The completion of the Hafnia Tankers/BW Group merger is another step closer to an IPO
The initial public offering (IPO) of the product tanker fleet under the control of the privately-held BW Group took one step closer with shareholders’ approval of the formal merger into the group of Hafnia Tankers.
According to Hafnia Tankers, it is now the world’s largest fleet, consisting of 102 product tankers, four newbuildings and three product tanker pools – managed by Hafnia Management and Straits Tankers with vessels in the LR2, LR1, MR and SR segments.
As a consequence of the merger, which was flagged in August 2018, Hafnia has been deleted from the Oslo Bors over-the-counter share trading (N-OTC) board. BW Tankers is now registered (still under the trading symbol HAFNIA) with a current share price of Nkr50 (US$5.6) per share.
The clear aim of consolidating the two fleets is to create an entity that can be floated on one of the main boards of a US and/or Oslo stock exchange.
Tanker Shipping & Trade notes there are currently eight publicly listed product tanker companies with market caps ranging from less than US$25M to over US$1Bn, which suggests there are also opportunities for the new entity to achieve a listing by reversing into one of the smaller listed product tanker companies.
In the past, the focus of tanker IPOs has been to list in the US, but is there now sufficient investor appetite and liquidity to launch a tanker IPO in Asia? Management and operational decisions like this will be discussed at the forthcoming Asian Tanker Conference in Singapore in February.