Golden Ocean Group Limited , the world’s leading owner of large-size dry bulk vessels, announces it has entered into an agreement to acquire six modern 208,000 deadweight tons (dwt) vessels equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, for a total consideration of $291 million. The newly-acquired vessels will be chartered back to their former owner, an unrelated third party, for approximately 36 months at an average daily time charter equivalent rate of approximately $21,000 net.
“This acquisition cements our position as the largest owner of modern Capesize vessels. It also increases our fleet’s fuel efficiency and reduces its emissions profile as we continue to make progress toward our 2030 emission-reduction target of 30%. We have acted on what we see as a short-term weakness in asset prices to acquire high-quality assets with strong return profiles that will comply with all environmental regulations beyond 2030. We have structured the acquisition to manage short-term risk through profitable time charter contracts while increasing our long-term exposure aligning with our optimistic outlook. Due to our strong balance sheet, we are able to do the transaction with moderate leverage and cash on hand without impacting our dividend capacity.” said Mr. Ulrik Andersen, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Ocean Management AS.
The acquisition will be financed by a new $233 million credit facility, which will be secured by the newly-acquired vessels and two unencumbered vessels, and cash on hand. Over the past 24 months, Golden Ocean has sold 11 older vessels, generating aggregate net proceeds of approximately $124 million. These proceeds are sufficient to fund the majority of the expected equity required, based on conservative debt financing assumptions, for the ten Kamsarmax newbuildings currently under construction as well as the six newly-acquired vessels.
Following the Acquisition, Golden Ocean will be the world’s largest publicly-listed dry bulk company in terms of dwt.