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Preliminary Results Indicate That Star Bulk Shareholders Approve Merger With Oceanbulk

ATHENS, GREECE -- (Marketwired) -- 07/11/14 -- Star Bulk Carriers Corp. ("Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK) has announced preliminary results of the shareholder vote at its special meeting of shareholders that was held earlier today. The Company reported that an overwhelming majority of the shareholders voted to approve the previously announced agreements with entities affiliated with Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (the "Oaktree Investors") and entities controlled by Star Bulk's Non-Executive Chairman, Mr. Petros Pappas, and certain of his immediate family members, including Milena Maria Pappas, one of Star Bulk's directors (the "Pappas Investors"), pursuant to which Oceanbulk Shipping LLC and Oceanbulk Carriers LLC (the "Oceanbulk Companies") and entities controlled by the Pappas Investors are expected to become indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Star Bulk in consideration for the issuance to the Oaktree Investors and the Pappas Investors of 54.104 million shares of common stock of Star Bulk (the "Transactions").

Consummation of the Transactions remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain other conditions included in the agreements.

Vote tallies are considered preliminary until the final results are tabulated and certified by independent election inspectors. The final results will be posted on Star Bulk's website at http://www.starbulk.com

About Star Bulk

Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks which include bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SBLK". Star Bulk has an operating fleet of seventeen dry bulk carriers, consisting of five Capesize, two Post Panamax, two Ultramax and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,610,935 deadweight tons and an average age of approximately 9.0 years. In addition, Star Bulk provides vessel management services to fourteen third party dry bulk vessels, including five Capesize, two Post Panamax, two Kamsarmax, two Panamax and three Supramax vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,569,255 deadweight tons. Star Bulk has also entered into agreements for the construction of eleven fuel efficient dry bulk vessels, consisting of five Newcastlemax vessels, two Capesize vessels and four Ultramax vessels, with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,643,000 deadweight tons. All of the newbuilding vessels are expected to be delivered during 2015 and early 2016.

Star Bulk's common stock is listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "SBLK."

About Oceanbulk Companies

The Oceanbulk Companies are international shipping companies that own and operate a fleet of dry bulk carrier vessels. On a fully delivered basis, the Oceanbulk Companies will have a fleet of 37 vessels consisting primarily of Capesize as well as Kamsarmax and Ultramax vessels with a carrying capacity between 55,000 dwt and 209,000 dwt. The Oceanbulk Companies' fleet includes 12 vessels in the water (five Capesize vessels, two post-Panamax vessel, three Kamsarmax vessels and two Supramax vessels), with aggregate cargo carrying capacity of approximately 1.5 million deadweight tons and 25 fuel-efficient "Eco-type" vessels currently under construction at leading shipyards in Japan and China for delivery in 2014 and 2015, with an aggregate cargo carrying capacity of 3.5 million deadweight tons. Oceanbulk Companies' vessels transport a broad range of major and minor bulk commodities, including ores, coal, grains and fertilizers, along worldwide shipping routes. Upon the completion of the Transactions, (i) Star Bulk will acquire the Oceanbulk Companies through a merger of their immediate parent companies with two Star Bulk subsidiaries, and (ii) Star Bulk has agreed to acquire, upon successful future delivery, two 2006 built Tsuneishi (Japan) Kamsarmax vessels to be distributed to Oceanbulk Shipping LLC from its Heron Ventures Ltd. joint venture. The shares for this acquisition are included in the 54.104 million shares being issued in total for the Transactions.

About Pappas Investors

Entities controlled by the Pappas Investors, which will be acquired by Star Bulk in the Transactions, currently own a 2014 built Kamsarmax dry bulk carrier and a contract for the construction of a newbuilding Capesize dry bulk carrier scheduled to be delivered in 2014.

Forward-Looking Statements

Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

Star Bulk desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding:

  • The effectuation of the Transactions;

  • The delivery to and operation of assets by Star Bulk;

  • Star Bulk's future operating or financial results;

  • Future, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy, areas of possible expansion, and expected capital spending or operating expenses; and

  • Dry bulk market trends, including charter rates and factors affecting vessel supply and demand.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, examination by Star Bulk's management of historical operating trends, data contained in its records and other data available from third parties. Although Star Bulk believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond the Star Bulk's control, Star Bulk cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in Star Bulk's view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in Star Bulk's operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for Star Bulk's vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and Star Bulk disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.

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