Nordic American Tankers (NAT), the US-listed Suezmax owner that is managed from Norway, said it has agreed to acquire two Far East-built Suezmax tankers with an average age of five years for a total of USD122 million.
The vessels are expected to be delivered in September and October 2015 and the company does not plan to issue equity to finance the two vessels, it said.
The company, which had 22 ships in the water and two newbuildings on order before this latest deal, said it represented a natural step in the company’s development. “By adding two more ships, we increase the dividend capacity and earnings potential. We believe that our strong balance sheet, dividend policy, and well-defined and transparent operating model provide NAT with a solid competitive position,” it said.
In a letter to shareholders on 24 June, chairman and CEO Herbjørn Hansson that the company would resist the temptation to make large fleet acquisitions.
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“Those who have followed the NAT story for some time know we prefer to grow in a considered and deliberate way,” he said. “We see that some other players, both public and private, have suffered as a result of what I like to call ‘gigantomania’. Our approach to risk management is to take one step at a time, always considering the many pitfalls of large and complicated transactions.”
On 11 May, NAT reported first quarter 2015 net profit of USD$30.2 million, sharply better than the USD1.5 million loss it had suffered in the same period last year. Revenues rose to USD69 million from US43 million. The company’s newbuildings are due for delivery in 2016 and 2017 respectively.