Avance Gas withdraws takeover offer for Aurora LPG

Avance Gas has withdrawn its voluntary exchange offer for the acquisition of Aurora LPG.

The offer period set by Avance in its attempt to take over Aurora expired yesterday afternoon. In a statement, Avance said: “not all of the conditions for completion of the Offer included in section 4.7 of the Offer Document have been met. Avance Gas has consequently resolved to withdraw the Offer.”

0.574 new shares in Avance Gas were being offered for each share in Aurora, which represented a premium of 34.8%. However, senior management at Aurora urged shareholders to veto the takeover offer, suggesting they’d get more money from liquidating Aurora.

Whether Avance has given up hope on the takeover remains to be seen. Speaking to Splash yesterday Christian Andersen, president of Avance Gas, said he likely will sit down with the large shareholders of Aurora to discuss a strategy going forward.

Avance Gas, a three-way venture between Norway’s Stolt-Nielsen, Saudi Arabia’s Sungas Holdings and Bermuda-based shipowner Frontline 2012, has actively looked for mergers and acquisitions for at least two years.

Last year it failed with a bid to take over Dorian LPG, and may now have to look at other ways to bring in new ships, which was the intention with the Aurora offer.

Aurora’s fleet is made up of three VLGCs with another six on order set to deliver in 2016. With BW LPG now holding a 15% stake, having funded the share purchase by selling its treasury shares, Aurora LPG may still be set for a change in ownership in the near future.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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