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Pelagic Partners builds stake in Hunter Group as it bets on tankers

Cypriot shipowner Pelagic Partners is boosting its stake in Norway’s Hunter Group. On Wednesday, Pelagic Investment Fund RAIF, closely associated with co-founder Atef Abou Merhi, on behalf of its investment compartment, Pelagic Yield Fund, bought 409,695 shares in Hunter. That represents 0.004% of Hunter’s share capital and pushed Pelagic Yield Fund over 5%, which is the threshold of disclosure of large shareholdings. Following the transaction, the fund holds a total of about 5.7m shares in Hunter, representing approximately 5.027% of Hunter’s share capital. Hunter’s market capitalisation is around NOK 250m ($24m).

Pelagic is also the second biggest shareholder in Norway’s Golden Energy Offshore Services (GEOS), an owner of platform supply vessels. In December, the fund bought 6.12m more GEOS shares at NOK 1.2975 each. This was a total of nearly NOK 8m ($770,000). Pelagic now holds 118.5m shares, or 23.63% of the company. Merhi has sat on the GEOS board since the fund bought 95m shares in October, a 20% holding. This was part of a private placement led by GEOS’s largest shareholder, US private equity giant Oaktree Capital Management. Pelagic is the second-largest shareholder in the Oslo-listed owner.

Oslo-listed Hunter has recently raised money to finance two VLCC charters. Earlier in February, Hunter said a significant imbalance between demand for and supply of crude tankers is increasingly likely. “We believe it is only a matter of time before VLCC rates will advance as well, initiating what we believe to be a multi-year bull cycle,” it said then. The company remarked that the VLCC orderbook is at its lowest level since the 1980s, and that the segment has an ageing fleet. “Demand for VLCCs is expected to grow as global oil demand is increasing. This is further magnified by increasing geographical distances between oil production and consumption growth,” Hunter said.


As appeared on Tradewinds.

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