DryShips Gets Rid of 2 Unfinished Ships

Dry bulk shipper DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS  ) announced Monday that it is selling two Suezmax tankers under construction by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea to a third-party buyer, agreeing to pay the buyer $21.4 million. The buyer was not named in the press release.

Sale of the not-yet-complete vessels will take place via novation contracts, in which the buyer assumes all of DryShips' rights, benefits, liabilities, and obligations under both shipbuilding contracts, i.e. the new buyer steps into the shoes of DryShips. But unusual for a "sale," DryShips is actually paying the "buyer" to take the ships off its hands, giving the buyer not just the rights to the ships, but also compensating the buyer with a fee of $21.4 million for assuming the obligation.

DryShips CEO George Economou noted that on the plus side, since it will no longer be responsible for the vessels, it will be able to reduce its capital spending budget by approximately $101 million, even after paying the $21.4 million fee.

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