May 29, 2018 / 5:24 PM / 20 days ago

Shipper BW LPG offers to buy Dorian LPG in $1.1 bln deal

OSLO, May 29 (Reuters) - The world's largest liquid petroleum gas (LPG) shipper, Norway's BW LPG, is offering to buy competitor Dorian LPG in a $1.1 billion all-stock deal in an effort to boost its earnings in a weak market, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dorian shareholders will receive 2.05 BW LPG shares for each Dorian share, equal to $7.86 per share, a premium of 13 percent from Friday's closing price, and based on BW LPG's share price on May 28.

New York-listed Dorian LPG's equity is valued at about $441 million and including debt the transaction is valued at $1.1 billion.

The deal is backed by shipping conglomerate BW Group, owned by the Hong Kong-based Sohmen-Pao family, which owns 14.2 percent of Dorian and about 45 percent of BW LPG.

Dorian LPG's fleet consists of 22 very large gas carriers (VLGC) and the combined company would own 73 vessels, of which 68 would be very large gas carriers, 2 VLGCs currently under order and 3 large gas carriers if the deal goes through.

There was no immediate response from Dorian, whose shares rose 6.2 percent on the news to $7.39. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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