Veteran New York shipowner Peter Georgiopoulis is back in the in the news. United Overseas Group Ltd. (UOC), a company controlled by Georgiopoulos and long time associate Leonidas Vrondissis is to acquire Dubai headquartered United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC).
UACC currently owns and operates 20 vessels comprising nine IMO2/3 chemical tankers, two LR1 and nine MR tankers. Additionally, it operates two vessels on bareboat charters. VesselsValue estimates the fleet as having a value of $345.71 million.
Georgiopoulos has been chaiman and CEO of several NYSE listed shipping companies, including General Maritime, Gener8 Maritime and Genco Shipping & Trading. Vrondissis has worked with Georgiopoulos at a number of companies and was CFO of Gener8 Maritime when it was acquired by Euronav in 2018. According to UACC, the two have completed multiple transactions with a combined value of over $20.0 billion in both public market and privately negotiated transactions.
UOG will be financed by Entrust Global’s Blue Ocean Funds. With approximately US$19.4bn in total assets as of November 30, 2020, Entrust Global a diversified alternative investment firm that manages funds for institutions and private investors worldwide. Since its inception in 2016, ETG’s Blue Ocean Funds have completed approximately US$1.3 billion in shipping investments.
The UACC acquisition is a complex one. According to UACC, it is “structured as a reverse triangular merger, which will be the first such merger under the Companies Law of the Dubai International Financial Centre (the “DIFC”). Pursuant to the provisions of Part 8 of the Companies Law (DIFC Law No. 5 of 2018), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UOG will merge with and into UACC, with UACC continuing as the survivor company and a company established in the DIFC (the “Transaction”). Each current shareholder of UACC will cease to hold shares in the survivor company, but will be entitled to receive its pro rata portion of the merger consideration pursuant to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.