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Alma Maritime gears up

Alma Maritime gears up
Former Quintana Maritime boss Stamatis Molaris has unveiled the initial public offering plans for his new start-up company, Alma Maritime.

Alma Maritime gears up for New York listing.

Former Quintana Maritime boss Stamatis Molaris has unveiled the initial public offering plans for his new start-up company, Alma Maritime.

According to the company"s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alma will aim to raise, at the IPO"s projected midpoint price, about $225m from the sale of 11.3m shares it is anticipating will be priced at $19-$21 per share.

At the same time, the company"s sponsors ? Mr Molaris, Hans Mende, the president of American Metals & Coal International, and Fortis Bank Nederland private equity affiliate Maas Capital ? will plough $62m into the company"s capital.

Alma"s stock has been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AAM.

The Alma roadshow, understood to have started today in the US, will be the fourth shipping deal pitched at investors in the space of a little over a week, following the successful Baltic Trading and Crude Carriers IPOs, and in tandem with a planned issue by Scorpio Tankers.

Athens-based Alma will focus on both tanker and dry bulk tonnage, with the initial proceeds earmarked to acquire two 2008-built suezmax tankers and a 2005-built capesize bulker, as well as four suezmax tankers that are due to be delivered between May and September 2011.

The four suezmax newbuildings have all been chartered to Sanko Steamship for seven-year periods at gross daily rates of $35,400 plus profit-sharing arrangements.

The three secondhand ships are scheduled to be delivered in May this year.

The five year-old capesize bulker, which was purchased as the Cape Pioneer and renamed Cape Maria, has been chartered to EDF Trading until 2018 at a rate of $19,500 per day plus profit-sharing. The two existing suezmaxes will initially be deployed in the spot market, Alma said.

Alma was ?actively evaluating additional acquisition opportunities? in both the wet and dry markets.

These included two additional capesize bulkers, as yet unidentified, for which it has received a non-binding indication of long term charter terms from EDF.

The trio of second vessels had a combined purchase price of $190.6m, while the four suezmax newbuildings were contracted at about $370m, of which $131m had been paid by end-2009.

The quartet are the survivors of a nine-suezmax series penned by Mr Molaris in 2008, of which five have since been cancelled.

Management of the fleet will be undertaken by Mr Molaris" Greece-based Empire Navigation.

BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS Investment Bank will act as joint book-running managers for the issue and as representatives of the underwriters. Sunrise Securities will act as lead manager and Alma has appointed Clarkson Johnson Rice, BNP Paribas and UniCredit Capital Markets as co-managers.

The size of the offering could rise to more than 12.9m shares of common stock if the underwriters exercise an over-allotment option in full.


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