July 19, 2007
Genco makes $1.1 billion fleet expansion
Increasing its tonnage by 159 percent, New York City based dry bulk specialist Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE: GN) is to acquire nine Capesize vessels from companies within the Metrostar Management Corporation group for a total purchase price of approximately $1.1 billion.
Two of the nine ships were built in the first quarter of 2007 and are expected to be delivered to Genco during the third quarter of 2007.
The remaining seven Capesize vessels are expected to be built, and subsequently delivered to Genco, between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2009.
On completion of the acquisition, Genco's fleet will consist of nine Capesize, seven Panamax, seven Handymax, and five Handysize drybulk carriers, with a total carrying capacity of approximately 2,559,000 dwt and an average age of 8 years.
Genco President Robert Gerald Buchanan commented, "Consistent with Genco's goal of becoming the bellwether in the industry, the agreement to acquire nine Capesize vessels will expand the company's fleet of high quality vessels by well over 100 percent on a tonnage basis. By acquiring the largest class of drybulk vessels, we will also enhance our position for benefiting from the strong demand for iron ore and coal in China and other developing countries. With this acquisition, Genco has once again utilized management's strong industry relationships to further enhance the company's modern fleet profile and future commercial prospects. Given that four of the nine Capesize vessels are already secured on time charters ranging from approximately three to four years, we are well positioned to provide shareholders with stable earnings while maintaining the ability to benefit from the industry's favorable long- term fundamentals."
Genco plans to finance the acquisition of the nine vessels through borrowings under a new $1.4 billion revolving credit facility. The 10-year facility, underwritten by DnB NOR Bank ASA, is intended to replace the company's existing $550 million credit facility and the company's $155 million short-term credit facility and is subject to the execution of definitive agreements. Amounts borrowed under the facility will bear interest at LIBOR plus 0.80% through the fifth anniversary and 0.85% thereafter.
John C. Wobensmith, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "This acquisition significantly enhances our earnings power and meets our return criteria related to earnings and cash flow accretion as well as return on capital hurdles. In further solidifying the company's leading position in the drybulk industry, we intend to draw upon our financial strength, including our new $1.4 billion credit facility, to finance the nine-vessel acquisition. We expect that the new facility, which will have a ten-year term and a favorable interest rate, will replace our $550 million and $155 million facilities and improve management's ability to capitalize on growth opportunities that create long-term value."