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Another law firm takes aim at Georgiopoulos

New York: The number of lawyers making hay from a controversial shipping merger continues to rise. Tripp Levy becomes the fourth law firm to take the proposed merger between Genco and Baltic to task. The two companies are controlled by Greek shipping entrepreneur, Peter Georgiopoulos.

Baltic Trading announced last Wednesday that it is being acquired by Genco Shipping & Trading in a stock-for-stock transaction. Baltic shareholders are to receive 0.216 shares of Genco common stock for each share of Baltic common stock they own. The proposed transaction is valued at only $1.69 per share.

“Our investigation has determined that the offer price of only $1.69 per share unfairly under-values the true going forward inherent value of Baltic and that shareholders are not receiving the maximum value for their shares,” Tripp Levy said in a release late on Friday.   The law firm noted the book value per share of the company is $6.44 per share, an analyst has projected that the price of the stock is worth at least $4 per share, and the stock recently traded at $7.02 per share within the past year.

Tripp Levy’s investigation further seeks to determine whether the senior management of Baltic are entering into this deal for their own self-interests to the detriment of the company’s shareholders.

Georgiopoulos has yet to respond to the many law firms accusing him of underselling Baltic.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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