Barely six months after its launch as a standalone entity, Meadway Bulkers has more than doubled the size of its original fleet with the purchase of another pair of handysizes. Company managers confirmed to TradeWinds that the George Dellaportas-led outfit has acquired the 31,900-dwt Cactus K (built 2011). Several brokers reported the ship as sold to unidentified Greeks for $16.8m. The vessel, previously owned by Japan’s Yamamoto Kisen, is due for delivery in November. Meadway Bulkers didn’t stop there. In another deal that escaped market attention, the company swooped on a handysize managed by Alassia NewShips Management – a Greek peer from which it bought another pair of similar ships earlier this year. The latest purchase concerns the 28,200-dwt New Life (built 2013). Transaction details were not available, but sources familiar with the matter said the I-S Shipyard-built vessel changed hands about three weeks ago at a price “in line with market levels”.
Meadway Bulkers has thus bought seven ships on the secondhand market since launching in April, bringing the size of its total fleet to 13 vessels. After splitting the assets of traditional family company Meadway Shipping & Trading, which continues to be led by Dellaportas’ brother Costas, Meadway Bulkers headed out on its own with three ultramaxes, two handysizes and a supramax. It has acquired four handysizes, two panamaxes and one kamsarmax since. The financial firepower assembled to support that expansion is estimated at about $120m in total. The deals show that rising ship values have yet to cool the buying ardor of market optimists, even those who have invested relatively early in the cycle before secondhand prices took off.
Players in the Greek shipping market believe the good bulker market has still got plenty of mileage. Market participants think it entirely possible that 2022 will see a squeeze in some bulker commodities, akin to the disruption and booming freight rates experienced currently in the containership market. Soaring global energy prices are prompting some players to position for expected bottlenecks in cargo such as coal, particularly in energy-hungry countries that haven’t their own supplies of the material.
Even companies selling handysizes, such as Alassia, aren’t doing it to reduce their bulker exposure but rather to switch to bigger vessels. Alassia has recently assumed management of three kamsarmaxes previously trading with Onassis company Olympic Shipping and Management. These are the 81,400-dwt Cymona Galaxy (ex-Olympic Galaxy, built 2009), the 83,000-dwt Cymona Gemini (ex-Olympic Gemini, built 2006) and the 84,100-dwt Cymona Glory (ex-Olympic Glory, built 2011).