Economou linked to $210m-worth of tanker and bulker transactions

George Economou is being linked with fleet transactions in the tanker and bulker markets in deals that could run to $210m for eight vessels.

Economou is a new name in the frame to buy the India Steamship long-range-two (LR2) tanker fleet after a transaction with Victor Restis failed to materialise.

He is also being connected with four newcastlemax bulkers previously thought to be heading to Saverys family newcomer Hunter Maritime Acquisition.

Some brokers believe Economou has tied up the 105,800-dwt tankers Ratna Namrata, Ratna Shradha and Ratna Shruti (all built 2008), and the Ratna Shalini (built 2010) from India Steamship in a transaction worth around $90m.

Suggestions of a deal already being completed are premature.

India Steamship is a subsidiary of KK Birla group’s Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals, which has been looking to exit the shipping market for some time. However, both Restis and Prime Marine have failed to complete a purchase, having taken the ships on subjects. Sources are optimistic the fleet will soon be sold.

Economou’s TMS Tankers owns more than 30 crude carriers and has been active this week, buying a secondhand VLCC. The owner is also believed to be exploring VLCC newbuildings.

Another quartet being linked with Economou, this time via quoted company DryShips, is a newcastlemax bunch that Hunter Maritime had secured on subjects for what would have been its debut purchase.

That $114m deal is said to have faltered, and DryShips, which is ready to buy after a restructuring effort, is rumoured to be stepping in at a price of $120m.

The ships involved are the 205,000-dwt Valley Star and Moritz Oldendorff (both built 2013), Super Star (built 2014) and Wish Star (built 2015).

VesselsValue places Economou’s total fleet of more than 100 live ships and offshore assets at $4.53bn, with his 25 newbuildings worth a further $3bn.

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