Eletson on Blackstone-backed LPG newbuild binge

eletson stackOCTOBER 23, 2013 — Piraeus headquartered Eletson Holdings Inc. has partnered with private equity giant Blackstone to create a $700 million LPG shipping company, Eletson Gas.

Eletson will contribute its existing fleet of five medium-size gas carriers, and Blackstone will provide equity capital to finance the growth of the company through the construction of new-build vessels as well as through the acquisition of existing vessels. Operating and technical management of the Eletson Gas fleet will be provided by Eletson.

Eletson Gas, which is majority owned by Eletson, has already inked newbuilding contracts with shipbuilders for eight vessels. Five 12,000 cu.m ethylene-capable semi refrigerated vessels will be built at Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. Three 22,000 cu.m ethylene-capable semi ref vessels will be built at China's Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering shipyard, where Eletson Gas holds options for two additional 22,000 cu.m vessels. All eight newbuild vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2015 and early 2016.

Eletson will also acquire of a 22,000 cbm second hand semi ref vessel.

Lascarina J. Karastamati, President of Eletson Holdings, said, "We are delighted to partner with Blackstone as we look to expand Eletson's existing LPG platform. Our partner's expertise and global reach, including its exposure to the U.S. energy sector, will help to grow the business successfully into new and existing markets."

"Through this partnership, we are committed to building a best-in-class, global owner and operator of LPG vessels that is a leader in its market segment," said Jasvinder Khaira of Blackstone's Tactical Opportunities Fund. "We are thrilled to join Eletson and its strong management team in this new venture."

DNB Markets, Inc. and Brock Capital acted as financial advisors to Eletson. Holland & Knight and Akin Gump acted as legal counsel for Eletson and Blackstone respectively.

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