Safe Bulkers Pursues its Fleet Renewal and Deleveraging Strategy

SafeBulkers

Safe Bulkers, an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, announced that in relation to its fleet renewal strategy, it has entered into agreements: i) for the acquisition of two Japanese-built, dry-bulk, Post-Panamax class, 87,000 dwt, newbuild vessels at attractive prices with scheduled delivery dates within the first and the second quarter of 2023 respectively; ii) for the sale of two Chinese 2012 built, Kamsarmax class, 82,000 dwt vessels at gross sale prices of $22.5 and $22.0 million with scheduled delivery dates within the second and third quarter of 2021 respectively.

The newbuild vessels are designed to meet the requirements of Energy Efficiency Design Index related to Green House Gas, GHG emissions, ‘EEDI, Phase 3’ and also comply with the NOx emissions regulation, NOx-Tier III and will be financed from the cash reserves of the Company.

In relation to vessel sales the company will pay prior to each delivery the respective associated debt in the aggregate amount of $28.0 million. Upon completion of the two sales the net liquidity is expected to increase by about $16.5 million.

In the context of our deleveraging strategy the company has scheduled to voluntarily prepay $27.3 million of debt in May 2021.

The Company’s consolidated debt before deferred financing costs has been reduced from $607.6 million in March 31, 2021 to $593.7 million as of today. On a pro-forma basis reflecting the above transactions and the previously announced sale and lease back agreement for an existing vessel of $24.3 million for the refinancing of a $16.3 million outstanding term loan facility the consolidated debt before deferred financing costs is expected to be further reduced to about $546.4 million.

Dr. Loukas Barmparis, President of the Company commented: “Safe Bulkers is continuing its renewal strategy since December 2020, by ordering two additional newbuilds with attractive delivery dates, bringing their total number to four GHG – EEDI Phase 3, NOx-Tier III newbuilds and one second hand acquisition and by selectively selling in total of four older vessels. At the same time the Company is accelerating its deleveraging, maintaining a strong liquidity position.”

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