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Star Bulk Carries Corp. (SBLK) Acquires Two Capesize Vessels

Friday, Star Bulk Carries Corp. announced that it had entered into agreements to buy two Capesize bulk carries for $51.5 million. The two carriers will be obtained from companies in which family members of the company’s Chairman, Mr. Petros Pappas, hold minority stakes.

Star Bulk is a shipping company that provides seaborne transportation worldwide for companies in dry bulk industries. Star Bulk hauls materials such as iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. The Star Bulk fleet consists of eleven vessels, as well as plans to build two more Capesize vessels in addition to the two being obtained.

The first Capesize has a capacity of 168,000 dwt. Built in South Korea in 1996, it has a time charter agreement with a major mining company until November 2015 at the earliest, at a gross daily rate of $25,000. The vessel is expected to generate $38-44 million in gross revenue and is currently expected to be delivered to Star Bulk within July 2011. The second vessel, with a capacity of 170,000 dwt, built in Japan in 1994, will also be delivered in July. It has a time charter agreement with a mining company until August 2014 at the earliest, at a gross daily rate of $24,500. The vessel is expected to generate $26-31 million in gross revenue.

Spyros Capralos, President and CEO of Star Bulk, commented: “We are pleased to acquire these two vessels that will increase significantly our fleet’s carrying and earnings capacity. We believe that the time charter agreements that the two vessels have attached to them will substantially enhance our revenue visibility and improve our financial results going forward, since they are expected to contribute a minimum of $64 million to a maximum of $75 million in gross revenue. We will continue to be on the lookout for opportunities to structure accretive transactions that increase shareholder value.”

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