Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (EXM), a transporter of raw commodities such as iron ore and coal, canceled an agreement to buy a Supramax-class ship and will pay a fee of $14.7 million in cash and stock.
Excel will pay $7.25 million and issue 1.1 million company shares to the sellers to terminate purchase of the 2002-built Medi Cebu. Excel, based in Athens, retained the exclusive option to buy the ship for $25.7 million until the end of the year, according to a Market Wire statement.
Shipowners including Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. (GNK) and DryShips Inc. (DRYS) are canceling ship orders to preserve cash as freight rates suffer from a global economic slowdown. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, fell a record 92 percent last year.
Excel fell 70 cents, or 9.4 percent, to $6.76 today. The shares have fallen 77 percent in the past year.
Separately, Excel said it took delivery of a new Capesize ship, the Sandra, on Dec. 26. The vessel is under a five-year time-charter agreement at $39,000 per day.
Supramax ships typically have capacities of between 50,000 and 60,000 deadweight tons. A Capesize is capable of moving 175,000 tons of cargo.
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