In mid-June, Star Bulk Carriers Corp. SBLK +11.85% said that it will merge with Oceanbulk Shipping, owned by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and the family of Star Bulk’s non-executive chairman Petros Pappas, creating the largest US-listed dry bulk company.
Starbulk will issue 54.1 million shares of stock, currently valued at about $653 million, to Oaktree and the Pappas family, and in turn Oceanbulk Shipping LLC and Oceanbulk Carriers LLC will become indirect wholly-owned units of Star Bulk. Oaktree will own about 61% of Star Bulk’s shares upon the closing of the deal. The Pappas family will hold 12.5% of the company’s stock.
Petros Pappas will become the chief executive of Starbulk and Spyros Capralos, current president and chief executive of Star Bulk, will become nonexecutive chairman as part of the deal. The merger, which is expected to add to Starbulk’s earnings, is seen closing within the next 30 days.
Star Bulk will also agree to certain voting restrictions, standstill obligations and ownership limitations as part of the deal, as well as certain rights for Oaktree Investors to make board nominations and to appoint officers of the company.
Star Bulk will acquire an operating fleet of 15 dry bulk carrier vessels, including newly built vessels. The combined company will be the largest US listed dry bulk company with a fully delivered fleet of 69 vessels, according to Star Bulk. The company said it plans to pursue additional acquisitions that will add to earnings.