Costamare in dry bulk push with 16 vessel buy

Photo: Marcus Hand singaporeanchoragebulk.jpg
A dry bulk carrier at anchor in Singapore
NYSE-listed containership owner Costamare Inc has purchased of 16 ships in a transformational deal that sees the company putting some of its mounting cash balance into expanding into dry bulk carriers.

Athens-based Costamare revealed on 14 June the wave of secondhand acquisitions involve ships of between 33,000 dwt and 85,000 dwt with an average age of 10 years, which are trading in the spot market. Two of the ships have already been delivered while the rest are expected to be delivered by January 2022.

The company sees the dry bulk sector as presenting opportunities.

Gregory Zikos, CFO of Costamare, said: "We have decided to invest in a sector with strong fundamentals that provide improved performance opportunities for our shareholders.”

He said: "The acquisitions will initially be funded with cash while the company is in negotiations to cover the remaining amount with bank lending. Given the nature of the dry industry, we intend to maintain a low leverage of up to 60% of the value of assets. We look forward to providing a detailed update on our business strategy with the announcement of second quarter results."

Zikos said the ships will be managed by the existing platform. This is through an arrangement with V.Ships Greece. In addition management will be strengthened with the addition of several senior dry bulk managers that have been hired from the Onassis group’s Olympic Shipping & Management. They will join Costamare’s ranks next month.

Further, according to market sources John Platsidakis, a former top executive at the Angelicoussis Shipping Group and head of its dry ship arm, Maran Dry Management, will help oversee Costamare’s enlarged operations alongside company principal and CEO, Costis Constantakopoulos. Veteran shipbroker, Nick Pentheroudakis, Honorary President of the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association, will also take a prominent position within the company.

The group was founded by the late Vassilis Constantakopoulos and Costamare has been a pure-play container ship company since the early 1990s, and has been listed on the NYSE for the past 11 years. Its current fleet consists of 81 containerships.

On June 1 Costamare presented its first quarter 2021 results reporting income of $60.6m, more than double a year ago.

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