Diligent Holdings has purchased yet another supramax bulker, reaffirming its status as one of the most rapidly growing companies in Greek shipping.

The Athens-based outfit has emerged as owner of the 58,700-dwt supramax Bulk Pegasus (built 2009), a vessel reported sold in early June to unidentified Greeks.

Brokers said at the time the ship cost between $13m and $13.3m but TradeWinds understands it was purchased at a much lower price of $12.35m.

Online reference sources indicate the Tsuneishi-built vessel will join the Diligent fleet this month under its new name, Vienna.

Rapid expansion

Diligent was set up in 2011. It remained a single-ship company for several years before setting out on a rapid expansion course in early 2016, when the dry bulk market bottomed out. It has built a fleet of 15 bulkers since, spending about $160m in the process, according to TradeWinds estimates.

A first wave of expansion between February 2016 and October 2017 saw the company acquire five handysizes and a handymax. Over the past couple of years, it has been focusing exclusively on supramaxes, all built at Japanese yards or at Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) in the Philippines.

The purchase of the Bulk Pegasus is a landmark for Diligent, as it lifts the number of supramaxes past the tally of handysizes in its fleet.

Little is known about Diligent, except that its senior board member, Dimitris Michalos, is the general manager of an Athens hotel out of which the company operates.

Second to Star Bulk

With four supramax purchases under its belt so far this year, Diligent has become Greece’s second-biggest buyer of the ship type in that period. The biggest is Star Bulk Carriers, which acquired 11 such ships in a single swoop at the end of May.

Diligent’s and Star Bulk’s deals catapulted the number of confirmed Greek supramax purchases this year to 19.

These two companies apart, however, other Greek supramax buyers have been few and far between. They include Eastern Mediterranean, White Sea Navigation and Load Line Marine. Another is Ecocarriers Maritime Ltd. The little-known entity, which registered in Piraeus in April, has emerged as buyer of the 53,400-dwt Thrasher (renamed Ecoatlantic, built 2010) — a ship sold by Eagle Bulk Carriers in the same month.

Alma Maritime may be joining the list. The Stamatis Molaris-controlled company reportedly acquired the 58,600-dwt Hinode Maru (built 2012) earlier this month. The vessel is said to have fetched $11.3m.

Alma Maritime and affiliate Empire Bulkers may be hoping to repeat a supramax asset play from last year, when their company made a 75% profit on the sale of the 53,000-dwt Mastro Nikolas (renamed Tong De 188).

Greeks have also been on the selling side, disposing of older supramax units. Navios Group companies have shed three such ships so far this year. More may be coming as Fafalios Shipping has reportedly circulated the 51,000-dwt Nueva Esperanza (built 2002) for sale.