OSLO: Navigator Holdings Ltd. signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with Naviera Ultranav Limitada (Ultranav) to merge Ultragas ApS’ fleet and business activities with Navigator.
The transaction would unite two leading gas shipping companies with similar culture and mindset and is expected to enhance Navigator’s safe, reliable, energy and environmentally efficient, marine transport services.
The combined fleet would total 56 vessels, which would enhance Navigator’s capability to provide flexibility and support to its customers. It is expected that Navigator would issue approximately 21.2 million new shares of its common stock to Ultranav, and assume Ultragas’ net debt of approximately $197 million, as well as its net working capital.
The combined entity would have an aggregate net asset value of approximately $1.3 billion, based primarily upon desktop appraisals by maritime brokers.
After giving effect to the proposed issuance of its new shares of common stock to Ultranav, Navigator is expected to have a total of approximately 77.1 million shares of common stock outstanding, of which Ultranav would own approximately 27.5% and BW Group would own approximately 28.4%.
David Butters, Executive Chairman of the Board of Navigator, commented, “We are delighted that the von Appen family, with its long history in global shipping, are entrusting their modern LPG fleet to Navigator. The combination will result in a LPG and petrochemical shipping company with unmatched scale and diversification. The Ultragas fleet will significantly strengthen our position in the handysized sector and provide our customers with greater flexibility in transporting smaller parcels in a cost-advantaged basis.”
Mr. Butters commented further, “We look forward to having Ultranav’s Chairman, Dag von Appen, join our Board at the time of closing of the proposed merger. Dag’s extensive experience and noted success in running a broad-based shipping platform will provide Navigator with valuable insight and guidance as we develop our shipping and logistics infrastructure businesses.
Together with Mr. Von Appen, Peter Stokes, a current Board member of Ultranav and former Senior Advisor and head of Shipping at Lazard, is also expected to join the Navigator Board at time of closing.”
In addition, pursuant to an earlier agreement dated and disclosed December 2020, we will also welcome to our Board, a second BW Group nominee, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of BW Group Limited.
Dag von Appen, Chairman of the Board of Ultranav, commented, “We have been following the journey of Navigator closely since it was founded in 1997, and we acknowledge and respect the results achieved by Navigator since then and especially David’s long-standing vision and dedicated work in developing the company to become the worldwide leader in petrochemical gas transportation.”
Dag continued: “We look forward to joining Navigator Gas with its sound values and strong governance which fits well with our value to be a “partner you can trust” in all respects. We believe this new setup will provide additional value to our customers by increasing flexibility, geographical coverage and access to a modern fleet of 56 vessels.”