Alterna Capital Partners and Western Bulk Announce Joint Venture to Invest in Dry Bulk Cargo Ships

Alterna Capital Partners and Western Bulk have today entered into a joint venture to invest in dry cargo bulk carriers in the 30.000 to 60.000 dwt size segment. Western Bulk will be the managing partner and the plan is to invest in at least 4 vessels – both new buildings and/or trading vessels.

The joint venture has already committed to two 58.000 dwt new buildings at Sino Pacific, Dayang shipyard for delivery March and November 2011. “We are excited to join Western Bulk in this attractive investment that will allow Alterna to participate in the dry bulk sector with a best-in-class operating partner,” said Alterna Managing Partner Jim Furnivall. “Western Bulk’s industry relationships, market contacts and experienced leadership make them an ideal partner for this venture. The joint venture is off to a strong start, and we are confident that with improving economic conditions, Western Bulk’s operating expertise and our investment experience and financial strength, this venture will achieve sustainable, long-term success.”

Jens Ismar, CEO of Western Bulk, states this is a further and important step for Western Bulk in the company’s efforts to build a fleet and exposure to steel at a time in the cycle we believe is interesting. We believe this JV with Alterna is strategically very exciting and offers an interesting opportunity for both parties working together to create value in the very interesting dry bulk market. It is also very important to Western Bulk in our effort to create a long term tonnage and cargo portfolio.

About Western Bulk AS

Western Bulk is a leading trading company in the Handysize to Supramax dry bulk vessels segment. The Group operates between 75 and 100 vessels worldwide. Western Bulk has divided its activities into seven business units with offices in Oslo, Singapore, Perth, Seattle and Santiago in Chile. In 2009 the company extended its business into shipowning by acquiring a 2008-built Supramax vessel. The Group intends to further increase investments in vessels.

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