Breaking up is hard to do, unless you're a company that nobody knows quite how to define.
Formerly a pure-play dry bulk shipper, DryShips
Now, finally, DryShips has attached a more definitive timeframe for its long-delayed process of spinning-off the Ocean Rig asset as a separate U.S. listing. Following a dizzying array of debt restructuring moves, and a pair of risk-reducing drillship contracts with Petrobras
Of course, that will return much of the focus of DryShips investors to its core dry bulk assets, which are presently suffering under the weight of a persistent and seemingly resurgent downward slide for the industry as a whole. Diana Shipping
While the break-up of DryShips' odd multi-industry pairing is a sound positive achievement for the company and its shareholders, a break-up of another sort presents a less welcome development. After running aground on remote Nightingale Island in the South Atlantic in March, DryShips' Panamax vessel MS Oliva broke apart and foundered, releasing hundreds of tons of fuel oil into a marine coastal environment that hosts nearly half the known population of the endangered northern rockhopper penguin. Because my Foolish nose detects a hint of clean-up costs and a potential for litigation arising from the incident, I believe that shareholders deserved more in the way of context than the scant mention contained within DryShips' last two earnings releases.
When we look back upon this tumultuous period in DryShips' corporate history, Fools may yet be forced to concede that the company's aggressive forays into alternate sub-sectors of the shipping industry provided timely diversification away from the acutely oversupplied dry bulk market. The strategy was not unique; Diana Shipping created a containerships venture, and Navios Maritime Acquisition
Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Diana Shipping and DryShips. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy maintains a secret underground lair beneath Nightingale Island.