Save the last dance

Avance Gas (Avance) has poured cold water on reports that it is mounting a campaign to merge with Norwegian compatriot Aurora LPG.

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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.


When contacted by TradeWinds president Christian Andersen confirmed that his company would consider a union with the IPO hopeful but said “firm negotiations” haven’t taken place.

“We are as interested in [Aurora LPG] as we are in any other company in the [very large gas carrier] space,” he explained in a brief but candid interview Friday evening.

Andersen said he is “willing to sit down with anyone” who is interested in exploring the possibility of a merger but stressed that his Oslo-listed company is keeping its options open.

While it appears that shares will continue to be Avance’s preferred form of ammunition when pursuing takeover targets the executive said stock isn’t the only form of currency at its disposal.

“We have a sizeable war chest that we can use for the acquisition of ships or other parties,” Andersen noted when asked how the operator intends to put cash to work.

“We want to offer customers a flexible range of services in the Middle East and Atlantic and for that we need to build a fleet of 30 to 40 vessels,” he continued, adding: “This is why we are inviting everyone to sit down and talk. Yes, we have cash, and can raise more if we need it.”

As we reported Andersen recently said it was “more likely than unlikely” that Avance would submit another bid for New York-quoted competitor Dorian LPG by the end of June but some believe it’s unlikely the proposal will have a shot at success if only shares are offered.