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Western Bulk Chartering equity issue gets underway

Kistefos has completed the application process for the private placement of 5m new shares in Western Bulk Chartering (WBC), which will raise gross proceeds of NOK 167m ($20m), subject to share- and bondholders’ approval.

The shares will be sold at a price of NOK 33.40 ($4.00) per share in the placement, which is directed towards the largest shareholders in Bulk Invest (BI; formerly known as Western Bulk).

WBC plans to conduct a share split of 1:2,000, which will reduce its total number of outstanding shares to 4m before the placement. After the equity sale is completed, WBC’s total number of shares will be 9m.

“We are very pleased to have concluded this fundraising with the support from previous BI shareholders. The private placement provides WBC with a significantly improved capital position and a strong platform to continue to service our global customers and grow our business,” Jens Ismar, CEO of WBC, said in a filing today.

WBC’s upcoming extraordinary general meeting will decide whether BI shareholders as of February 25 this year who did not participate in the private placement will be offered a subsequent repair offering worth up to the NOK equivalent of $5m (currently around NOK 41.5m). The shares would be sold at a price of NOK 33.40 each.

Kistefos is led by Christen Sveaas, who is chairman of Bulk Invest, which filed for bankruptcy in early March. Kistefos acquired WBC from Western Bulk in early February.

Most of WBC’s new capital is expected to be raised by the end of June, and Kistefos itself will contribute equity capital. The investment firm said previously it will “backstop” a part of the equity issue by providing a $10m guarantee.

All the new shares to be issued have a par value of NOK 0.05.





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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