Pateras-run Aegeus offloads last bulker to China

Greek bulker company Aegeus Shipping is said to have sold its last vessel.

The 53,400-dwt bulker Marine Stars (built 2006) has gone to a Chinese buyer, fetching about $8.4m, according to Greek and London-based brokers.

Online shipping directories show the vessel under the ownership of UK-based Hengyang Shipping and management of China’s Shanghai Zhengdong Shipping.

Managers at low-profile Aegeus did not respond to a request for comment on the reported sale or to discuss the company’s future before TradeWinds went to press.

Aegeus was established in the late 1970s by Dimitris Pateras, a member of the large Pateras clan that hails from the small Greek island of Oinousses.

The company had since controlled a small fleet of up to three bulkers at any given time. Aegeus is currently led by Dimitris’ son, George, who has served as a board member for the Union of Greek Shipowners and is currently chairman of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.

Aegeus had purchased the Dayang-built vessel - then named Delmar - in December 2010 from compatriot Meadway Shipping for $29.5m. That had been the Athens-based company’s first move into the sale-and-purchase market in seven years and remains its last recorded acquisition.

However, the Marine Stars has had a chequered history. It made headlines three years ago, when it hit a rock off Oinousses, just two days after it ran aground in the Dardanelles, Turkey.

Between October 2016 and February 2017, port state control authorities in Africa twice detained the ship after inspections, leading its then flag state, the Bahamas, to put it under a special monitoring inspection.

In mid-September 2017, the vessel was reportedly arrested in Bangladesh over non-payment of bunkers and, a few days later, it was said to have suffered damage in a collision with another bulker in Chittagong’s outer anchorage. Vessel trackers currently show it is in Singapore.

VesselsValue estimates the ship should be currently worth about $9.5m, more than twice its scrap value.