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Navigator Holdings Files for IPO: Largest LPG Shipping Fleet, Wilbur Ross

Jon C. Ogg

Navigator Holdings Ltd. has joined the list of companies looking to capture the interest of a strong market for initial public offerings. The company filed its IPO paperwork (F1) with the Securities and Exchange Commission and no financial terms have been set other than that it plans to sell up to $200 million in common stock.

Navigator Holdings claims to be the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers for international and regional liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) shipping. This is a Marshall Islands corporation and substantially all of its assets are located outside of the United States. It is also tied to private equity titan Wilbur Ross.

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Jefferies and Morgan Stanley are listed as the bookrunners. Co-managers in the syndicate are listed as Evercore, Fearnley Securities, Global Hunter Securities, and Stifel.

The company's fleet is made up of 30 semi- or fully-refrigerated handysize liquefied gas carriers (between 15,000 and 24,999 cbm) if you include a purchase pending and seven new vessels scheduled for delivery by August 2015. Navigator also has options to build two further vessels for delivery by early 2016. In short, it has 22 vessels on the water now, which is up from 5 when management joined in 2006.

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For the six months ended June 30, 2013, net income was $19.1 million, with EBITDA of $47.7 million, and sales of $102.8 million. In the year 2012 its net income was $30.5 million, with EBITDA of $63.9 million, from operating revenue of $146.7 million.

WLR Group, an entity tied to Wilbur Ross, owns some 60.6% of the common stock of Navigator Holdings. The company clearly states that it has very limited U.S. enforceability. It said,

"A majority of our directors and officers and some of its experts reside outside the United States. In addition, a substantial portion of the assets of our directors, officers and experts are located outside of the United States. As a result, you may have difficulty serving legal process within the United States upon us or any of these persons."

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