Excel Maritime Delays Earnings to Renegotiate Loans

Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (EXM), a transporter of iron ore and coal, will delay release of its fourth-quarter earnings report to renegotiate loan agreements with banks.

The company is negotiating waivers of financial covenants in its credit facilities, Athens-based Excel said today in a statement.

The shipowner has been renegotiating terms with lenders after a drop in the value of ships caused by a decline in the shipping market. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping rates, fell 92 percent last year. Other shipowners, including Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. and Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd., already have renegotiated loan agreements.

Excel on Feb. 17 suspended its dividend and said two customers cut charter payments in half on three ships. The shipowner has about 1.98 billion euros ($2.68 billion) in debt, according to Bloomberg data.

Excel also said it sold the Handymax-class vessel Swift for $3.7 million, and expects a loss of $2.4 million on the transaction.

The Swift, built in 1984, was due for inspection by the end of March, which would result in at least 60 days of lost business and a cost of $2 million, Excel said in the statement. Handymaxes can carry between 35,000 and 60,000 deadweight tons.

Excel rose 32 cents, or 7.5 percent, to $4.57 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading today. The shares have fallen 84 percent in the past year. They dropped 5.3 percent to $4.33 in aftermarket trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Zeranski in New York at tzeranski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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