Denmark’s Lauritzen Bulkers has continued to trim its shipowning activities with the sale of three Chinese-built handysizes to compatriot Clipper Group.

The 32,000-dwt Orchard Bulker, Sentosa Bulker and Emilie Bulker (all built 2010) changed hands for an undisclosed price, US brokers said.

VesselsValue puts the worth of the Jiangmen Nanyang Ship Engineering-built trio at $8.3m each.

Clipper confirmed the purchase, while Lauritzen said it would not comment on market rumours.

Clipper said the three ships would be renamed Clipper Appollonia, Clipper Aegina and Clipper Alexandria and that it would take delivery of the ships over the next few months.

Following these additions, Clipper Bulk now operates around 85 handysize and supramax vessels, including tonnage operated by the two Clipper Bulk-managed pools: the Clipper Handy Pool and the Clipper Ultra Pool.

Clipper said it had made the purchase "in close collaboration with a financial partner."

The deal comes less than a month after Lauritzen was reported to have sold a handysize bulker, the 31,000-dwt Hedvig Bulker (built 2011). At the time, the vessel was reported sold for $10.3m to Hong Kong-based Taylor Maritime, but brokers now claim a Greek buyer took the ship.

Lauritzen, a subsidiary of J Lauritzen, remains a big player in the handysize segment, despite trimming its fleet of owned ships. At the end of 2018, it operated 58 handysizes.

In July, the Danish company sold the 31,000-dwt Emma Bulker and Louise Bulker (both built 2010) to Taylor Maritime.

Scaling down

Clipper has been scaling down the number of owned bulkers in its fleet, although the Lauritzen deal appears to indicate the contrary is now happening.

Until the Lauritzen deal, Clipper had not bought a bulker in three years.

And it did not own any bulkers on a 100% basis, but did still have a handful of vessels under joint-venture structures.