DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) (DryShips), a diversified owner of ocean-going cargo vessels, announced yesterday that it has entered into agreements with unaffiliated third parties to acquire four modern Newcastlemax bulk carriers of approximately 206,000 DWT and with an average age of 3.0 years. The Company expects to take delivery of the vessels before the end of June 2017.
The Company will finance the total gross purchase price of approximately $124 million using cash on hand. Current liquidity stands at approximately $455 million.
Two of the vessels will be employed under time charter contracts, while the other two will trade in the spot market.
George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented: “We are very pleased to have increased the size of our drybulk fleet by acquiring four modern sister vessels at historical low prices. Spot rates for drybulk vessels have continued to improve since the beginning of the year and our outlook for drybulk is positive given the modest order-book and the continued strength of the Chinese economy that generates demand for raw commodities. We continue to look at opportunities to diversify and grow our fleet with high quality tonnage and significant operating leverage.”
The Company is a diversified owner of ocean-going cargo vessels that operate worldwide. DryShips owns a fleet of (i) 13 Panamax drybulk carriers, which have a combined deadweight tonnage of approximately 1.0 million dwt, (ii) one Very Large Crude Carrier and one Aframax tanker newbuilding, each of which are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2017, (iii) 2 Very Large Gas Carrier newbuildings which are expected to be delivered in the second and third quarter of 2017, respectively, and (iv) six offshore support vessels, comprising two platform supply and four oil spill recovery vessels.