Castor Maritime has expanded its fleet with the acquisition of an 18-year-old panamax bulker, the shipowner has confirmed.

It said it has agreed to pay a purchase price of $6.7m for the 2001-built vessel, which was constructed in South Korea. The identity of the ship was not disclosed.

The most recent 2001-built panamax bulker to be sold was Diana Shipping's Nirefs, which was sold for $6.71m. The ship was built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

The Cyprus-based owner said the deal is expected to be consummated later this year or in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of our second dry bulk carrier, which, in a very short period, doubles the size of our fleet,” said Castor chief executive Petros Panagiotidis.

“We believe that the addition of this vessel to our fleet will be immediately accretive to our cash generating ability and is consistent with our growth-oriented strategy and our goal of increasing shareholder value.”

Castor’s only other vessel – the 76,455-dwt Magic P (built 2004) – is part way through a five to eight month charter to Oldendorff at $11,250 per day.

In early January Castor Maritime lodged a 2.4m shelf registration, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Shares in Castor trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol CTRM. It also trades on the Norwegian OTC as CASTOR.

The company’s earnings for the last six months ended 31 March more than doubled to $332,411 from the same period in 2018.