Investors Peddle New Handysize Venture
January 21, 2003 at 12:06 PM
A group of Greek financiers have come out in the market to seek equity partners for a new $30.4m, eight-vessel handysize bulker venture, which is going to focus on asset play.

Cypriot-registered CC Bulk Carriers' Investors (CCBCI) was incorporated two months ago and is seeking to raise $16.4m, $2.4m of which would be used as operating capital, from would-be investors before 31 December.

CCBCI managing director Konstantinos Chryssoulis, who is also managing director of Global Money Consultants, tells TradeWinds the company is very sure it can secure an additional $14m from bank financing.

The company plans to purchase eight handysize bulkers aged between 16-18 years old. Its feasibility studies for the ships are based on a purchase price of $3.5m per vessel, an economic life of 26 years per ship, and a scrap price of around $1.2m.

The partners also say they plan to have their vessels assessed by an independent shipbroker every three months. They say that if the ships are found to be worth 30% or more of their purchase value they will be sold and the proceeds distributed to shareholders as dividends.

Chryssoulis stresses that this is very early days for the new company but says this policy will be binding for CCBC.

He says: "This is an asset play situation. We want to satisfy our investors and give them flexibility."

He adds that the company has also been very upfront about the risks involved in its business venture, which it details on its website.

Chryssoulis says: "We are looking for credible investors and not widows and orphans."
He also explains that CCBCI is targeting handysize bulkers as its feels these are the most versatile ships which have the best chance of success, and where there is a potential for business. He does not feel the sector is over congested.
Although CCBCI is concentrating on pulling in equity support at the moment, Chryssoulis says the company already has its eye on a few potential ship candidates. It is also looking for cargoes and COAs.

Once the new company gets off the ground, Chryssoulis says the management will consider a stocklisting on an exchange like London, Athens, Oslo or Luxembourg in three to four years time.

A lawyer by training, Chryssoulis is partnered in the new venture by Dimitrios Bistis, who will act as chairman of CCBCI. Bistis is currently president and managing director of telecommunications company Alta.

Neither partners have a wealth of shipping experience. However they are joined on the board of directors by others with a more traditional maritime background such as Spyridon Tsamaidis who served as a ship's master with the Livanos Group and Golden Union, and who is a qualified ISM auditor.

Chryssoulis says CCBCI has engaged Hanseatic Shipping Co to undertake all its commercial and technical fleet management.