EuropeFinance and InsuranceGas

BW LPG prepares takeover offer for Aurora

BW LPG has upped its stake in Aurora LPG again and is to launch a voluntary tender offer to buy all the remaining shares in the company.

The world’s largest VLGC owner bought another 877,813 shares (2.96%) in Aurora on Monday and now holds a 32.79% stake (9,730,654 shares) in the Norwegian firm, which owns a fleet of nine VLGCs.

In the upcoming tender, Aurora shareholders will be offered a consideration of either 0.3175 shares in BW LPG and NOK 6.15 ($0.74) in cash or NOK 12.30 ($1.48) in cash for each of their shares.

Transpetrol Ltd, which owns 9.84% of Aurora, has already given its irrevocable acceptance of BW LPG’s offer for all of its 2,919,655 shares in the company.

Together, BW LPG and Transpetrol hold 44.17% of shares in Aurora LPG, excluding treasury shares held by the company itself.

The offer will be launched following regulatory approval of the offer document, which is expected at the beginning of November.

“We believe that the offer will provide an attractive opportunity for the Aurora LPG shareholders, to maintain
exposure to and participate in, the future upside in the VLGC market. The combination of BW LPG and Aurora LPG will create a stronger player in the challenging environment in our industry,” Martin Ackermann, CEO of BW LPG (pictured), said in a filing.

“The combined entity will have a significant, modern and high-quality fleet, a strong platform and the financial resources required to continue its operations through this challenging period,” he continued.

BW LPG, which is controlled by the Sohmen-Pao family, first started buying more shares in Aurora when its rival Avance Gas initiated buyout plans for Aurora late last year.

Avance’s takeover offer was withdrawn in December after the offer period expired before all the conditions for its completion were met. Senior management at Aurora had urged shareholders to veto the takeover offer, suggesting they’d get more money from liquidating the shares.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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