LILA GLOBAL, a Dubai-based logistics and freight services provider in the dry bulk and tanker shipping industry, is looking to spend up to $250m to expand its 33-strong fleet to 50 by 2025.
The wholly owned subsidiary of ship recycling firm GMS is looking to add vessels in both dry bulk and tanker market.
“We are value investors. If we see good assets at the right prices, we are open to acquiring [regardless of the market],” said chief operating officer Nitin Mehta.
The 33 vessels in Lila’s pool are currently trading at spot markets.
“This gives us the flexibility to play the market and since we are a low debt company, we do not feel the pressure to tie the vessels to long term charters,” Mr Metha told Lloyd’s List on the sidelines of Marine Money Week Asia conference in Singapore.
Lila Global has a debt ratio of 25%, with diversified lenders coming from the Middle East, Europe, the US, and Greece. Its fleet comprise 21 bulkers, 10 tankers, and one passenger vessel.
The company is looking at vessels under 15-years-old. To maintain prudence in its financing approach, the company is willing to put in up to $150m and borrow up to $100m to finance the new acquisition, Mr Mehta said, adding he is cautiously positive on the dry bulk sector.
“With the big rise in freight last year, the market is expected to settle and be more stable this year,” he said.
China is still not buying as much, adding to the cautious sentiment in the market, though Mr Mehta is more positive on the tanker sector.
“There will always be global events such as wars and conflicts, but the underlying fundamentals show that there are still opportunities given supply of tankers still lags demand.”