Golden Ocean sells out $200m share issue

John Fredriksen's bulker company meets condition for debt freeze as it seeks another $20m.

Bulker owner Golden Ocean Group (GOGL) has sold out its $200m share issue in a day and immediately returned to the market for more funds.

The Oslo-listed company sold 343.68m new shares at NOK 5 ($0.58) each, compared to a closing price of NOK 5.90 on Thursday, when the private placement was announced.

GOGL will have 516.36m outstanding shares after the deal.

It said its existing unused authorised share capital is not sufficient to issue all the new stock, so controlling shareholder John Fredriksen's private Hemen Holding is deferring settlement of 16.35m shares it bought in the placement until an increase in capital has been approved, probably next week.

The deal fulfils the condition of a debt freeze worth $165m also announced on Thursday as the owner seeks to combat the dry downturn.

And it has now launched a secondary offering of 34.36m shares, worth $20m.

The sale is aimed at shareholders who have fewer than 100,000 shares and did not take part in the first placement.

Danske Bank, DNB Markets, Arctic Securities, Clarksons Platou Securities and Nordea Markets will again handle the issue.

Fredriksen’s private Hemen Holding, the largest shareholder with  43.1%, and other leading investors, had said they would buy at least their pro-rata share of the first placement.

GOGL logged a net loss of $69.26m in tough fourth quarter markets.

This compared to a profit of $5.16m the year before, despite the bulker owner seeing revenue grow to $56.52m against $36.68m as the fleet expanded.

Costs soared to $87.28m versus $30.79m a year ago, however.

The annual loss hit $220.83m, compared to a profit of $15.99m in 2014.