Knightsbridge Acquires Six Capesize Vessels

  • Business & Finance

Knightsbridge Tankers Limited (Knightsbridge) today announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire five fuel efficient 180,000 DWT Capesize bulk carrier newbuildings from Frontline 2012 and one Capesize bulk carrier built in 2013 from Karpasia.

Knightsbridge Acquires Six Capesize Vessels

Knightsbridge has agreed to pay $61 million for each of the five Capesize newbuildings and $55 million for the Capesize built in 2013. Of the total consideration of $360 million, $186 million will be paid in shares of Knightsbridge at $10 per share, $150 million in absorption of remaining newbuilding capex and $24 million in cash.

Accordingly, Knightsbridge has agreed to issue 15.5 million shares to Frontline 2012 and 3.1 million shares to Karpasia, or another company controlled by trusts established by John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family, on closing of the transaction.

Knightsbridge will seek to raise around $30 million in bank debt per vessel. The transaction is subject to execution of definitive documentation and normal closing conditions.

Following the issuance of the shares, Knightsbridge will have 49.1 million shares outstanding. The company expects to have ten Capesizes on the water by the end of September 2014 and in addition four newbuildings delivering in 2015.

Knightsbridge’s strategic plan is to grow its Capesize fleet and its cash flow per share as the drybulk market recovers. The Knightsbridge Board of Directors will consider acquiring further Capesize vessels from the market as well as from Frontline 2012.

Frontline 2012 has further 25 shipbuilding contracts for fuel efficient Capesizes with deliveries expected to take place between Q3 2014 and Q3 2016, distributed with five vessels in 2014, 14 vessels in 2015 and six vessels in 2016.

Commenting on the transaction, Ola Lorentzon, Chief Executive Officer of Knightsbridge, stated: “The purchase by Knightsbridge of the six Capesize vessels will help us in developing the leading New York listed Capesize owner. We believe that acquiring these vessels will greatly benefit our shareholders through additional scale and reduced fleet age and we believe it will increase our opportunity to benefit from a dry bulk market recovery. We will seek to have a moderate debt level per vessel and favorable amortization profile, with the ambition to create a structure that allows for high distribution capacity. Needless to say, it is a major step for the Company.”

The Chairman of Frontline 2012, John Fredriksen, said: “We are very pleased to be able to enter into a transaction with Knightsbridge, which is in line with our strategic plan of creating pure plays in different shipping segments through consolidation, divestments and spin offs.

 

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March 10, 2014

 

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