Navigator files for IPO

Wilbur Ross-controlled Navigator Holdings has applied to the New York Stock Exchange for its long-awaited IPO.

Having judged the time is right to make its public play in the current hot market, the London-based company, which operates as Navigator Gas, filed its F1 form with the SEC on Thursday.

It said it would list under the NVGS symbol, but released no other financial details, other than that it would sell up to $200m of common stock.

The company said it is the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize LPG carriers, with 30 ships of its own, plus a chartered vessel.

The fleet includes 22 owned vessels, a second-hand ship it has agreed to acquire from Maersk and seven newbuildings at Jiangnan in China. where it also holds two options.

It said: "We believe that the size and versatility of our fleet, which enable us to carry the broadest set of liquefied gases subject to seaborne transportation across a diverse range of conditions and geographies, together with our track record of operational excellence, position us as the partner of choice for many companies requiring handysize liquefied gas transportation and distribution solutions."

Navigator said it intends to use net proceeds to fund the $55m of equity it needs for newbuildings due in 2015, plus general corporate purposes, as well as paying $35m towards the $88m cost of the options.

It is also planning a three-for-one stock split as a dividend before the IPO.

Jefferies and Morgan Stanley are listed as the bookrunners. Co-managers are listed as Evercore, Fearnley Securities, Global Hunter Securities and Stifel.

For the six months ended 30 June, net profit was $19.1m, from revenue of $102.8m, it revealed.

Ross' WLR Group owns 60.6% of the company.