Stelmar Buys Osprey Tanker-Fleet for $212.5M

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Airline chief Stelios Haji-Ioannou's tanker company Stelmar has agreed to pay $212.5 million for the bulk of the clean tanker fleet of Singapore-listed Osprey Maritime, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Neither company was able to comment. Brokers said Stelmar, set up in 1992 by Haji-Ioannou, owner of cut price airline easy Jet, will take four double-hulled 1990s-built tankers of 46,000 tons and six slightly older and smaller single-hulled vessels in a deal that will double Stelmar's fleet size. The deal is subject to final Stelmar board approval, they added. A spokesman at Stelmar's Greek office said that because it was seeking a stock market listing, the company was prevented from commenting. Osprey company officials were unavailable for comment. U.S. tanker operator OMI Corp said on Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Osprey's other three single-hulled 30,000 ton vessels for $41.25 million. OMI said it would pay for the ships with $18.55 million in shares and the remainder in cash. OMI President and CEO Craig Stevenson said, "The three ships represent high quality tonnage in one of our strategic ship classes. We are obtaining them during a strong product market, making the transaction highly accretive to earnings immediately." Shipping magnate John Fredriksen, whose World Shipholding Group now holds a 91 percent stake in Osprey, announced in late December that he planned to sell off all Osprey's clean tankers to generate cash to invest in gas carriers. - (Reuters)

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