Greek shipping and media mogul Aristides Alafouzos has confirmed his return to the newbuilding market after a gap of around seven years.

Alafouzos-controlled Argonaftis Investment, part of the Kathimerini publishing group, has paid $108.9m for twin tankers at Samsung Heavy Industries, according to a statement to the Athens Stock Exchange.

Aristides Alafouzos.

Forty percent of the contract cost will be covered by equity, with bank financing used to pay the remainder, the statement explains.

No further details regarding the ships have been provided, but it is thought the tankers are two of nine aframaxes revealed by the South Korean shipbuilder at the tail end of last week.

The tally could swell to 12 should the two Greek owners take up all of the options available.

As TradeWinds reported Friday Alafouzos-controlled Kyklades Maritime and another mystery Greek had been linked to the deal.

It is Alafouzos first newbuilding order since 2003, when he penned three 160,000-dwt double-hull tankers at Universal Shipbuilding in Japan at a reported $55 to $60m each.

The Greek owner controls another three 150,000-dwt tankers built in 1999, 2000 and 2001, as well as the 106,000-dwt tanker Okeanis (built 1997).

In addition to the Kathimerini newspaper, the Alafouzos family is also behind the Skai TV station, which has been a leader of the digital revolution and is the only widescreen station on Greek TV.