Owners of TOTE Maritime lodge bid to take over OSG

American shipping could see dramatic consolidation with news that the owners of TOTE Maritime have lodged a bid to take over tanker giant Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG).

OSG revealed on Friday that Saltchuk Holdings, the owner of TOTE and Foss Maritime, had lodged a $3 per share bid to take over the tanker operator.

OSG’s board said it has commenced a strategic process to explore, review and evaluate a range of strategic alternatives available including the non-binding indication of interest.

Mark Tabbut-chaired Saltchuk already owns 17.5% of OSG’s outstanding shares.

A letter from Saltchuk to OSG investors states: “By its nature, shipping has multi-decade investment cycles and shorter-term economic cycles, both of which are better supported by a privately held family business versus being traded in the public markets.”

The proposed transaction would be funded through a combination of equity capital from Saltchuk, minority capital provided by third parties, and a refinancing of the company’s debt obligations, commitments for which would be in hand prior to signing definitive agreements.

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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