ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels, announced that on February 11, 2013, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, the Company was the successful bidder at an auction that took place in France, for the m/v "Valeria Della Gatta" (to be renamed Maia), a 2009-built Kamsarmax dry bulk carrier of 82,193 dwt, built by Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Japan, for a purchase price of €14.755 million. Separately, the Company also announced that it has entered into a time charter contract with ADM International Sarl, Rolle, Switzerland, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, for one of its Post-Panamax dry bulk carriers, the m/v Alcmene. The gross charter rate is US$7,250 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of about eighteen (18) months to maximum twenty-four (24) months. The charter is expected to commence on February 23, 2013. The Alcmene is a 93,193 dwt Post-Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2010. Additionally, the Company has entered into a time charter contract with Intermare Transport GmbH, Hamburg, through a separate wholly owned subsidiary, for one of its Panamax dry bulk carriers, the m/v Danae. The gross charter rate is US$8,250 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum eighteen (18) months to maximum twenty-two (22) months. The charter is expected to commence at the beginning of March 2013. The Danae is a 75,106 dwt Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2001. The employments of the Alcmene and the Danae are anticipated to generate a total of approximately US$8.26 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charters. Including the newly acquired vessel, Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 32 dry bulk carriers (17 Panamax, 2 Kamsarmax, 3 Post-Panamax, 8 Capesize and 2 Newcastlemax), as well as 2 new-building Ice Class Panamax vessels expected to be delivered to the Company during the fourth quarter of 2013. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of our current fleet, excluding the two vessels not yet delivered, is approximately 3.5 million dwt with a weighted average age of 5.9 years. A table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the Company's website, www.dianashippinginc.com . Information contained on the Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release. About the Company Diana Shipping Inc. is a leading global provider of shipping transportation services through the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels. The Company's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.