BW LPG Brings Aurora Stake to 19.5 Pct

Singapore’s gas carrier owner BW LPG has increased its stake in Oslo-listed Aurora LPG by acquiring an additional 4.53 percent stake, thus pushing its total ownership to 19.53 percent, the company said in its first quarter earnings report.

The move follows BW LPG’s last year’s purchase round, which has made the company Aurora LPG’s biggest shareholder.

Aurora LPG owns three 82,000 cbm VLGCs and six 84,000 cbm newbuilds scheduled for delivery from Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2016.

According to BW LPG, the VLGC market softened in the first quarter of 2016.

Freight rates were adversely impacted in the quarter by narrower geographic LPG price spreads, strong fleet growth and increased availability of in-chartered tonnage in the spot market, the company explained.

However, the company’s net revenue was USD 137 million, 5% above Q1 2015 with profit after tax reaching USD 60 million, also 5% above Q1 2015. EBITDA was USD 89 million, 11% above Q1 2015.

BW LPG expects to take delivery of three owned DSME VLGC newbuilds in Q4 2016, with the last time
chartered-in VLGC newbuild delivering in Q1 2017.

In terms of fleet hiring, the gas carrier owner and operator said that the current 2016 contract coverage stood at 43% – 53%, depending on CoA uptake.

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