Greek bulker giant Star Bulk Carriers has knocked millions off its interest bill with a series of new finance deals.

The Nasdaq-listed company, with 128 ships, has sealed $310m of loans to save $4m per year.

Chief executive Petros Pappas said: "We have continued to optimise our debt since the beginning of the year."

He explained that the transactions will extend maturities by an average of 4.4 years and leave the owner with 12 unencumbered ships.

“In an increasing interest rate environment, through our existing swaps, we have fixed our base rate at an average of 45 basis points (bps),” Pappas added.

Star Bulk has turned to ING Bank’s London branch for another $100m under the existing $210.6m facility, secured by a further nine ships.

The cash was used to refinance the outstanding amounts under lease agreements with China Merchants Bank Leasing (CMBL) for seven vessels acquired in February 2021 from Eneti, the former Scorpio Bulkers, and for the 99,000-dwt Star Vega (built 2011).

The ING money also refinanced the loan on the sister ship Madredeus under an $80m HSBC facility.

The additional tranche matures in five years.

Star Bulk has also tapped Citibank in London for $100m.

Leased bulkers refinanced

The first slice of $48.3m was drawn last month and used to replenish funds used in June for the redemption of the outstanding amount under the lease agreements with CMBL for five ships.

The rest will refinance another seven CMBL bulkers.

This facility also matures over five years.

In addition, Star Bulk said that this week it has entered into a loan agreement with SEB for $42m.

This has repaid in full the HSBC loan and refinanced the last $13.8m remaining on an NTT facility.

The term is again five years, with the debt secured by three ships.

Finally, Star Bulk has sealed a deal to refinance $67.9m outstanding on an ABN Amro loan. This provides a lower margin and an extension of the expiry from December 2023 to August 2027.

The package remains secured by seven bulkers.

Star Bulker’s cash on the balance sheet stood at $385.6m at quarter-end.