Proxy advisory firms of Tanker Investments Ltd (TIL) and Teekay Tankers have recommended that the shareholders of the two companies vote for the merger the two tanker majors announced in June this year.
Specifically, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. advised Teekay Tankers to move ahead with the merger plan with TIL. ISS has also advised TIL’s shareholders to support the merger, as it would create one of the world’s largest mid-size tanker companies, with a 62-vessel fleet and combined total assets of USD 2.4 billion.
The two companies have scheduled their respective shareholders’ special meetings for November 17.
“We believe the merger offers compelling strategic and financial benefits, including expected immediate accretion to earnings, strengthening of our balance sheet and increase in liquidity and an en bloc fleet acquisition at the right point in the tanker cycle when market fundamentals show signs of improvement,” Kevin Mackay, Teekay Tankers’ President and Chief Executive Officer said.
Commenting on the advice, William Hung, TIL’s Chief Executive Officer, said the merger includes the opportunity to remain invested in the tanker space as part of a larger company with over 40 years of experience.
“In addition, the combined entity is expected to have a stronger balance sheet and increased liquidity, increased equity trading liquidity and a dividend policy based largely on the strength of underlying tanker rates,” he added.
The CEOs and Boards of Directors of the two tanker companies encouraged all shareholders to vote in favor of the deal.
Teekay said that it has also already secured support for the merger with TIL from Teekay Tankers’ two largest shareholders, Teekay Corporation and Huber Capital Management LLC.
Teekay Tankers currently owns a fleet of 35 double-hull tankers, including 16 Suezmax tankers, 12 Aframax tankers, and seven Long Range 2 product tankers, and has four capital leased Suezmax tankers and one VLCC through a 50 percent-owned joint venture. In addition, Teekay Tankers owns a ship-to-ship transfer business and a minority interest of over 11 percent in TIL, which owns a fleet of 18 tankers.