Lauritzen linked to sale of handysize bulker

Danish owner said to have continued asset sales from one of its core sectors.

Lauritzen Bulkers continues to dispose of modern handysize bulkers, selling a fifth unit in a little more than a month. 

The Hakodate-built Laura Bulker (built 2008) is understood to have gone to a Turkish buyer for some $7.5m.

Such a figure is largely in line with the four other units that the company has sold of late.

The Laura Bulker sale follows the departure of the 28,700-dwt Amine Bulker and  Sofie Bulker (both built 2007),  the 31,000-dwt  Maren Bulker (built 2008) and the 28,400-dwt Tenna Bulker (built 2005). 

Peter Borup, president of Lauritzen Bulkers, says Lauritzen is not  commenting "on alleged sale and purchase activities in regards to our fleet". 

The company last year sold its capesize bulkers. The 180,000-dwt  Corona Bulker (built 2011) went to Marmaras Navigation of Greece and the sistership  Churchill Bulker (built 2011) to Diana Shipping.

It has also sold other ships from its core handysize segment. 

Asked whether the company is on its way to become a pure operator of bulkers, Borup said: "We have for some time wanted to increase our operator activities in order to make sure we leverage the trading  knowledge generated by our strengths, particularly in the handysize segment.”

Asked why Lauritzen has now decides to sell in a very poor market, Borup said: "I agree that asset values are very low. The question, however, is not merely one of price development, but the cost of holding on to assets that can easily amount to $ 2m to $3m over the next two or three years when drydocking,  ballast treatment systems and generally low freight market predictions are taken into consideration."