ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2014) - Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK), a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today announced that it has taken delivery of M/V Star Fighter (the "vessel" -- formerly "Supra Challenger II"), an Ultramax bulk carrier of 61,462 deadweight tons carrying capacity, built in Japan by Imabari Shipbuilding Group in September of 2013. Pursuant to the Company's flexible commercial strategy, the vessel has been employed on a short-term time charter for a period of minimum 4 months up to maximum 6 months, at a gross hire rate of $13,400 per day. M/V Star Fighter is the second of the two modern Ultramax bulk carriers delivered to the Company, pursuant to the relevant definitive agreement announced on November 18, 2013.
The Company also announced today, that it has executed a commitment term sheet with a major European lending bank for a seven-year senior secured term loan facility, for an amount equal to 60% of the fair market value of the two Ultramax bulk carriers acquired, Star Challenger and Star Fighter (together the "vessels"). Under the terms of the commitment term sheet, the drawdown of the loan is expected to take place by February 2014, subject to completion of customary definitive documentation. The Company has financed the acquisition of both vessels using cash on hand and intends to partially refinance their purchase price utilizing the proceeds from the secured credit facility.
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 which include 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 fifteen dry bulk carriers. The total fleet consists of five Capesize, two Ultramax and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,413,526 deadweight tons. The average age of our current operating fleet is approximately 9.5 years. Additionally, we have nine third party dry bulk vessels under our management, four Capesize, two Panamax and three Supramax vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,030,720 deadweight tons. We have also entered into agreements for the construction of nine fuel efficient dry bulk vessels, three Newcastlemax vessels, two Capesize vessels and four Ultramax vessels, with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,227,000 deadweight tons. All of the newbuilding vessels are expected to be delivered during 2015 and 2016.
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.