With rivals circling Aurora’s chairman comes out fighting

With rivals BW LPG and Avance Gas circling, Aurora LPG’s chairman Leiv Askvig has said he’d be willing to offload ships, or even liquidate the company, than accept a takeover offer from Avance.

Aurora feels the takeover offer made by Avance Gas fails “to fairly reflect the values” of the company and has recommended shareholders not to accept the offer.

Askvig said in a release to the Oslo Bors that the company now “intends to intensify its efforts to crystallize underlying values, including through sale of vessels, where this is seen as required to safeguard shareholder value under a scenario where two of Aurora’s competitors become significant shareholders of the company.”

The Aurora board repeated that it feels liquidating the company would represent values significantly exceeding the nominal value of Avance’s offer.

Last night, the other company stalking Aurora, BW LPG pounced for more shares. After close of markets BW LPG bought another 2.87% share in Aurora, taking its holding to 15%.

When contacted by Splash, BW LPG ceo Martin Ackermann said that he could not comment on the strategic direction or investment plans of the company. Ackermann did say that the company was able to acquire the latest batch of shares at a better price point than the initial investment, made recently, and described the purchase of Aurora shares as a “cash generating investment”.

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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