A Greek shipowning company says it has paid a ransom to Somali pirates holding one of its freighters for the past seven months.

Athens-based Alloceans Shipping says the ship should be freed later Thursday. The company declined to specify the sum paid to the pirates, who seized the Ariana on May 1 southwest of the Seychelles islands.

Company general manager Spyros Minas told The Associated Press the ship's 24-member Ukrainian crew was in good health.

The Maltese-flagged Ariana was carrying a cargo of soya from Brazil to Iran when attacked.