Baltic Trading Limited Announces Agreement to Acquire Two Handysize Vessels


 Grows Fleet Approximately 10%
Baltic Trading Limited (BALT) announced yesterday that it has agreed to acquire two 32,000 dwt Handysize vessels, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $41.0 million. The acquisition is subject to the completion of customary documentation and closing conditions. The two vessels, the 2010-built Baltic Fox and the 2009-built Baltic Hare, are expected to be delivered to Baltic Trading by the end of the third quarter of 2013. Baltic Trading has reached an agreement to enter both vessels upon delivery into the Clipper Logger Pool, a Handysize pool operated by Clipper Bulk.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Baltic Trading will own 11 drybulk vessels, consisting of two Capesize vessels, four Supramax vessels and five Handysize vessels with a total carrying capacity of approximately 736,000 dwt and an average age of approximately 3.5 years. Baltic Trading plans to finance this acquisition in part through the proceeds from its $23.1 million share offering completed on May 28, 2013. For the remainder of the purchase price, the Company has obtained a commitment for approximately $20 million of commercial bank financing from a global lending institution, which is subject to definitive loan documentation.
John C. Wobensmith, President and Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We are pleased to take advantage of favorable asset prices with the acquisition of two high-quality Handysize vessels, which will expand our modern fleet approximately 10% on a tonnage basis. This acquisition, our first in the past three years, will enhance our fleet profile and strengthen our ability to benefit from the positive long-term demand for the global transportation of drybulk goods. Consistent with our strategy, we intend to employ the Baltic Fox and the Baltic Hare in a spot market-related vessel pool, enabling our Company to take advantage of a potentially rising freight rate environment and maximize utilization. We remain committed to pursuing attractive growth opportunities that expand our future earnings and dividend potential while maintaining an efficient operating platform and low debt levels."