Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 14 - 2008

 

Seaworld was another active investor, ordering 4+1 product tankers of 50,000-dwt each at SPP. The vessels have an expected delivery during the years 2009/2010 and represent an investment of $204 million, bringing the unit price at $51 million.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News
Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com, Friday, 04 April 2008


Small shareholders seek seats on Hellenic Seaways' board
---A battle is looming for seats on the board of Hellenic Seaways, Greece's largest ferry operator. The battle will be fought at Hellenic's April 17 agm when a new board of directors will be elected and entrusted with formulating company policy which is likely to involve decisions that will have an impact on Greece's entire domestic ferry network.
Hellenic's two major shareholders, the John Vardinoyiannis-controlled Sea Star Capital and Italy's Grimaldi Group are pitted against each other, while both groups are likely to face competition from a grouping of small shareholders also seeking a say in Hellenic's immediate future, which seems bright. Hellenic has reported impressive 2007 results, in contrast to other major ferry operations. -- See following story.
While the bulk of the seats, and thus the forming of future company policy, is likely to be shared between Sea Star which has a 36.5% stake and Italy's Grimaldi group which controls some 33.4%, the other 2,000 shareholders plan to have their say, especially with regard to Hellenic seeking an immediate listing on the Athens Stock Exchange.
There is a move among small shareholders to form a block holding at least 5% of the stake in a bid to secure a seat on the board, with the single purpose of promoting the company's listing, a longterm ambition. Plans to go public were revealed last summer but a change in the shareholding structure later in the year and a further change at the beginning of this year seems to have taken the steam out of the intended listing.
Former leading shareholder, shipowner, Panos Laskaridis was especially keen for Hellenic to launch an IPO but early December, 2007, Laskaridis sold his stock to Sea Star for Euro 250m and the IPO was put on the back burner as a round of consolidation involving Hellenic, Anek Lines also controlled by Vardinoyiannis, and Minoan was thought likely.
On the other hand, Emmanuele Grimaldi may be tempted to sell his group's holding, "at a high price". Grimaldi is not interested in becoming a player in Greece's domestic network, where Hellenic holds sway. Other key shareholders in Hellenic are private insurer, Interamerican with 3.5% while Apostolos Ventouris, the boss of Athex-listed ferry company Nel Lines, has just sold his 1.4m shares (1.8%) stake to Vardinoyiannis interests for Euro 5.6m. A group of Cretan shareholders holds 3.5%, with the remaining 23% in the hands of some 2,000 investors, though around 3.4% of this group is understood to be pledged to the Italian.
Vardinoyiannis interests built up their stake in Anek through a deal in January with Grimaldi, which saw it sell its 15.26% holding in Anek to the Cyprus-listed, Sea Star for Euro 48m ($70.7m).
Meanwhile, Anek is in the process of arranging a Euro 160 bond loan, with the powerful Restis group already committed to investing at least Euro 20m in the bond. Nel Lines has expressed an interest in buying into Hellenic and is seeking to increase its share capital by Euro 33m. Analysts believe the success or otherwise of these two moves will influence the direction Hellenic takes.
-- Filed: 2008-03-31
Source: Issue nr. 13 (4 March 2008) of Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence newsletter.


Sungdong enters VLCC sector with four-vessel order
---Mike Grinter, Hong Kong - Thursday 3 April 2008
SOUTH Korean Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, has made its first entry in the VLCC market with a highly respectable order for four of the ships from Alpa Maritime of Greece.
The 316,000 dwt vessels are priced at $150m each, and are slated for delivery starting July 2011.
Source: http://www.lloydslist.com


Kongsberg Maritime supports Vietnamese shipyard for Greek owned new builds
Thursday, 03 April 2008
Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract (7th March 2008) to supply Integrated Monitoring and Control Systems for five new 13,000 Dwt Product/Chemical carriers being built for Greek owner IASON Hellenic Shipping Co. Ltd at the Vinashin Group owned Pha Rung Shipyard in Hai Phong City, east of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
The Kongsberg Maritime integrated monitoring and control concept chosen by Vinashin Group against strong competition includes an integrated solution for machinery control and cargo management. The concept relies on a distributed and open system design, which employs a fully backed-up system-wide standardized communication network.
The communication network integrates the K-Chief machinery control and K-Gauge level gauging & cargo control, into a complete solution that enables safe and efficient operations. In addition, with common hardware components utilized, both increased reliability and competitive life-cycle is enabled. The system also features ballast and service tank sensors and deck instrumentation. This integrated solution is based on the well received Kongsberg Maritime 'Full Picture' approach, that has proven robust and reliable, as well as a capable tool for safe and efficient operations.
"We are committed to building high quality, world class vessels for export from our yards in Vietnam and our co-operation with world class suppliers will help us to achieve this aim," said Mr. Nguyen Quoc Anh, Chief Business Officer (CBO) of the Vinashin Group. "We are very satisfied to have completed the contract and are looking forward to a positive relationship with Kongsberg Maritime."
Vietnamese shipbuilding has experienced growth in recent years and a strong local industry is starting to become a major contender in the worldwide shipbuilding market. Vinashin Group and its subsidiary Vinashin Electric's strategy of partnering with established suppliers such as Kongsberg Maritime and the abundance of skilled people and advanced techniques at the company's yards will make Vietnam's goal of becoming a major prominent shipbuilding nation a real possibility.
"We are delighted to take this first step with the Vietnamese shipbuilding sector as it continues its drive to become a major exporter," comments Mr. Lasse Brynsrud, Sales Manager (Merchant Marine, Asia), Kongsberg Maritime. "We have for many years focused a great deal of energy in the Far East and are able to serve the various markets with local offices and directly from our headquarters in Norway. With such a strong worldwide and local network, we are looking forward to helping Vinashin make Vietnam a major player in world shipbuilding."
Source: http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=24579


Gourdomichalis looks to cash in dry newbuilding
---Gourdomichalis Maritime of Greece is taking advantage of high resale prices by disposing of its only bulker newbuilding.
Spokesperson Drakoulis Yannelos says the company is negotiating the sale of a 83,000-dwt bulker at Japan's Sanoyas Hishino Meisho with delivery in March 2010. Yannelos says that contrary to broker reports, the deal has not been concluded.
Brokers have reported the sale price at $65.2m to undisclosed interests.
Yannelos says the bulker can achieve double the price it was ordered for. No price or timetable for the order has been disclosed.
Yannelos is unwilling to comment on speculation that Gourdomichalis signed the contract in 2006 at $40m.
The Greek owner has quietly built up its fleet with a number of unreported deals from Sanoyas, while selling off older tonnage in recent years. Gourdomichalis has taken delivery of three 75,000-dwt bulkers, the Kavo Sapphire (built 1999), Kavo Topaz (built 2004) and Kavo Alkyon (built 2005). The company controls one other older bulker, the 27,500-dwt Kavo Alexandros II (built 1986).
The late Stathis Gourdomichalis founded Gourdomichalis Maritime in 1968. The company has established a number of spin-offs headed by family members in the past decade or so, including Gourdomichalis Naftiki Eteria and Free Ships Inc.
Today, nephews of the late founder, brothers George and Stathis Gourdomichalis, control their own bulker company called G Bros.
By Trond Lillestolen and Yiota Gousas, Oslo and Athens, published: 04 April 2008
Source: http://www.tradewinds.no


Excel Maritime Announces the Results of Its Special Shareholders Meeting
---ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - April 1, 2008) - Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM) announced the results of the special meeting of its shareholders held today, April 1, 2008. At the meeting, shareholders approved and adopted the proposal to amend Excel's Restated Articles of Incorporation to provide for a change in the structure and composition of Excel's Board of Directors in connection with Excel's proposed merger with Quintana Maritime Limited. Adoption of this proposed amendment was a condition to the closing of the proposed merger between Excel and Quintana.
About Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.
Excel is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Excel's current fleet consists of 18 vessels (ten Panamax, two Supramax and six Handymax vessels) with a total carrying capacity of 1,074,022 deadweight tons. Excel Class A common shares have traded since September 15, 2005 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EXM, and prior to that date, traded on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) since 1998. For more information about Excel, please go to Excel's corporate website www.excelmaritime.com
Important Information
This communication is being made in respect of the proposed merger transaction involving Excel and Quintana. In connection with the proposed transaction, Excel has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a registration statement on Form F-4 containing a proxy statement/prospectus. The proposed merger transaction involving Excel and Quintana will be submitted to Quintana's shareholders for their consideration. Shareholders are encouraged to read the proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction because it contains important information. Shareholders may obtain a free copy of the proxy statement/prospectus, as well as other filings containing information about Excel and Quintana without charge, at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of the proxy statement/prospectus and the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that are incorporated by reference in the proxy statement/prospectus can also be obtained, without charge, by directing a request to Excel or to Quintana per the following investor relations contact information:
To Excel: Investor Relations / Financial Media at Capital Link, Inc.
230 Park Avenue - Suite 1536
New York, NY 10160, USA
Attention: Nicolas Bornozis
Tel: (212) 661-7566
E-Mail: nbornozis@capitallink.com
To Quintana: Investor Relations / Financial Media at
Capital Link, Inc.
230 Park Avenue - Suite 1536
New York, NY 10160, USA
Attention: Ramnique Grewal
Tel: (212) 661-7566
E-mail: rgrewal@capitallink.com
Excel, Quintana and their respective directors and executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding Excel's directors and executive officers is available in Excel's notice of annual meeting and proxy statement for its most recent annual meeting and Excel's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006, which were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 14, 2007 and June 26, 2007, respectively, and information regarding Quintana's directors and executive officers is available in Quintana's proxy statement for its most recent annual meeting of shareholders and Quintana's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, which were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2007 and February 29, 2008, respectively. Other information regarding the participants in the solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is contained in the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials that have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Source: Apr 01, 2008 16:05 ET, http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=838992


Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. Announces Three New Time Charters
---PIRAEUS, Greece, April 3, 2008, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. ("Navios Holdings" or "the Company") (NYSE: NM), a large, global, vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company, announced today that it has secured new time charters for three vessels.
"First-class counterparties are increasingly relying on Navios Holdings to satisfy their long-term transport needs. We are pleased to announce today that we have chartered-out vessels significantly before they are available, demonstrating our reputation for stability and reliability," said Ms. Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of Navios Holdings.
The details for each of the charters are as follows:
Navios Sagitarius -- Ten-Year Charter
The Navios Sagitarius, a 75,756 dwt Panamax vessel built in 2006, has been chartered-out for ten years, commencing about January 25, 2009. The ten-year, net daily charter-out rate will be $26,125, which compares favorably to the vessel's expiring two year charter-out rate of $25,413 per day,
Navios Capesize TBN -- Ten-Year Charter
The Navios TBN, a 172,000 dwt Capesize vessel scheduled for delivery in November of 2009, has been chartered-out for ten-years. The charter will commence upon delivery of the vessel to Navios' fleet and the net daily charter-out rate will be $39,900. Navios Holdings may substitute an alternative capesize vessel for this charter.
Navios Horizon -- Three-Year Charter
The Navios Horizon, a 50,346 dwt Ultra Handymax vessel built in 2001, has been chartered-out for three years, commencing July 24, 2008. The net daily charter-out rate will be $36,100, which compares favorably to the vessel's current charter-out rate of $14,725 per day.
As a result of these new charters, Navios Holdings has extended the coverage of its core fleet (excluding vessels acquired through the Kleimar N.V. transaction) to 98.3% for 2008, 56.4% for 2009, 30.9% for 2010 and 18.8% for 2011.
About Navios Maritime Holdings Inc.
Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. is a global, vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company focused on the transport and transshipment of drybulk commodities including iron ore, coal and grain.
Navios Holdings may, from time to time, be required to offer certain owned Capesize and Panamax vessels to Navios Maritime Partners L.P. for purchase at fair market value according to the terms of the Omnibus Agreement.
For more information about Navios Holdings please visit our website: www.navios.com.
Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com


CORRECTION - Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. Restructures Debt Into a Non Amortizing Facility
---By: Marketwire .
Mar. 31, 2008 05:28 PM
PIRAEUS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/31/08 -- In the News release,"Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. Restructures Debt Into a Non Amortizing Facility," issued earlier today by Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONAV) (SGX: ONAV50), we are advised by the company that the second paragraph should read "Effective March 28, 2008 Omega has completed a restructuring of its current debt facility with HSH Nordbank as agent of a syndication of Banks and entered into a new junior facility with NIBC Bank N.V. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd." rather than "Effective March 28, 2007 Omega has completed a restructuring of its current debt facility with HSH Nordbank as agent of a syndication of Banks and entered into a new junior facility with NIBC Bank N.V. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd." as originally issued. Complete correcteed text follows.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. Restructures Debt Into a Non Amortizing Facility
PIRAEUS, GREECE -- March 31, 2008 -- Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONAV) (SGX: ONAV50), a provider of global marine transportation services focusing on product tankers, announced today it has completed a restructuring of its current senior debt facility and has entered into a new junior debt facility.
Debt Restructuring
Effective March 28, 2008 Omega has completed a restructuring of its current debt facility with HSH Nordbank as agent of a syndication of Banks and entered into a new junior facility with NIBC Bank N.V. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
The Senior Facility will be reduced from its current outstanding balance of $284.2 million to $242.7 million. This facility is secured by a first mortgage on the Company's current fleet of eight vessels. The facility will have a term until April of 2011 and will be non amortizing. The facility is priced at a margin grid ranging from 0.9% up to 1.10% above LIBOR based on the Loan to Value ratio. Presently the rate is calculated at 0.9% above LIBOR.
The Junior Facility, in the amount of $42.5 million, will be used to partially repay the senior facility together with relevant fees and is secured by a second mortgage on our current fleet of eight vessels. The facility will also be non amortizing. The term will be consistent with the term of the senior facility and will be priced at a margin grid ranging between 2.25 to 3.00% above LIBOR based on the Loan to Value ratio of both the Senior and Junior facilities. Presently the rate is calculated at 2.5% above LIBOR. The entire Junior Facility will be fixed through a 3-year interest rate swap with the swap rate of approximately 2.96%.
While the overall debt level of the Company remains approximately the same, currently at about 55% Loan to Value on the fleet of 8 vessels, the restructuring significantly increases the financial flexibility of the Company while at the same time lowers our overall cost of borrowing. The non amortizing facilities, which will free up approximately $15 million of cash flow in 2008 and about $41.4 million until the maturity, will allow the Company to reserve more cash for potential acquisition opportunities. Also, we believe the covenants associated with both facilities are now further improved and more in line with industry standards. Because of the young age (less than three years old) and quality of our existing fleet the Company expects to be able to refinance the fleet at the end of the term of the facilities.
George Kassiotis, President and CEO of the Company commented, "We are extremely pleased to have concluded this restructuring of our debt, particularly in these challenging times for the credit markets, exhibiting the confidence of our lenders in our Company and its fundamentals. The restructuring increases the financial flexibility of the Company to a very large degree. The non amortizing aspect of both facilities gives more visibility to our partial payout structure as the Company retains further reserves enhancing its ability to take advantage of potential accretive opportunities in the market while our current quarterly dividend policy is protected by the fixed charters on our vessels and by our subordinated share structure in favor of our public shareholders."
About Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. is an international provider of global marine transportation services through the ownership and operation of eight double hull product tankers. The current fleet includes eight double hull product tankers with a carrying capacity of 512,358 dwt. These eight product tankers are chartered out under three-year period time charters. Furthermore, the company recently announced the signing of shipbuilding contracts to construct and acquire five newbuilding double hull Handymax product tankers each with a capacity of 37,000 dwt scheduled for delivery between March 2010 and early in 2011. With the addition of these five vessels, the Omega fleet will expand to 13 product tankers with a total deadweight capacity of 697,358 tons.
The Company was incorporated in the Marshall Islands in February 2005. Its principal executive offices are located in Piraeus, Greece and it also maintains an office in the United States.
Omega Navigation's Class A Common Shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "ONAV" and are also listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited under the symbol "ONAV 50."
Source: http://www.sys-con.com/read/530741.htm


Thessaloniki port profit soars
---Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH) reported profit for 2007 nearly fourfold as sales increased, it said in a financial statement published yesterday.
Greece recently launched a tender inviting companies to upgrade and run commercial facilities at its ports in Piraeus and Thessaloniki to boost their role as regional hubs.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_economy_2_01/04/2008_94963


EU keeps an eye on Santorini
---EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that Brussels is monitoring developments relating to the removal of several hundred tons of fuel oil left in the sunken Sea Diamond off the island of Santorini.
Fuel oil from the cruise ship, which sank in April last year, has yet to be removed almost a year after the accident as the ferry operator claims that it is not responsible for the sinking.
Dimas visited the popular Greek island with Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis on Saturday where they met with local authorities.
The purpose of the visit was to be briefed about the cleanup operation on Santorini and have contacts with the public on the issue, Dimas told Skai Radio.
Louis Hellenic Cruises, the owner of the Sea Diamond ferry, has said its insurance will not cover the cost of a salvage operation, as the ferry operator was not responsible for the accident.
The operator has blamed inaccurate maps for the ship running aground on a reef.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100012_31/03/2008_94926


Three More Greek Americans Running for Congress
---
By Gene Rossides
April 1, 2008
The three are Jane Mitakides (D-OH), Dean Scontras (R-ME) and Jim Trakas
It is up to the community in general and to each of us individually to make sure they have adequate financial resources to run a proper campaign in the final seven months before election day on November 4, 2008.
Let's look at each of these three individuals in alphabetical order. I will devote the rest of this Op-Ed to Jane Mitakides and will discuss Dean Scontras and Jim Trakas in my next Op-Eds.
Jane Mitakides (D-Ohio)
Mitakides will be building on her strong performance as a first-time candidate in 2004, when she garnered 120, 000 votes and raised nearly $600,000.
GreekPAC, the Greek American Political Action Committee, has endorsed her and made a contribution in support of her campaign.
Jane Mitakides is an entrepreneur who understands the importance of bringing good jobs to her community and ensuring that those jobs stay there. She founded Ohio-based Helsley Advertising, specializing in strategic communications and investor relations, working with businesses nationwide.
She was born in Dayton, Ohio and has served on a diverse variety of civic boards, including the Development Board of St. Elizabeth Hospital and Women in Leadership.
On the national level she is a founding member of both the Women?s Council of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Small Business Council of the Democratic National Committee.
I am also pleased to note that she is an active member of the American Hellenic Institute.
Mitakides entered the race in mid-January 2008. Her Mitakides for Congress campaign committee posted impressive numbers in its first four weeks of fundraising, banking $85,908.61 up to February 13, 2008. For the first quarter of 2008 her campaign raised a solid $150,000.
It should also be noted that her opponent is currently the focus of serious ethics questions.
Her positions on key Greek American issues are right on the mark. She calls for the removal of Turkey?s 43,000 occupation troops and 160,000 illegal Turkish settlers in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 and removal of Turkey?s barbed wire fence across Cyprus; recognition of the treaty based maritime boundary in the Aegean; supports H.R. 1456, the American Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act of 2007; protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and reopening of Halki Theological School, as called for by U.S. law, and the return of 7000 confiscated church properties; enforcement by the President of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998; negotiations in good faith by the Skopje regime with Greece regarding the name issue; and immediate allowance of Greece to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.
Source: http://www.hellenicnews.com/readnews.html?newsid=8346&lang=US


1st Posidonia Shipsoccor Tournament - 31 May 2008
Venue: Karaiskaki Stadium, Neo Faliro
Jointly organised by Posidonia Exhibitions & F. N. E. Filathlitiki Naftiliaki Enosi (Shipsoccer) and sponsored by Deloitte (Gold Sponsor) .
Posidonia Exhibitions announces the 1st Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament to be held on Saturday 31 May, 2008.
The Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament will be the sporting event where the Greek shipping community welcomes the international shipping community on the football field!
In this respect our organizing team will welcome even individual players, whom they will include into sector teams. The Greek Shipping Community will be represented by one or more teams depending on the numbers of foreign challengers.
Three leagues of four teams in each league will be formed. The teams in each league play against each other. The leading team of each league will progress to the semi-finals where the winner of League 1 plays against the winner of League 3 and the winner of League 2 will play against the most successful second team from all the leagues.
The winning team from each Semi-final game will compete for the prestigious Posidonia Shipsoccer Trophy.
Each game is played for ten minutes (five minutes each half). The games will be played on the Five-A-Side football pitches of the Karaiskaki Stadium in Neo Faliro with five players in each team but the teams are encouraged to field substitutes throughout each game.
The Awards Ceremony will take place at the competition venue followed by a Reception for all the teams, their families and friends.
The following teams have already registered for the event:
1) DNV
2) Lloyd's Register
3) Deloitte
4) Danaos Shipping Co Ltd
5) Polychronopoulos EPE
6) Hellenic Shipyards SA
7) O.S.G. Greece
To download the Tournament Entry Form please go to: http://www.posidonia-events.com/uploads/promobanners/tef_final%202.pdf
Source: http://www.posidonia-events.com/online/content.asp?PID=75&MID=138