22 January 2015
DNB Bank ASA (“DNB”), in its capacity as agent for a syndicate of banks, instructed Watson Farley & Williams’ (“WFW”) Athens office on a term loan facility of up to US$120 million arranged by DNB, NIBC Bank N.V. (“NIBC”) and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (“SEB”), provided to Star Bulk Carriers (“Star Bulk”). The purpose of this facility was to assist Star Bulk in financing the acquisition of 12 vessels from Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (“Excel Maritime”).
Ten of the ships acquired by Star Bulk are Kamsarmax bulk carriers and two are Capesize bulk carriers. This acquisition was part of a wider transaction in which Star Bulk acquired 34 dry bulk carriers from Excel Maritime.
Star Bulk is the largest US-listed dry bulk shipowner in the world. It transports dry bulk products, including iron ore, coal and grain, and minor bulks, including bauxite, fertilisers and steel products.
DNB Bank is Norway’s leading financial services group and one of the largest in the Nordic region in terms of market capitalisation. DNB is an established financier in the maritime sector and an important client of WFW serviced through many of the firm’s international offices. NIBC is a merchant bank headquartered in the Netherlands. NIBC is owned by a consortium of international financial institutions. SEB is a Swedish financial group for corporate customers, institutions and private individuals. Its principal activities are banking services.
The WFW team was led by Asset Finance partner and WFW Head of Greece George Paleokrassas, and associates Christoforos Bisbikos and Electra Stamatopoulos. WFW Athens partner George Paleokrassas, commented: “We are pleased to have again advised our long-standing client, DNB Bank, on this significant transaction involving Star Bulk. This represents yet another significant element of Star Bulk’s fleet expansion which has led it to become the world’s largest listed shipping company in the dry bulk sector.”