“Tsunami” of Vafia family investments

“Tsunami” of Vafia family investments

The company is experiencing an investment boom Vafia family. THE Nikos with his son, Hariseach in his own field, with the movements they undertake, they have aimed them at them, as well as at the investors.

Let’s go in the opposite direction from the most recent movements to the oldest ones.

Haris Vafias prepares to enter the US money market the third shipping company in the form of a spin-off. Two of the fleet’s bulk carriers will join thisof Imperial Petroleum Inc, also listed., interests and that of the same.

Specifically, C3is Inc., which was recently incorporated, will act as the holding company for both vessels., having applied to list its common stock on Nasdaq. In fact, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023.
US capital market and board approval is pending. of Imperial Petroleum. Thanks to this decision, Imperial Petroleum will focus exclusively on the management of tankers, while C3is Inc. on bulk carriers.

The Greek shipowner will have a total of three shipping companies listed on the American stock exchange, since there are also stealth gas with a fleet of LPG carriers. Imperial Petroleum is a spin-off of FSTF and was incorporated in late 2021. Last July, Imperial Petroleum entered the shipping truck business. I bought two small capacity ones practical size bulk carriers for a total of 39 million dollars.

Haris Vafias was named Newsmaker of the Year at the Lloyd’s List-Greek Shipping Awards and indeed for the second time in the institution’s history

Harry Vafias, CEO of Imperial Petroleum, said at the time that “at the moment all sectors are in good shape, so the values ​​of ships of all classes are high”, adding: “We want to buy more tankers, but we don’t know what the market will look like.”

Asked by analysts, before whom he was speaking, if a new spin-off company would be created with new cargo ships, the Greek shipowner said he had not yet decided, specifying: “We will have to wait.”

Spin-off companies

Imperial Petroleum at its inception had a fleet consisting of four tankers. It now manages 10 shipsfive of which are MR carriers, two suezmax carriers, one aframax and two dry cargo carriers, which trucks will be transferred to the new spin-off company.

Haris Vafias’ opinion on spin-off companies is clear:

“When a company is listed on the American stock exchange and in particular on the Nasdaq, it has the right, if it meets certain conditions, to sell some of its assets in aa company controlled by the same shareholders as those of the parent company. Once this is done and clearance is obtained from Nasdaq and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), parallel trading of the shares of the two now separate listed companies then begins.

Asked why more and more shipowners are doing spin-offs, he replied: “Indeed, more and more shipowners, who are already listed on the American stock exchange, understand the advantage of having a listed shipping company with a specific type of ship-pure play. This is not a fad, but a requirement of investors who do not want to “mix” with many ship sub-categories and prefer listed companies to have large capitalization, large daily trading volume, low indebtedness and focus on one type of ship”.

Haris Vafias with Angeliki Fragou

Early last year December Haris Vafias was named Newsmaker of the Year at Lloyd’s List-Greek Shipping Awards and indeed for the second time in the history of the institution. Its commercial development has been and is rapid this year, with major investments in ships. He even said: “I didn’t expect to be voted Newsmaker of the Year for the second time and I thank the judges. I wouldn’t be here without the help of my grandfather. He left Chios with little money to start the meat business in Argentina. I wouldn’t be here without the help of my father, who gave me capital in 2000 to start my own business, and the confidence he had and always has in me. I want to thank all my colleagues and my family who have supported me and continue to support me. And as Mr. Veniamis said, we must give back to society some of the profits that we have made years. So please help me. It will make a big difference.”

Nikos Vafias

In the meantime, the family patriarch, Nikos Vafias, is making history. He had retired from shipping for five years, concentrating on real estate and the stock market. He returned in 2013.

In 2023, he bought five ships. In total in 12 months it bought 29 ships, in a crescendo of investments amounting to 900 million dollars, and safely leads the family’s maritime group to the threshold of the closed club of 100, to which only a few shipowners who have a fleet of more than 100 ships belong.

And he will achieve it even in a year that celebrates 50 years of intense activity and dynamic development in maritime transport.

In order to achieve his goal, he made a long-term investment counterattack in ship markets, investing nearly $1 billion.

Maritime sources say it has made five more ship purchases in the past two months, bringing its total purchases through private shipping company Brave Maritime Corp to 28.

More precisely, the Greek shipowner bought, after very intense competition, four other cargo capes, which were never openly put on the market for sale and were acquired… discreetly, “under the radar”. With these purchases, he brings the group’s fleet of cape trucks to 10 in total. Two of them were built by BRAVE, while the other 8 were bought second-hand, most of them from CTM in Monaco!

It also bought a supramax freighter, built in 2011 in Mitsui, Japan, a class of ships the group had discontinued since 2009.

This is the 29th vessel in total acquired by Nikos Vafias in the last 12 months, in a $900 million investment crescendo that impressed the international maritime community for its speed of implementation and momentum.

With these purchases, Brave Maritime Corp acquired in just 12 months fifteen trucks, almost all of them cape size, five newly built MGCs from Korean Hyundai and nine tankers, three of which are medium-range clean tankers, one Aframax and four Suezmax.

In 2021, Nikos Vafias was honored by Lloyd’s List with the Lloyd’s List/Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award. With his long career in shipping, he is leaving his mark on the world map of the water industry.

“I’ve been in shipping since 1973 and haven’t received an award. That’s why this one is very important to me. I have faced many challenges in my life and they have made me who I am today. I’ve always been inspired by my family and my partners,” he said before adding, “Never give up, even if you think it’s all over. Nothing ends unless you finish it yourself.”

Loan bonds

According to the announcements of the listed companies of the group, Imperial Petroleum has no loan while it is now the same for the private companies Brave Maritime and Stealth Maritime. And StealthGas has debt less than 25% of its value.

THE two sides, StealthGas and Imperial Petroleum; based on 2022 results, they had total revenue approaching $300 million and earnings approaching $70 million for 2022.

With Captain Panagiotis Tsakos

Indeed, US-listed StealthGas returned to a profitable path in 2022. The company reported net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 of $34.3 million, compared to a net loss of $35. $.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2021. The weighted average number of shares outstanding as of December 31, 2022 and 2021 were 38 million and 37.9 million, respectively.
Earnings per share for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 were $0.90 compared to a loss per share of $0.93 for the same period last year.

Real estate

The second largest investment ethe Vafias family’s entrepreneurship is real estate, through the Estates Corporation, with capital investments in Kifissia, Ekali, Psychiko, central Athens, with emphasis on shopping centers and parking lots, Vouliagmeni, on islands such as Mykonos, Spetses, Chios, Corfu, internationally in London, New York, Monaco and Switzerland.

A purchase that was discussed has taken place Nikos Vafias when he purchased the oldest estate in Chios, dating back to the 14th century, belonging to the princely Kastelli family, which is designated as a UNESCO monument.He also rebuilt the oldest church of Ai-Georgis of Chios, from the 15th century, the original village of his family. Note that he was honored by the Church of the Golden Cross of Saint Isidore.

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