Ships-for-shares deals are touted as permanent in world shipping
PRIVATE equity owned or backed shipping companies are increasingly venturing in the ships-for-shares deals with listed shipowners, reports Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
11 October 2019 - 19:00
'We would highlight deals by NASDAQ-listed, Athens headquartered Star Bulk Carriers Corp over the last 18 months with acquisitions from Songa Bulk, Augustea, ER Capital Holdings and most recently Kelso backed Delphin Shipping,' said Daniel Saunders, a London partner with law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), a firm facilitating such deals.
'Altogether this represents an acquisition of over 40 bulker vessels via ships for shares deals. In great part, it was these deals that led to Marine Money naming Petros Pappas (CEO] and Hamish Norton [President] as dealmakers of the Year,' Mr Saunders said.
WFW advised Star Bulk in connection with a majority of these deals through the combined efforts of our London, Greek and New York based offices.
Also of note in the Greek market is the sale by NS Lemos of four container vessels to Ship Finance International in return for a mix of cash and shares in Ship Finance International, a transaction, which WFW also advised on.
'A lot of the reasoning behind the trend towards these deals can be gleaned from its other moniker: 'IPO via M&A'. Instead of private equity investors in sellers looking to exit or liquidate their investments through IPO'ing their own fleet separately, they can more efficiently achieve a similar result through selling to a major listed shipping entity and receiving shares in such entity in part or full consideration,' Mr Saunders said.
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