Top banks $20m

Evangelos Pistiolis-led Top Ships has brought in a fraction over $20m from an equity issue.

Top sold 10 million shares and warrants with the rights to 5 million more to complete a deal which first come to light last week.

Underwriters have taken options on 330,000 of the warrants available out of a total of 750,000, a statement said.

Evangelos Pistiolis, chief executive of Top Ships, tells TradeWinds the capital raise could cover its present newbuilding commitments, depending on what loan financing can be secured. “That is of course if we do not buy more ships,” he said.

The owner has six products tanker newbuildings to its name for delivery between the second quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2016.

Five of the ships were acquired as resales for $43.3m in total. Roughly $2.5m of the purchase was paid in cash and the remainder was covered by $40.8m worth of newly-issued common shares, according to a regulatory filing that outlined the terms of the fundraiser.

Pistiolis notes Top has raised money at a time when numerous big name shipping investors have failed with initial public offerings.

“The truth is the markets are tough,” Pistiolis said. “But for solid stories there is no big issue. There is money available, it is just a matter of if they want to give it to new stories."

He added: “We found our meetings very receptive. It is not easy [to raise money] but nothing is easy.”

While Pistolis says there are no further vessel buys pending the intention is for Top Ships to be a pure play in the eco MR space. There are presently no plans to take his rig business public, he says.