Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. announced that it has repurchased 362,161 common shares, or approximately 2% of its issued and outstanding shares, at an average price of approximately $4.35 per share pursuant to its previously announced share repurchase program. The average share repurchase price represents approximately a 11.2% discount from the closing price of July 5, 2023.
Moreover, the Company entered into a 12-month bareboat charter agreement with an unaffiliated third party in Japan for a 2011-built Newcastlemax dry bulk vessel of 207,855 dwt built at Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering Co Ltd (NACKS). Pursuant to the terms of the bareboat charter, Seanergy has advanced a down payment of $3.5 million and will pay an additional $3.5 million on delivery of the vessel to the Company, as well as a daily bareboat rate of $9,000 over the charter period. Delivery is estimated to take place between August and December 2023 while at the end of the 12-month bareboat period, Seanergy has an option to purchase the Vessel for $20.2 million.
Stamatis Tsantanis, the Company’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, stated:
“Consistent with our commitment to enhance shareholder value, we have repurchased approximately 2% of our outstanding shares. We continue to be very confident in our Company’s prospects and the industry’s fundamentals.
“The bareboat-in agreement for our first Newcastlemax vessel expands our presence in the sector, without substantial capital outlay on its delivery, and provides a purchase option at the end of the bareboat period. We believe the overall purchase price of approximately $30.5 million, including the bareboat payments, is beneficial to the Company.
“Regarding current market conditions, we see that demand for seaborne transportation of dry bulk commodities is very robust. DWT-miles have grown by 5.8% year-on-year1, while the relevant figures from January until the end of May are the strongest of the last three years.
“We believe current freight-rate weakness is due to three main factors:
First, the unwinding of vessel congestion has released a significant amount of tonnage in the market creating a temporary oversupply of vessels. We believe that later in the year this will be reversed to historical averages that will tighten the supply of tonnage.
Second, certain charterers and operators have been reluctant to comply with new environmental rules relating to reduced carbon emissions and resultant speed caps for their chartered-in fleets. We believe that these vessels will eventually need to abide by the new requirements as charterers and operators come to terms with the new regulations and the global fleet’s average speed will be reduced further. This is also expected to tighten the supply of tonnage.
Lastly, the highly volatile trading of FFA contracts is becoming increasingly disconnected from the fundamentals of the physical market. Instead of its intended use as a hedging tool, following the emergence of algorithmic trading, it is becoming a high-risk instrument that may negatively impact sentiment, which subsequently creeps into the physical market.
“We remain committed to the Capesize sector with a solid operational platform and believe we have positioned Seanergy optimally to capitalize on improvements in the dry bulk market. We will continue to focus on shareholder returns and sustainable growth.”