July 2, 2007
Quintana in sale-and-leaseback agreement
Athens-based dry-bulk specialist Quintana Maritime Limited (NasdaqGS:QMAR) says it has agreed to a transaction with Glitnir Finance AS involving the sale and lease-back of seven of its oldest Panamax ships: Coal Glory, built in 1995, and Iron Man, Linda Leah, Barbara, Coal Age, Fearless I, and King Coal, all built in 1997.
The sale and lease-back deal is expected to produce net proceeds of approximately $250 million, and the Quintana expects to operate the ships for eight years, paying an average daily bareboat charter rate of approximately $12,700 for each vessel. The transaction is expected to close before the end of July 2007.
Quintana will retain commercial and technical control of the seven vessels, which will remain in its fleet over the next eight years. If the transaction is completed as currently contemplated, Quintana intends to allocate $185 million of the net proceeds to the repayment of debt outstanding under its revolving credit facility.
In connection with this repayment, Quintana expects to renegotiate its mandatory annual capital repayments of debt in order to reduce the payments by $9.0 million in the last six months of 2007, $17.0 million in 2008 and $11.5 million each year from 2009 through the maturity of the revolving credit facility in September 2014.
Quintana expects to retain the remaining proceeds from the sale and lease-back transaction of approximately $65 million in cash.
The sale transaction is expected to produce a non-operating book loss of approximately $10.0 million, after write-offs of unamortized dry docking costs and expenses of approximately $7.0 million, which will be amortized over the eight-year lives of the bareboat charters.
Stamatis Molaris, Chief Executive Officer and President, stated, "This transaction is consistent with our strategy to reduce the average age of our fully owned fleet and mitigate the residual value risk from the company's pre-2000 built fleet. We intend to achieve this objective by exploiting the current positive market valuations of secondhand assets. We expect that the transaction will strengthen our balance sheet and liquidity capability. We believe that the combination of our decreasing leverage and significant time charter coverage will provide the Company with the financial flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and to continue to reward our shareholders with a consistently growing dividend. We are very excited about this transaction, and we are looking forward to its successful completion."
Paul Cornell, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We are very pleased to have agreed to sell and lease back these seven vessels at a competitive bareboat rate of approximately $12,700 per ship per day on average. Assuming we pay down $185 million of outstanding debt and retain the balance of the proceeds, the insignificant dilution resulting from this use of proceeds is not expected to have a material impact on earnings per share over the remaining half of the year."