Greek Pyxis Tankers, a shipowner of product tankers, expects to scale up the fleet by acquiring modern eco-efficient MR product tankers, after the deal to sell its oldest vessel to an undisclosed UK buyer.

The Nasdaq-listed tanker owner has sealed a deal to sell the 50,667 deadweight product tanker Pyxis Malou, 2009-built, for a sale price of $24.8 million in cash.

The sale, subject to customary closing conditions, is scheduled to occur by 31st of March this year.

After the repayment of the outstanding indebtedness for this vessel and the payment of various transaction costs, Pyxis expects to receive cash proceeds of around $18 million, which the company said would be used for general corporate purposes, including additional debt repayment.

A non-cash gain will be recognised from asset disposition of approximately $8 million or approximately $0.75 per outstanding common share.

The company currently owns a modern fleet of five tankers engaged in seaborne transportation of refined petroleum products and other bulk liquids.

Shipping Telegraph reported on 2nd of March that Pyxis Tankers eyes potential modern eco-efficient MR2s acquisitions. The Nasdaq-listed tanker owner, when attractive opportunities develop in the market, will expand its fleet portfolio “when the timing is judged right”, as it is said by Pyxis Chief Executive Officer in a review with Phil Nicholls in Inside Marine.

Valentios Valentis, Chairman and CEO of Pyxis Tankers commenting on the sale said: “The sale of our oldest asset at an attractive price underscores our strategic focus for modern eco–efficient MR product tankers, and provides further balance sheet liquidity and financial strength. Moving forward, we will have a fleet of four MRs with an average age of 8 years. Upon completion of the disposition, our substantial cash position and lower leverage will increase our operating and financial flexibility.”

Mr. Valentis also stated that the company expects at the proper time to further enhance shareholder value, by pursuing opportunities with cash on hand, and, if appropriate, utilizing modest bank financing.