Other than the sales price, all other material terms and conditions of this potential transaction mirror the terms and conditions on the sale of the four Suezmax tankers, including a 20% upfront payment to DryShips,” the company added.

Ziad Nakhleh, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, said that the proceeds from the sale of the four Suezmaxes will be used  to repay the associated secured bank debt under the company’s ABN AMRO Bridge Loan.

“Furthermore, we are excited about the potential to sell our Aframax fleet. Assuming the confirmation of the purchasers by the due date, we expect these transactions will generate approximately an additional USD 150 million in free cash which could be potentially used to prepay any remaining outstanding amount under our ABN AMRO Bridge Loan and for other general corporate purposes,” he added.

DryShips owns a fleet of 39 drybulk carriers, comprising 13 Capesize, 24 Panamax and 2 Supramax with a combined deadweight tonnage of approximately 4.3 million tons, and 10 tankers, comprising 4 Suezmax and 6 Aframax, with a combined deadweight tonnage of over 1.3 million tons.

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