Oslo listed shipowner and operator Belships has added another two (2) ultramax dry bulk carriers to its fleet. Both ultramax dry bulk carriers will enter the Belships’s fleet in 2020. Since July 2019, Belships has ordered a total of six (6) Japan-built ultramax dry bulk carriers to its fleet. Lars Christian Skarsgard led Belships also has signed letters of intent (LOI) to buy a 2017 built ultramax bulk carrier for $24.5 million. Belships plans to finance up to 60% of newbuilding orders’ purchase price using the accordion tranche of a $140 million loan it secured in March 2019. Belships has expanded the business with Lighthouse Navigation merger which has proven to be a great platform for commercial activities. Besides newbuilding orders, Belships take another ultramax dry bulk carrier on a 10-year bareboat charter for $3 million. Bareboat charter deal comes with purchase options at below current market values, which can be exercised after the fourth year until the end of the charter. Bareboat chartered ultramax dry bulk carrier will be delivered from a Japanese shipyard during the second half of 2020. Belships explained that the estimated cash breakeven for the bareboat chartered ultramax dry bulk carrier upon delivery will be about $10,750 per day including operational expenses. According to CEO Lars Christian Skarsgard, Belships will continue to expand and renew its fleet whilst maintaining capital discipline.
In another deal, Belships delivered 2006 built supramax bulk carrier 50K DWT MV Beleast as a bareboat charter to Istanbul based shipowner and operator Marti Shipping & Ship Management. According to the bareboat charter agreement, Marti Shipping & Ship Management has an obligation to purchase the MV Beleast within two years. Belships make a net gain of around $3.5 million, after outstanding debt on the MV Beleast has been repaid.
Oslo listed shipowner and operator Belships sold supramax bulk carrier as bareboat-sale deal. Belships bareboat charter 2006 built supramax bulk carrier 50K DWT MV Beleast and then sold to the same counter-party, Istanbul based Marti Shipping & Ship Management. Marti Shipping & Ship Management has agreed to take MV Beleast on charter with an obligation to buy the ship within two (2) years. Lars Christian Skarsgard led Belships stated that bareboat charter is due to begin in Q4 2019 and will write a gain of about $4 million. Net cash flow during the period will be approximately $3.5 million after the repayment of outstanding loans. After the sale of MV Beleast, Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships left with a fleet of 22 supramax and ultramax bulk carriers including newbuildings.
Oslo based shipowner and operator Belships is adding to its fleet with charter deals for two (2) ultramax bulk carrier newbuldings. 61K DWT ultramax bulk carrier newbuldings will be constructed in Japan in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020 respectively. 61K DWT ultramax bulk carrier newbuldings will be brought in on seven (7) year bareboat charters. Estimated cash break-even for the 61K DWT ultramax bulk carrier newbuldings will be about $11,000 per day per ship including operational expenses. Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships will be paying $3 million per ship prior to delivery in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. 61K DWT ultramax bulk carrier newbulding agreements come with purchase options below current market values. Belships’ purchase options can be exercised from the fourth year until the end of the charter term. Belships is led by CEO Lars Christian Skarsgard. CEO Lars Christian Skarsgard is very pleased to continue the growth and fleet renewal of Belships with two (2) ultramax bulk carrier newbuildings with the highest quality being delivered.
In July 2019, Belships extended an expansion drive under Norwegian shipping magnate Frode Teigen’s ownership with the addition of an ultramax bulk carrier newbuilding. Belships will be taking ultramax bulk carrier on a 10-year bareboat charter. 64K DWT ultramax bulk carrier will be constructed in the Japanese shipyard and will be delivered during the second half of 2021. After these transactions, Belships has a fleet of 22 supramax and ultramax bulk carriers, including four (4) newbuildings.
Belships has reported operating income of $29.6 million in the Q2 2019, against $21.6 millon in Q2 2018. Belships has reported a net profit of $0.1 million in Q2 2019, against a loss of $0.1 million in Q2 2018. Belships has reported net time-charter earnings per ship were $10,996 per day versus the net BSI index of $8,167 per day. Belships has reported a cash breakeven point of $7,000 per day, while 90% of ship days in the Q3 2019 have been booked at $11,250 per day.
Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships Group’s commercial arm is based in Bangkok, Lighthouse Navigation acts as exclusive commercial managers for the Belships fleet and as an operator for a fleet of chartered-in Ultramax, Supramax, Handysize bulk carriers. Lighthouse Navigation was established in 2009. Furthermore, Belships Management Singapore will soon have the technical management of all the fleet.
Tidemand family has appealed the Oslo Stock Exchange resolution regarding their failed bid to take over Belships. Belships has since merged with Frode Teigen’s Lighthouse. Frode Teigen takes a $70 million stake in Belships after closing merger with Lighthouse. Tidemand family claims Oslo Stock Exchange’s rules on sales of large shareholdings fail to protect the interests of minority shareholders of Belships. Kristin Tidemand explained that Belships case of material importance to all investors in the Norwegian stock market. Belships case addresses the question of how legitimate it is to give certain main shareholders the benefit of being paid above market values prior to a merger transferring control to the new main shareholder, while the minority shareholders are left with no option to exit in a falling market. A few other minority shareholders in Belships have endorsed Tidships’ submission to Oslo Stock Exchange Appeals Committee. Kristin Tidemand, her father Otto Tidemand, and her sister Caroline Tidemand own a 10.6% stake in the Oslo-listed bulk carrier shipowner Belships through Tidships. Tidships launched an unsuccessful takeover bid for Belships in 2018.
In February 2018, Tidships’ bid was prompted when Sverre Tidemand and brother of Otto Tidemand hired ABG to undertake a strategic review of his 67.05% Belships stake, which was held by his company Sonata. Sonata rejected Tidships’ offer of NOK 5.50 ($0.64) per share for all Belships’ outstanding shares. Later on, Sonata sold a 30.2% stake at NOK 7.00 ($0.82) per share to Kontrari. Kontrari is an entity that is owned by the investor and shipowner Frode Teigen. In September 2018, Tidships filed a protest with Oslo Stock Exchange. Tidships complained that the deal should have triggered a voluntary offering from Frode Teigen’s Kontrari to all other shareholders at the offer price and asked the exchange to request such an offering.
Oslo Stock Exchange declined on the basis that voluntary offerings are triggered only when more than 33.3% of an Oslo-listed company is offered for sale. Belships’ stock sale to Kontrari, which has a 69.8% shareholding subsequent to the transaction, was subject to Belships merging with Frode Teigen’s dry cargo shipping operation, Lighthouse Shipholding. 10 December 2018, Belships merger with Lighthouse was closed on. Currently, Belships has 8 supramax and 9 ultramax bulk carriers.
Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships shows 2020 hand with bunker price hedge instead of installing expensive scrubbers. Oslo-listed Belships has inked a deal to hedge the price differential between compliant 0.5% sulfur fuel oil and 3.5% sulfur fuel oil. Belships’ CEO Lars Christian Skarsgard explained that “bunker price hedge” is a more efficient and cost-effective way, where Belships will not have to take any ships out of service. Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships mainly operate supramax bulk carriers and prefer to “bunker price hedge” which will not be required to invest in much-hyped scrubber technology. Nasdaq-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping is one of the outliers in the supramax sector in opting for the scrubber technology. Scrubbers are mainly prefered on among the larger bulk carriers. Belships says its initial move has secured exposure for 24,000 tons of bunkers for 2020 at a fixed price differential of $198 per ton. Belships’ trading fleet will be physically ready by January 2020 to comply with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sulfur cap regulations. According to Belships, bunker price differential hedge reduces downside risks and represents an efficient alternative to costly installations of scrubbers, whilst retaining full utilization of the fleet and the flexibility to adjust the position as the market develops. Installing scrubbers would cost Belships around $3 million to $4 million per ship to fit scrubbers on its supramax bulk carriers. Furthermore, these supramax bulk carriers would be at the shipyard for 3 to 4 weeks each to install scrubber. Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships has been a dominant player in the supramax sale and purchase market. Belships has a fleet of 18 bulk carriers and 1 newbuilding for delivery in 2020. Oslo listed Belships was historically known for employing ships on period deals. Belships’ charter strategy is more mixed after merger with spot cargo focused Lighthouse.
Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships’ CEO Ulrich Muller is resigning after more than seven years. Last week, Frode Teigen completed the takeover of Belships for $70 million after closing a merger with Lighthouse. CEO Ulrich Muller will remain at Belships until a successor is found. Norwegian shipowner and operator Belships has initiated work to find a replacement for CEO Ulrich Muller immediately. CEO Ulrich Mullerhas been in charge at Belships since May 2011 and boasts a 35-year career in shipping including stints at Viken Marine, Spar Shipping, and the Grieg Group.