SOURCE: Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

March 19, 2010 08:38 ET

Star Bulk Announces Three Year Time Charter to Rio Tinto for the Capesize Star Aurora and Arranges Financing

ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - March 19, 2010) -  Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK), today announced that it has entered into a time charter agreement with Rio Tinto for the Star Aurora, a capsize vessel of 171,199 dwt, built in 2000 in Japan, for a period of about 3 years at a gross daily rate of $27,500. The vessel was recently purchased for USD 42.5 million and is expected to be delivered to its new charterers in the fourth quarter 2010. Star Bulk will finance the acquisition with a mix of own cash and bank debt, has received offers for debt financing of up to 60% of the vessel's price at favorable financing cost and terms and expects to have agreed such financing within the second quarter of 2010.

Akis Tsirigakis, President and CEO of Star Bulk, commented: "We continue our steady steps to renew and grow our fleet in conjunction with our strategy of stable employment with quality counterparties. We are also pleased to see senior debt lenders demonstrably support our acquisition plans via offers of favourable financing terms. The desirable elements are now in place, that is, competitive acquisition price, quality vessel, good contracted employment, quality counterparty and competitive financing.
Currently, our fleet is contracted for 92% of 2010 and 57% of 2011 operating days, amongst the highest contract coverage, giving future earnings visibility. We continue to focus on enhancing shareholder value supported by our strong balance sheet and liquidity."

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 maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "SBLK". Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of eleven dry bulk carriers with definitive agreements to buy one and sell one capesize vessel.  The total fleet consists of four Capesize, and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with an average age of approximately 10.2 years and a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,102,377 deadweight tons.

Forward-Looking Statements
Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, examination by the Company's management of historical operating trends, data contained in its records and other data available from third parties. Although the Company 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 the Company's control, the Company cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in the Company's view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in the Company's operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for the Company's vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and the Company 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 :
    George Syllantavos
    CFO
    Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
    c/o Star bUlk Management Inc.
    7 Fragoklisias Str.
    Maroussi 15125
    Athens, Greece
    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: starbulk@capitallink.com
    www.capitallink.com