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Saturday, December 15 Business

Dorian sees earnings slip

Stamford-based Dorian LPG, a shipper of liquefied petroleum gas that faces a potential merger, reported this week declining earnings in the past quarter.

Revenues fell by about one-third from a year ago, to approximately $28 million, a drop mainly attributable to lower fleet usage and decreased daily revenue averages. The company incurred a loss of about $21 million, compared with a deficit of nearly $7 million in the same period last year.

Dorian officials said they were still optimistic about the firm’s long-term prospects. They cited a recently completed refinancing plan and the company’s preparations for new regulations on shipping sulfur emissions set to be implemented in the next two years.

“With a de-risked balance sheet and a modern, fuel-efficient fleet, we feel well-positioned for any rate environment and the new world of International Maritime Organization regulations beginning in 2020,” Dorian CEO, President and Chairman John Hadjipateras said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Dorian is weighing a proposed acquisition from Singapore-based shipping firm BW LPG.

BW announced May 29 its plan to combine with Dorian in an all-stock deal worth $1.1 billion to create a company with 73 vessels. On its own, Dorian owns and operates 22 very-large gas carriers, according to its website.

But the plan did not convince Dorian officials, who announced June 15 their rejection of the offer.

BW made another statement June 26 to reiterate its plan. The firm again asserted that Dorian would benefit from joining a combined company possessing a “modern and cost-efficient fleet,” with improved cash flow and access to capital markets and a greater ability to attract investor attention and gain shareholders.

In a responding statement, Hadjipateras disputed BW executives’ account of the companies’ interactions. But he also held out the possibility of the companies finding common ground

On July 9, BW lodged its latest bid — one that would give Dorian shareholders 2.12 BW shares for each Dorian share. BW also said it planned to run independent candidates this year for seats on Dorian’s board of directors.

Dorian officials said they would consider the latest proposal.

Since BW made its first bid, Dorian’s stock price has stayed relatively consistent. Dorian shares were trading Friday around $8, compared with a 52-week high of $8.80.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott

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