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Grindrod Shipping to Buy Additional Stake in IVS Bulk

Singapore-based Grindrod Shipping Holdings has decided to acquire a 33.25 percent stake of one of its two JV partners in bulk carrier owner and operator IVS Bulk.

Grindrod will thus increase its ownership percentage in IVS Bulk to 66.75 percents.

The move would allow Grindrod to consolidate the JV partner’s twelve vessels in its financials going forward, according to Martyn Wade, CEO of Grindrod Shipping.

As informed, Grindrod is currently in advanced discussions with lenders to refinance all of the existing debt of IVS Bulk as well as provide sufficient capital to acquire the additional stake.

Grindrod explained that the remaining, third partner intends to retain its 33.25% stake in IVS Bulk.

“We can provide no assurance that we will complete the acquisition until such time that agreements have been finalized and the financing has been obtained,” Grindrod Shipping said.

The acquisition is part of Grindrod’s efforts to streamline its corporate and financial structure by reducing the number of off-balance sheet joint ventures. To this end, the company wound up its Leopard Tankers joint venture with Vitol and Petrochemical Shipping joint venture with Engen Petroleum.

The acquisition of the additional stake in IVS Bulk was unveiled in Grindrod financial results for the first half of 2019 showing that the company widened its H1 net loss. Grindrod suffered a net loss of USD 18.3 million in H1 2019, compared to a net loss of USD 13.5 million seen in the corresponding six-month period a year earlier.

On the other hand, revenues rose to USD 167.2 million in H1 2019 from USD 150.8 million posted in H1 2018.

Grindrod said that the results for the first half of this year were affected by lower TCE rates in Handysize and Ultramax/Supramax drybulk carrier segment and higher TCE rates achieved in the company’s medium range and small tanker segments. In all of the four segments, vessel operating costs per day were lower for the first half of 2019 in comparison to the first half of 2018.

Grindrod Shipping owns and operates drybulk vessels and product tankers. The drybulk business, which operates under the brand Island View Shipping (IVS) includes a fleet of seventeen Handysize and fourteen Supramax/Ultramax drybulk carriers on the water, with three Ultramaxes under construction in Japan due be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

The tanker business, which operates under the brand Unicorn Shipping, includes a fleet of seven medium-range tankers and two small tankers.


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