SOURCE: Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

January 28, 2008 08:41 ET

Star Bulk Acquires a Capesize Bulk Carrier

Expands Fleet to Ten Vessels With Full 2008 Time Charter Cover

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 28, 2008) - Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a Capesize bulk carrier of approx. 180,000 dwt, built in 1991 in Japan, for approximately $83.7 million from Japanese interests. The vessel will be financed through a combination of company cash and bank debt.

The vessel, to be renamed the M/V Star Sigma, is scheduled to be delivered to Star Bulk within April/May 2008. It comes with a one-year time charter back to its present owners which will commence on the day of its delivery to Star Bulk at a gross rate of $100,000 daily thereby expected to add revenue in excess of $35 million during its twelve month employment under the time charter.

Following this acquisition Star Bulk's fleet expands to ten vessels of approximately 927,000 dwt in total and an average age of approximately 11 years. The fleet operating days in 2008 are fully contracted under fixed rate time charters.

Akis Tsirigakis, President and CEO of Star Maritime, commented: "Capitalizing on our industry relations, we consistently implement our strategy of selective fleet expansion through accretive acquisitions, while seeking to secure strong, stable and predictable cash flows. We actively aim to enhance shareholder value and reinforce Star Bulk's competitive strengths in the dry bulk sector.

"In this instance, the accretive acquisition of the M/V Star Sigma at a price nearly 2.6 times its expected first year EBITDA expands our fleet to ten vessels in total while its attractive time charter employment augments Star Bulk's annualized contracted revenue by more than 30%.

"Our fleet operating days for 2008 are fully contracted under fixed rate time charters sustaining our dividend policy and further expansion plans."

Fleet Table

The following table sets forth summary information regarding Star Bulk's fleet.

                                                Time
                                      Delivery Charter  Time
                                Year  to Star  Expiry  Charter
Vessel Name     Type      DWT   Built   (*)      (1)   Rate (2)
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
CURRENT FLEET
                                               Oct. 5,
Star Alpha    Capesize  175,075 1992            2009   $ 47,500
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Mar. 31,
Star Beta     Capesize  174,691 1993             2010  $106,500
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Jan. 25,
Star Gamma    Supramax  53,098  2002             2009  $ 28,500
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                                May 7,
Star Delta    Supramax  52,434  2000             2009  $ 25,800
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Mar. 15,
Star Epsilon  Supramax  52,402  2001             2009  $ 25,550
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Mar. 28,
                                                 2008  $ 30,500
                                                 Mar.
Star Zeta     Supramax  52,994  2003             2013  $ 38,750
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Jun. 16,
Star Theta    Supramax  52,425  2003             2009  $ 32,500
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                               Nov. 23,
Star Kappa    Supramax  52,055  2001             2010  $ 47,800
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------

              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
Total                   665,174
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------

VESSELS TO BE DELIVERED
                                        Feb.   Feb. 15,
Star Iota     Panamax   78,585  1983    2008     2009  $ 18,000
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
                                        May    May 31,
Star Sigma    Capesize  184,000 1991    2008     2009  $100,000
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------
Fleet Total             927,759
              --------- ------- ----- -------- ------- --------


(*) Indicates expected delivery date to Star Bulk.
(1) Represents the latest expiry date allowed by the charter party
(2) Represents the gross daily rate

About Star Bulk

Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks such as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and is headquartered in Athens, Greece. Its common stock and warrants trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbols "SBLK" and "SBLKW" respectively. Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of eight dry bulk carriers, plus definitive agreements to acquire a further two dry bulk carriers. The total fleet consists of three Capesize, one Panamax and six Supramax dry bulk vessels with an average age of approximately 11 years and a combined cargo carrying capacity of 927,759 deadweight tons.

Forward-Looking Statements

The information in this press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: (1) the delivery and operation of assets of Star Bulk; (2) Star Bulk's future operating or financial results; (3) future, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy, areas of possible expansion, and expected capital spending or operating expenses; (4) drybulk market trends, including charter rates and factors affecting vessel supply and demand; and (5) other statements identified by words such as "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "will," "should," "may," or words of similar meaning.

Such forward-looking statements are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, Star Bulk's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in their records and other data available from third parties. Although Star Bulk believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond their control, Star Bulk cannot assure you that Star Bulk will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the failure of a seller to deliver one or more vessels, the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charterhire rates and vessel values, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydocking, changes in Star Bulk's operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists. Additional factors that could cause Star Bulk's results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Star Bulk's Registration Statement on Form F-1/F-4 and reports on Form 6-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and available at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and Star Bulk disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    Company:
    Akis Tsirigakis
    President and CEO
    Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
    Aethrion Center, Suite B-34
    40 Ag. Konstantinou
    Maroussi 15124
    Athens, Greece
    E-mail: ir@starbulk.com
    www.starbulk.com

    Investor Relations / Financial Media:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    President
    Capital Link, Inc.
    230 Park Avenue, Suite 1536
    New York, NY 10169
    Tel. (212) 661-7566
    E-mail: nbornozis@capitallink.com
    www.capitallink.com