Bangalore: Mumbai-based Five Stars Bulk Carriers Pvt Ltd has purchased two dry bulk ships taking advantage of the falling ship prices globally.
The unlisted dry bulk ship operator, owned by former chairman of the elite Royal Western India Turf Club and horse breeder K N Dhunjibhoy, bought a newly-built capesize dry bulk carrier from its Greek owner for an undisclosed amount, according to a ship broker who did not want to be named. The purchase was funded by a consortium of three Indian banks, and was done through Ganesh Shipping Inc., the firm’s Panama registered subsidiary.
Capesize ships are named so because they are too large to through either the Suez or Panama canals and must round the Cape of Good Hope, or Cape Horn.
Five Stars also acquired a three-year-old panamax ship for $39 million from Hong Kong’s Jinhui Shipping & Transportation Ltd, the same ship broker said. So-called panamax ships are built to navigate the Panama Canal.
The acquisition expands the firm’s fleet to six that includes four mini dry bulk carriers. A company executive confirmed the ship purchases but declined to disclose the price of the capesize ship, the rate at which it was rented to COSCO or the name of the Indian banks that funded the deal. He, however, confirmed that the panamax ship was bought for $39 million. “This is the right time to buy ships,” he said, asking not to be named. The firm does not have a spokesperson. Dhunjibhoy, who is managing director and chairman, could not be reached for comment.
Five Stars has rented out the capesize ship to China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co, or Cosco, for five years. The firm will take delivery of the panamax ship from Jinhui in November-December for which it is looking for employment.