WL Ross buys up Navigator shares from Lehman Brothers


US private equity firm WL Ross & Co has agreed to buy 4.4 million shares of Navigator Holdings owned by Lehman Brothers Inc (LBI) for $110m.

WL Ross had previously acquired 3.5 million Navigator shares, back in November 2011.

The new agreement will bring its total stake in Navigator to over 50 per cent.

As part of the deal, WL Ross agreed with Navigator that a majority of the board of directors will continue to be independent directors.

Navigator provides seaborne transportation services to producers, traders and consumers of liquefied petroleum gas, petrochemical gases and ammonia.

The company owns and operates a fleet of nine, semi-refrigerated gas carriers, representing around ten per cent of the fleet capacity in the sector.

James W Giddens, trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation of LBI, submitted a motion to the US Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York for approval of the purchase agreement.

“We see substantial opportunities in the global transportation industry, particularly rail and marine transport,” said Wilbur Ross, Jr, chairman of WL Ross & Co.

“Navigator is a leader in the handy-sized shipping segment, which has excellent fundamentals and a positive long-term outlook as global shifts in demand for liquified petroleum gas and other petrochemicals increase opportunities for efficient, flexible marine transportation providers.”

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