Avance Gas readies bid

Avance Gas has not abandoned plans to pursue a merger with US compatriot Dorian LPG, a top executive said Wednesday.

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According to regulatory filings he and John Lycouris, the CEO of affiliate Dorian LPG (USA), have been involved in the management of shipping companies for more than three decades.

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At the Marine Money Week conference in Manhattan president Christian Andersen indicated that his company plans to submit another offer by the end of the month.

“We believe the best fit is for Avance Gas and Dorian to go together,” he explained, adding: “It’s more likely than unlikely that we will give a bid for Dorian in June.”

If the merger with Dorian fails to take shape this time around Andersen pointed out that his company is exploring other potential avenues for fleet expansion as well.

“There are alternatives, we are also looking at smaller shipowners,” he said after noting that Avance Gas also plans to pursue growth by way of pooling agreements.

Andersen indicated that his company would like to assemble a fleet of 30 to 40 ships in total and said, on the chartering front, it intends to focus on contracts of affreightment instead of spot or time charters going forward.

Avance Gas is listed in Oslo and operates a fleet of six very large gas carriers (VLGCs), with eight units under construction. Dorian, which is New York-quoted, has three VLGCs and a smaller unit in the water in addition to 19 newbuildings.

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