SFL announced that it has agreed to sell its seven handysize dry bulk vessels to an Asian based buyer for an aggregate price of approximately $100 million.
Delivery of the vessels is expected to take place before year end, and net cash proceeds are estimated to be more than $50 million after repayment of associated debt. The Company expects to record aggregate book gains of more than $40 million from the sale of the vessels.
The vessels have cargo capacity between 32-34,000 dwt and have been employed in the spot market the last 5 years, after redelivery from their initial charters. With limited long term chartering opportunities for small dry bulk vessels, the intention has been to trade the vessels in the spot market until the markets improved. The sale will not have an impact on our charter backlog, and the net proceeds are expected to be reinvested in new assets.
Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said in a comment: “Our primary business strategy is to own and charter out vessels long term to strong counterparties, and we have added more than $850 million to our charter backlog in 2021. The seven small bulkers were redelivered from the initial charters when the market was soft, and instead of divesting the vessels at the time we have waited for improved market conditions. Asset values in the segment are up 75% this year, and we believe this is a good time for a strategic sale of these vessels”.