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Golden Ocean in $272m sale and leaseback deal, sells newbuilds and delays others

Golden Ocean in $272m sale and leaseback deal, sells newbuilds and delays others
John Fredriksen continues to shuffle ownership of assets in his shipping empire with Golden Ocean in a $272m sale and leaseback deal with Ship Finance International for eight capesize bulkers, while the company has delayed and sold newbuildings.

The Golden Beijing, Golden Zhoushan, Golden Magnum, Battersea, Belgravia, Golden Zheijang, Golden Future and KSL China built between 2009 and 2013 are to be sold to Ship Finance for $272m and will then be charted back by Golden Ocean for 10 years.

The daily base charter rate will be $17,600 during the first seven years, and dropping to $14,900 for the final three years.

After the 10th year Golden Ocean has the option to repurchase the vessels enbloc for $112m, if chooses not to the charters will be extended by a further three years at $14,900 per day.

Golden Ocean has also delayed the delivery of an unspecified number of newbuildings under construction at several yards for an aggregate of 75 months.

“This will postpone capital expenditure and possible cash burn on sailing vessels as the market is currently below cash break even,” Golden Ocean said.

“After this it is expected that six vessels will be delivered in 2015, 15 vessels in 2016 and four vessels in 2017.  There is still work in progress to improve delivery positions further.”

The company is also selling four capesizes being built at a Chinese yard to an undisclosed third party for a price that was in line with the original contract price. It has also sold two vessels Channel Alliance and Channel Navigator.

Despite the move to sell vessels and newbuildings Golden Ocean said it remained committed to consolidation in the dry bulk shipping sector.

“These various initiatives are taken in order to strengthen the cash position and balance sheet of the company in the current weak market.

“Golden Ocean is not abandoning its strategy to be a much needed consolidator within the industry, but is rather positioning itself for interesting opportunities which are expected to be available over the coming months,” it said.