Golden Ocean Group Limited (NASDAQ and OSE: GOGL) (Golden Ocean) today announced that it has agreed to acquire two modern Capesize vessels from affiliates of Hemen Holding Limited, a company indirectly controlled by trusts established by Mr John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family ("Hemen"), the Company's largest shareholder, at a purchase price of USD 43.0 million per vessel.
As settlement of the purchase price for the vessels, the Company will enter into a non-amortizing seller's credit loan with an affiliate of Hemen for 50% of the purchase price, which bears interest at LIBOR + 3.00% per annum and matures three years after delivery of the vessels.
The remaining part of the purchase price will be settled on delivery of the vessels with an estimated USD 9.0 million of cash and an estimated USD 34.0 million of newly-issued common shares of the Company at a per-share price equal to the offer price in an expected equity offering. Following completion of the acquisition and expected equity offering, Hemen, together with certain of its affiliates, will maintain its current ownership percentage of approximately 34.2% of the Company's issued and outstanding common shares.
Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, CEO of Golden Ocean Management AS, commented: "We are pleased to be in the position to acquire high quality, modern Capesize vessels that are expected to generate free cash flow immediately upon delivery. This transaction is consistent with our strategy of focusing our commercial efforts on the vessel segments that we believe will provide the greatest leverage to a recovery in the dry bulk shipping market. Golden Ocean's financial position has been enhanced significantly over the past 12 months. With a strong cash balance we intend to terminate the covenant waivers related to the Company's recourse debt upon completion of the expected equity offering. This will reinstate the normal covenants, which the Company is now in compliance with, and remove the Company's restrictions on new acquisitions, new debt and dividend payments. The waiver structure in the non-recourse debt related to the transactions announced in March 2017 will remain."
Completion of the vessel acquisition is subject to completion of an equity offering and entry into the seller's credit loan, as described above, and other customary closing conditions. The vessels are expected to be delivered within four months of the date hereof.