DryShips announced the receipt of a firm commitment letter from Nordea Bank for an up to $170 million senior secured credit facility to finance nine drybulk vessels. Nordea Bank will fully underwrite the facility, which has a five-year term and bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin.

Six out of the nine financed vessels are mortgaged under the company’s $325 million senior credit facility, which has a loan balance of $58.1 million. The remaining three vessels are currently debt free.

The availability of the facility is subject to final documentation and certain conditions precedent.

George Economou, chairman and CEO, commented, “On the back of the firm commitment from ABN AMRO for a bridge facility, we are also pleased to announce yet another commitment from a first class international bank, Nordea Bank. This facility provides further evidence that we maintain excellent relationships with international banking institutions that are stepping up to provide their support to our Company. This financing is another major milestone as it provides over $100 million which will be used towards the refinancing of the $700 million convertible notes maturing on December 1, 2014. We are confident that the remaining funds required to fully refinance the convertible notes will be raised prior to their maturity.”

DryShips is a global provider of marine transportation services for drybulk and petroleum cargoes and off-shore contract drilling oil services