Serial Greek tanker buyer IMS SA has added a further acquisition deal under its belt, bringing the total number of ships it purchased over the past two years to 19 vessels.

Market sources are identifying the Piraeus-based company as the new owner of the 52,400-dwt Alhena (built 2012) and 50,000-dwt Paradise City (built 2009), in two separate deals believed to have cost the firm about $60m in total.

The transactions are in line with Mario Gialozoglou’s long-term bet that shifting geopolitics will allow mid-aged to older tankers to trade profitably for years.

All but one of the ships IMS bought on the secondhand market since mid-2022 are tankers — primarily product carriers.

One of its two latest acquisitions, the Alhena, used to trade with Greek peer Super Eco Tankers and IMS is believed to have spent about $32.3m to acquire it.

At some point last year, Super Eco Tankers refinanced the Chinese-built ship in a sale-and-leaseback deal with Neptune Maritime Leasing — a ship finance platform backed by US-listed Costamare and the Latsis family.

The second MR bought by Gialozoglou, the Paradise City, used to be managed by Stamatis Molaris firm Empire Navigation and is already trading with IMS under the name Afovos.

The South Korean-built ship has reportedly cost about $28m. This far exceeds the $26m and $27m that online valuation platforms Signal Ocean and VesselsValue estimate the ship is currently worth.

Market sources attribute the premium to the fact that the Paradise City, formerly trading as the MR Tigris for much of its life, passed a special survey just last month.

This, combined with its excellent condition, made the Paradise City an attractive acquisition target in a shrinking pool of tanker sale candidates, where aggressive Asian buyers are active.

IMS may have felt comfortable bidding at such price levels because it is familiar with ships previously managed by Empire.

In October last year, Gialozoglou paid about $20.8m for Empire’s 50,000-dwt MR Euphrates (renamed Prague, built 2008). The Chinese-built ship had carried a crude cargo before the deal.

IMS is not the only company Empire is selling tonnage to.

Several brokers report that Molaris divested another ship to undisclosed Turkish buyers earlier this month, the 50,000-dwt Gunmetal Jack (built 2009).

The South Korean-built ship, which passed its special survey in May, is said to have fetched about $28m. London-based brokers say the buyers are Turkey's Besiktas Group.