Maritime Capital eyes fleet growth as it files for IPO

MARITIME Capital Shipping aims to nearly double its fleet of handysize dry bulk vessels by end of 2009 on the back of its forthcoming initial public offering in Singapore.

The company, headed by former Pacific Basin Shipping chief Mark Harris, is moving forward with its IPO on the Singapore Exchange, despite recent uncertaintities in both dry bulk shipping and stock markets, including the postponement of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport’s offering in Hong Kong.

An initial prospectus lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore sets out major fleet expansion plans in the 18,000 dwt-29,999 dwt handysize drybulk sector, although it does not say how much the company plans either to raise or spend.

Two weeks ago Lloyd’s List reported that the company was looking to raise $300m from the offering.

MCS’ current fleet comprises 18 handysize vessels with an average of eight years, of which 14 are in operation with three expected to be delivered in July this year and a further vessel in March 2009. The four new vessels are not being financed with proceeds from the offering.

“Upon completion of the offering, we will seek to expand our fleet of modern handysize vessels to 25-30 vessels within 2009,” the prospectus said.

“We intend to grow our fleet through suitable acquisitions of modern vessels in the handysize segment to exploit growth opportunities in the international markets with a view to meeting the increasing demand for dry bulk shipping services due to the increase in global international dry bulk trade.”