Rising bulker prices helped John Fredriksen offload a pair of kamsarmaxes at about the same price the Norwegian tycoon paid when he acquired them as newbuildings nine years ago.

The ships’ new owner turned out to be Turkish-backed Densay Shipping, a rapidly expanding Dubai company whose fleet has exceeded the 30-ship mark and may even be racing towards 40 vessels.

Densay made its last known move in the secondhand market last autumn, when it swooped on a nine-year-old capesize previously owned by the Noble Group for about $28m.

The company continues focusing on vessels of about the same age.

Densay has recently acquired the 81,600-dwt Sea Neptune and Sea Hermes (both built 2013). The sisterships have already joined the company’s fleet and are trading as SSI Surprise and SSI Irresistible, respectively.

The two Chinese-built vessels were previously in the private fleet of Fredriksen, who seems to have made a neat deal in selling them.

Acquired in 2013 as newbuilding resales for about $23m each, Fredriksen is believed to have sold them to Densay at about the same price again after trading them for nine years in the market.

Seatankers, Fredriksen’s private company, has been shedding Chinese-built kamsarmaxes on the secondhand market for years, when conditions looked opportune.

As its focus turned to newbuildings, Seatankers sold the 80,000-dwt Sea Trellis (renamed Captain V Madias, built 2012) in 2018.

According to VesselsValue, 11 more such sales followed by July 2021, when Seatankers divested the 79,300-dwt Sea Express (renamed Hua Cong Zhi Xhing, built 2012). Most of these deals, however, have been internal between different Fredriksen-controlled entities.

Densay booming

Densay was founded in 1992 by Turkey’s Tayfun Gunerhan, who started his shipping career as a deck officer in 1985.

It is not immediately clear to what size Densay’s fleet has grown after the acquisitions of the Sea Hermes and Sea Neptune. Densay keeps a very low profile about its moves and has no fleet list on its website.

Clarksons lists the company with 27 bulkers and two tankers on the water, as well as four ultramax newbuildings under construction at China Merchant Jinling Shipyard and Nantong Xiangyu Shipbuilding that are due for delivery later this year.

VesselsValue attributes another six bulker newbuildings to Densay, all under construction at Imabari Shipbuilding — two handysizes and four ultramaxes, due for delivery in 2022 and 2023.

Densay says on its website it provides ocean transportation services to grain houses, oil majors, commodity traders, mining companies, steel mills, utility providers and industrial users through spot voyages, time charters and contracts of affreightment.

In addition to its own fleet, the company also says it operates third-party vessels through time charters.