New dry bulk outfit emerges in Bulgaria

September 13 2018

A new Bulgarian shipping player that has invested in two supramaxes plans to more than double its fleet next year.

​Commodity trader Eleen Marine has emerged as the buyer of the 55, 700 - dwt supramax Bulk Neptune(built 2009) with Varna - based Meteor Management Bulgaria as its shipmanager.

Japan’ s Doun Kisen sold the ship

for about $15m at the end of July.

​The Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding - constructed ship’ s buyers were not identified at the time.

New dry bulk outfit emerges in Bulgaria

A new Bulgarian shipping player that has invested in two supramaxes plans to more than double its fleet next year.

Commodity trader Eleen Marine has emerged as the buyer of the 55, 700 - dwt supramax Bulk Neptune(built 2009) with Varna - based Meteor Management Bulgaria as its shipmanager.

Japan’ s Doun Kisen sold the ship

for about $15m at the end of July.

The Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding - constructed ship’ s buyers were not identified at the time.

Some brokers suspected Greeks were behind the purchase.But about a month ago, the vessel was delivered to its new owners as the Eleen Neptune, with Varna - based Meteor Management listed as its manager.

Contacted by TradeWinds, Meteor Management general manager Andrei Filipov confirmed his company had taken over the commercial and technical management of the ship on behalf of the vessel’ s principals Eleen Marine JSC Sofia, a commodity trading and transport business.

The Eleen Marine / Meteor Management duo made its debut last year with the purchase of another supramax— the 50, 700 - dwt Bedford Castle(built 1998).

​The Namura Shipbuilding - built vessel was purchased in the spring of 2017 from UK - based Navalmar.Some observers estimated the price to be about $4m.

​“The investment in oceangoing vessels was made to take advantage of the low asset values of dry bulk tonnage and hedge their[Eleen Marine’ s] commodity trading business, ”Filipov said in an email to TradeWinds.

The acquisition of a third supramax is expected by the end of this year, with the pace of acquisitions likely to increase in 2019.

Eleen Marine’ s investment programme is to have up to four supramaxes and one or two handymaxes next year.“After that, we will see, ”Filipov said.

 

The Meteor Management manager declined to comment on how Eleen Marine funds its purchases.Equasis shows Marshall Islands - based entity OCM Atlantic Trader LLC as the Eleen Neptune’ s registered owner.This could be a sign that private equity giant Oaktree Capital Management is playing a role in the Bulgarian company’ s expansion.

Eleen Marine is a commodity trader with a long history in trade and transport, which rebranded as a joint stock company in 2016.

Its core business is to trade in agricultural commodities and steel products

for construction and manufacturing, as well as providing shoreside logistics services.

Meteor Management was launched in 2017 as a joint venture between Global Maritime Navigation Bulgaria and DA Shipping.

It was set up specifically as a shipmanager.Its employees had previously been with Navigation Maritime Bulgare(Navibulgar) and Italy’ s BNavi Spa.

​Navibulgar is by far the biggest shipowner in Bulgaria, controlling about two - thirds of the 64 vessels currently managed out of the Balkan country, according to VesselsValue.

The vast majority of the Bulgarian fleet consists of handysize bulkers.Bulgarian companies are currently listed without any panamaxes, capesizes or large tankers

With two supramaxes in its fleet, Meteor Management is already Bulgaria’ s biggest shipmanager in terms of average ship size, according to Clarksons.

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