International Seaways, Inc. and Diamond S Shipping Inc., two of the leading tanker companies worldwide providing energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in International Flag markets, announced yesterday that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which INSW will merge with Diamond S in a stock-for-stock transaction. Subsequent to the merger, INSW and Diamond S shareholders will own approximately 55.75% and 44.25% of the combined company, respectively, using fully diluted share counts as of March 30, 2021.
The merger of Diamond S with INSW unites two companies with long-term customer relationships, similar cultures, and complementary positions in key tanker sectors. The merger will enhance INSW’s capabilities in both the crude and product markets and create “power alleys” for INSW in the large crude -VLCC and Suezmax– and LR1/Panamax and MR markets. The merger will create the second largest US-listed tanker company by vessel count and the third largest by deadweight (“dwt”). On a pro forma basis, the combined company will have 100 vessels, shipping revenues of over $1 billion, over 2,200 employees, and an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion.
Among other benefits, INSW and Diamond S believe that the merger will achieve the following:
• Double INSW’s net asset value in an all-stock merger to create a diversified tanker company with a 1001 vessel fleet aggregating 11.31 million dwt and significant footprints in the VLCC, Suezmax, LR1/Panamax and MR markets
• Accretive to INSW’s earnings and cash flow per share immediately
• Realize estimated annual cost synergies in excess of $23 million and revenue synergies of $9 million, which are expected to be fully realizable within 2022
• Enhance equity trading liquidity through a larger market capitalization; estimated pro-forma market capitalization of close to $1 billion based on INSW’s closing price of $18.36 on March 30, 2021
• Maintain significant financial strength, as INSW and Diamond S would have had a combined pro forma net leverage ratio of 42%2 at year-end 2020, one of the lowest in the tanker sector and across global shipping. INSW and Diamond S also would have had robust liquidity on a pro forma combined basis, with over $3002 million in cash at December 31, 2020
• Build upon best-in-class safety and Environmental, Social and Governance track records
• Enable combined company to maintain a $50 million share repurchase authorization and a quarterly dividend policy. Immediately prior to the closing of the merger, existing INSW shareholders will also receive a special dividend of $1.10 per share
Douglas Wheat, Lois Zabrocky and Jeffrey Pribor will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer of INSW, respectively, and the current CEO of Diamond S, Craig Stevenson Jr., will join the Board of Directors of INSW, and also act as a special advisor to the CEO for a 6-month period to ensure a smooth transition.
“We are excited to enter into this transformational transaction and create an industry bellwether,” said Lois Zabrocky, INSW’s President and CEO. “By bringing together two leading US-based diversified tanker owners, we expect to deliver a number of compelling strategic and financial benefits to the stakeholders and customers of both companies. Specifically, with our enhanced scale and capabilities combined with a best-in-class ESG track record, we are ideally positioned to meet the evolving needs of leading energy companies and capitalize on favorable long-term industry fundamentals. With this highly accretive merger, we also expect to realize significant cost synergies while maintaining one of the lowest net leverage ratios in global shipping and increasing our equity market capitalization and liquidity for the benefit of our shareholders. We are proud of INSW’s accomplishments since becoming a public company over four years ago and intend to continue to maintain an intense focus on preserving our financial strength and executing a balanced and accretive capital allocations strategy. In addition to the special dividend related to this compelling transaction, we remain committed to returning capital to shareholders through our share repurchase program and our quarterly dividend.”
Douglas Wheat, Chairman of INSW’s Board of Directors, said, “With this transaction, we are establishing a leading diversified tanker company with the scale, financial strength and commercial expertise to create lasting value for both shareholders and customers. We look forward to joining forces with Diamond S and continuing to meet the highest operational standards with an unwavering focus on safety and sustainability in the maritime sector. We believe the combined company is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in both the current market environment and well into the future.”
Craig Stevenson Jr., President and CEO of Diamond S, commented, “By combining our fleet and capabilities with INSW’s world-class operations, we believe the merger will significantly benefit each company’s stakeholders as market conditions improve. Importantly, both INSW and Diamond S share a similar focus on people, safety, meeting customer expectation, maintaining balance sheet strength, and appropriately managing leverage in an inherently cyclical industry. As a long-time proponent of industry consolidation, I believe this transaction gives the combined company the scale and diversity necessary to hold the status as a leader in the tanker markets for years to come.”
Nadim Qureshi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond S, said “We are pleased to enter into a transaction that will both create near-term value for our shareholders and create a superior, scale vehicle that enables investors to gain exposure in both the crude and product tanker markets with strong fundamentals. Importantly, since the focus of the management teams of both Diamond S and INSW are similar, we see further value from synergies in the combined company. We look forward to working with the team at INSW to see the transaction through to completion and ensure a great outcome for our shareholders.”
Key Terms of the Merger
– Diamond S shareholders will receive 0.55375 shares of INSW common stock for each share of Diamond S common stock held. Based on the closing prices of INSW’s shares on March 30, 2021, the total stock consideration in the transaction has a value of approximately $416 million.
– Subsequent to the merger, INSW and Diamond S shareholders will own approximately 55.75% and 44.25% of the combined company, respectively, using fully diluted share counts as of March 30, 2021.
– INSW will assume Diamond S’ net debt, which was $5652 million as of December 31, 2020.
– Immediately prior to the closing of the transaction, existing INSW shareholders will also receive a special dividend of $1.10 per share.
– Diamond S’ affiliate management agreements with Capital Ship Management (“CSM”) will be phased out over time, without interruption to the key customers being served by the vessels under CSM management.
– The merger, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, is subject to the approval of the shareholders of INSW and Diamond S, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
– The Board of Directors of INSW will comprise seven representatives of INSW and three representatives of Diamond S.
– A group of shareholders, representing approximately 14% and 29% of the issued and outstanding shares of INSW and Diamond S, respectively, has committed to vote in favor of the merger, subject to the terms and conditions contained in voting agreements reached with INSW and Diamond S.
– Following the merger, INSW will remain listed on the NYSE under the symbol “INSW”.
– INSW and Diamond S received support for the transaction from the Diamond S bank group, led by Nordea Bank Abp, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ), who each also form key parts of INSW’s lending group, and along with the remaining banks in the group have provided consents and agreed to amend their loan facilities.