Excel Maritime Provides Charter Status Update and Announces Suspension of Dividend
ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - February 17, 2009) - Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE: EXM), an
owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a leading international
provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk
cargoes, today announced the following:
Status of Charters
Two charterers, with long-term charters on three of the Company's vessels,
have recently unilaterally started to pay approximately 50% of the agreed
charter rate to the Company. The loss of hire for Excel throughout the life
of the charters, should the Company keep receiving the reduced rates, is
estimated to be approximately $107 million, of which $32 million would
affect 2009 cash flows and another $35 million would affect 2010 cash
flows. In addition a few of the Company's other charterers have also
approached the Company attempting to renegotiate charter rates.
While the Company monitors the status of its counterparties, it cannot
assure that charterers, will continue to pay hire at agreed rates, reduced
rates, or at all. The Company considers cash flow security and
preservation an issue of great importance and as a result will carefully
evaluate all its alternatives, including the full enforcement of its legal
Suspension of Dividends
The Company's Board of Directors, after careful consideration of the
challenging conditions both in the freight market and the financial
environment, has decided to suspend the Company's dividends, including the
dividend in respect to the fourth quarter of 2008.
The decision is aimed at preserving cash and enhancing liquidity and is
considered to be a precautionary measure in view of the disruptions arising
with some of the Company's charters.
The dividend policy will be regularly assessed by the Board of Directors
and will depend, among other things, on the Company's obligations,
leverage, liquidity and capital resources and overall market conditions.
The Company will also consider other means of enhancing liquidity and
strengthening its capital base.
About Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd
Excel is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of
worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as
iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel
products. After the acquisition of Quintana, Excel owns a fleet of 41
vessels and, together with 7 Panamax vessels under bareboat charters,
operates 48 vessels (5 Capesize, 14 Kamsarmax, 21 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 6
Handymax vessels) with a total carrying capacity of approximately 3.9
million DWT. Excel Class A common shares have been listed since September
15, 2005 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EXM and,
prior to that date, were listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) since
1998. For more information about the Company, please go to our corporate
This press release contains forward-looking statements (as defined in
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events
and the Company's growth strategy and measures to implement such strategy;
including expected vessel acquisitions and entering into further time
charters. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes,"
"anticipates," "hopes," "estimates," and variations of such words and
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such
forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that
such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements
involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions
and estimates which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and
contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Actual
results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to
differ materially include, but are not limited to the ability to changes in
the demand for dry bulk vessels, competitive factors in the market in which
the Company operates; risks associated with operations outside the United
States; and other factors listed from time to time in the Company's filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company expressly
disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or
revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any
change in the Company's expectations with respect thereto or any change in
events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
Contact Information: Contacts:
Investor Relations / Financial
Capital Link, Inc.
230 Park Avenue - Suite 1536
New York, NY 10160, USA
Tel: (212) 661-7566
Fax: (212) 661-7526
Chief Financial Officer
Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.
17th Km National Road Athens-
Lamia & Finikos Street
145 64 Nea Kifisia