DRYS sells 17 ships to Economou, takes impairment charge

SEPTEMBER 10, 2015 — Shares in Athens headquartered DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) plunged today after it said that it has entered into firm sales agreements with entities controlled by its Chairman and CEO George Economou, to sell 17 vessels. It is also reclassifying the rest of its ships as "held for sale," indicating that more such sales could be ahead.

Analysts see the sell off as part of a longer term plan to recapitalize the business.

"Basically the company just has too much debt relative to its earning powers, relative to what rates are. They need to do something like this to recapitalize the company," one leading analyst is quoted as saying.

The 17 vessels, comprised of 13 Capesize and 4 Panamax bulk carriers, are being sold for an aggregate price of $377.0 million, including their existing employment agreements and the assumption of $236.7 million of debt as of September 10, 2015, associated with some of the vessels. All of the individual transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015 and some remain subject to the approval of the applicable lending banks. These transactions were approved by the independent directors of the company.

As a result of the company's decision to sell these vessels, the company expects to recognize an impairment charge of approximately $373 million in its results for the third quarter of 2015.

In addition, the company's Board of Directors, has decided to classify all of the remaining vessels in the fleet, comprised of 20 Panamax and 2 Supramax bulk carriers, as held for sale, and as a result the company expects to recognize an additional impairment charge of approximately $422 million in its results for the third quarter of 2015.

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