July 25, 2007
Eagle Bulk in $1.1 billion expansion move
New York City based Eagle Bulk Shipping, Inc. (NasdaqGS:EGLE) has agreed to acquire a fleet of 26 Supramax vessels for $1.1 billion from the parent of Anemi Maritime Services, a private Greek shipping company.
The 53,100 dwt ships are under construction at China's Yangzhou Dayang Shipbuilding Co., with deliveries expected between 2008 and 20012
The acquisition will more than double Eagle Bulk's fleet size from 23 to 49 vessels, expand tonnage by 124%, and reduce the average age of the fleet to 2 years
The transaction is subject to completion of customary documentation and closing conditions.
The 26 Supramax vessels are expected to be delivered between 2008 and 2012.
Of the 26 vessels, 21 are secured by long-term charters up to 2018 with average charter duration in excess of 10 years from today.
Minimum contracted revenue on the chartered vessels is approximately $1 billion. Uncapped profit sharing on 17 of the chartered vessels may further enhance revenue potential.
After the acquisition, the Eagle fleet will consist of 46 Supramax vessels and 3 Handymax vessels. The acquisition will also increase the number of sister ships to 41, further enhancing efficiency and economies of scale.
Contracted revenue on the entire Eagle Bulk fleet of 49 vessels is approximately $1.2 billion. Through 2008, Eagle will have up to 16 vessels to charter to further increase contracted revenue.
Eagle Bulk expects to enter into a proposed new long term $1.6 billion revolving line of credit, to be led by Royal Bank of Scotland plc, that is intended to replace its existing credit facility.
The company announces a quarterly target dividend of $0.50 per share.
Sophocles Zoullas, Chairman and CEO, commented, "This accretive transaction leverages management's strong industry relationships and reaffirms our commitment to the Supramax asset class, which we believe is highly versatile and optimally aligned with global trade demands. With a total fleet size of 49 vessels after this transaction, Eagle Bulk will be strongly positioned to generate healthy and sustainable cash flows for shareholders over the long term. Contracted revenues of approximately $1.2 billion from the fleet charters provide us with confidence that we will be able to pay down debt, sustain a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share over the long term, and execute our growth strategy to increase our returns over time.''
"Furthermore," Zoullas continued, "we believe that the proposed 10-year, $1.6 billion revolving line of credit led by our lender, Royal Bank of Scotland plc, affirms our fundamental financial strength while providing us with the flexibility to pursue additional growth."