Cape deal sealed

DryShips of Greece has completed the acquisition of capesize bulker that has been the subject of speculation for several months.

In the Nasdaq-listed operator’s first-quarter earnings report it admitted to purchasing the 179,100-dwt Conches (built 2011) from an unaffiliated third party.

The company said the vessel, which has been renamed Raiatea, officially changed hands on 24 April and cost approximately $53m.

According to a fleet profile found in today’s report the ship is earning a gross rate of $26,000 in a contract that will conclude in May 2014 at the earliest and January 2015 at the latest.

Today, 170,000-dwt bulkers trading in the spot market are seeing day rates of around $10,600 on average while tonnage taken on time charter is commanding approximately $21,000.

When TradeWinds first reported that a deal was in the works observers noted there were rumours suggesting KCH Shipping of South Korea sold the Conches to Knightsbridge Tankers back in January. At the time, the unit was valued at $46m to $51.5m.