10.04.2008 - Mystery tanker buyer revealed

Expanding Greek player Worldwide Green Tankers has been busy on the acquisition front.

Worldwide Green Tankers of Greece has increased its fleet by eight ships in the past eight months and emerged as the mystery buyer behind a number of deals.

The company's latest acquisition is of a suezmax tanker the 150,000-dwt Stainless (built 1992) formerly controlled by US-listed Top Ships. The ship was reported sold in February to an undisclosed buyer with no price given. Observers say the tanker is worth above $55m.

Worldwide Green is not willing to comment on the deal but sources say it has bought another seven tankers since last summer.

In December, the company bought two panamaxes from Liquimar Tankers of Greece, the 94,000-dwt double-sided Frixos (built 1987) and Elli (built 1986). Brokers reported the ships sold for $31m en bloc, although the seller said at the time the price was much higher.

Around at the same time, the owner acquired another panamax tanker, the 60,000-dwt Dart (ex- Dartagnan , built 1984) from compatriot Tsakos Shipping&Trading. No price has been revealed for the deal, which was widely unreported until now.

Worldwide Green's panamax push was initiated with a pair of ships bought from George Economou's Drytank last summer. These are the 63,000-dwt My Julietta and 60,000-dwt Great News (ex- Agrari and ex- Saetta , both built 1984). The pair was reported sold in June to unidentified buyers for $13.5m each. Both are working in Heidmar's panamax pool.

Worldwide Green, which has recently changed its name from World Wide Services and is headed by Marios Iliopoulos, entered the tanker market in 2004. The company was launched with the 53,500-dwt Vera Cruz A (built 1982), formerly controlled by the Angelicoussis group. It then went on to buy another two handysizes in the next two years, the 29,900-dwt Agiasma (ex- Yapi , built 1989) and 37,400-dwt Aetos (ex- Great Promise , built 1980).

In 2007, the company began a buying spree, taking not only the five panamaxes but also another two handymaxes, the 48,200-dwt Siempre Adorado (ex- Aristos II , built 1985) and Tiheroula (ex- La Roux , built 1984) for a reported total of $27.5m.

Worldwide Green has not transferred the management of its new acquisitions in-house. The Stainless and the panamaxes it bought from Economou and Liquimar continue to be managed by their former owners.

Sources say this was done so that chartering arrangements for the ships could be kept in place.

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