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Greece-based Star Bulk set to buy Oceanbulk companies

Star Bulk Carriers Corp said it would buy Oceanbulk Shipping LLC and Oceanbulk Carriers LLC in an all-stock deal to create the largest US-listed dry-bulk shipper.

Star Bulk is issuing 54.104 million new shares to buy the Oceanbulk companies, valuing the deal at about $653 million based on Star Bulks Friday close of $12.07.

The deal comes as the global dry-bulk shipping industry is poised to recover from a severe downturn, helped by steadying demand for iron ore and coal from China and India and the scrapping of older vessels.

After closing, the Athens, Greece-based company will have a market value of about $1 billion and a fleet of 69 vessels, Star Bulk said on Monday.

Star Bulks new shares will go to affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management and Star Bulks non-executive chairman, Petros Pappas, and some of his immediate family members.

Oaktree will own 61.3 percent of Star Bulk, while Pappas and his family will own 12.5 percent.

Star Bulk will get 15 vessels and contracts for the construction of 26 more from Oceanbulk.

Star Bulk said it plans to pursue additional acquisitions after the completion of the deal.

Pappas will become chief executive of the combined company, while Star Bulks current CEO, Spyros Capralos, will become non-executive chairman of the board.

[Reuters]

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