September 25, 2017 / 6:41 AM / a year ago

BRIEF-Golden Ocean sells 6 vessels, boosts financial flexibility

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Golden Ocean Group Ltd

* Sale of six vessels and early delivery of newbuilding

* Has entered into agreements to sell six ultramax vessels built at chengxi between 2015 and 2017 en bloc for $142.5 million to an unrelated third party

* Net cash proceeds from sale after repayment of $39.2 million of associated debt will be slightly in excess of $100 million

* All vessels are expected to be delivered to their new owner during q4 of 2017

* Separately, company has agreed to take early delivery of Golden Nimbus, a capesize vessel under construction at new times shipbuilding

* Company will make a final payment of $29.4 million for vessel at delivery and will draw $25 million from related bank financing in early October 2017, resulting in a net cash outlay of $4.4 million

* Vessel will commence a time charter at a gross rate of $16,750 per day for a duration of between 14 and 18 months

* Including this charter, company has taken advantage of recent market strength to fix five of 44 capesize vessels in its 2018 operating fleet on charters of one year

* Sale of these vessels strengthens our commercial focus on capesize and panamax vessels, where we have critical mass and that we believe will provide greatest leverage to a recovery in dry bulk shipping market

* Also increases our financial flexibility considerably as majority of gross proceeds will directly increase our cash balance Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting By Terje Solsvik)

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