United Overseas Group (UOG) — a vehicle set up early last year by New York owner Peter Georgiopoulos and his business partner Leo Vrondissis — has acknowledged the purchase of a 12-year-old MR tanker from the private fleet of Greece’s Petros Pappas.

Brokers in London and the US identify UOG as the buyer of the 51,700-dwt tanker Orwell (built 2010).

Vrondissis confirmed the buy in reply to a query from TradeWinds on Tuesday, but he had no more to say about the deal.

Without revealing the buyers, ship management sources in Athens confirmed that Petros Pappas outfit Product Shipping & Trading (PST) has agreed to sell the Hyundai Mipo-built ship, fetching $25m in the process.

The Orwell is the youngest ship in PST’s fleet of MRs and LR1s built between 2003 and 2010.

The Orwell would fit well in UOG’s fleet of 17 owned and two bareboat-chartered tankers, built between 2005 and 2014.

UOG’s establishment was announced in January 2021, when the company was created in a complex “reverse triangular merger” that saw it acquire Dubai-based United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC) for an undisclosed price.

UACC was founded in 2007 with a fleet of 22 vessels, of which 20 — nine chemical tankers, two LR1s and nine MRs — were owned.

UOG is in the process of renaming the former UACC ships to reflect the new UOG branding. In that process, shipping reference data show five of the company’s ships already carrying a UOG prefix in their new names.

MR tanker deals have been all the rage in recent weeks amid a red-hot tanker S&P market, as buyers rush to benefit from earnings exceeding $40,000 per day.

In other deals for even older and smaller product tankers reported by brokers this month, Nigerian owners are said to have sold the 37,000-dwt Esther (built 2005) for about $11.5m. At the same time, UAE-based interests reportedly sold the 37,200-dwt Stefanie (built 2003) for $10.8m.