Nordic American Tankers Limited Announces Acquisition of its Twentieth Vessel
Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE: NAT) today announced that the Company has agreed to acquire its twentieth vessel, a double-hull suezmax tanker built at Samsung Heavy Industries, Korea. The agreed purchase price is $24.45 million. This first class vessel is expected to be delivered to us no later than October 5, 2011. The acquisition will be financed from the financial resources of the Company.
Nordic American has a modern fleet of vessels at an average age of about 9.5 years. The newly acquired vessel is built in the same year and at the same yard as the sister vessel, the Nordic Sprite (1999). It is of significant importance to have sister vessels in the fleet as operational and cost synergies can be realized. The vessel was built at high technical specifications. Our focus on safety for crew, vessels and the environment will never cease. NAT is a company built on quality in all respects.
At the end of 2010, Nordic American had 15 vessels employed in the spot market. Including the delivery of the current acquisition and the delivery of the second newbuilding from Samsung this October, Nordic American is expected to have a fleet of 20 vessels at that time - an increase of 33.3% in less than a year - bolstering our dividend and earnings capacity going forward.
The acquisition represents a natural step in the further development of Nordic American. The Company is seeking to increase its dividend and earnings capacity through further expansion, but we are in no rush. We believe that our strong balance sheet, well defined and transparent operating model provide the Company with a solid competitive position going forward.
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