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Market buzzes as Quintana looks at Dated : 19-10-2007

The announcement did not specify the alternatives being considered, but Citigroup and Dahlman Rose have been given the task to advise, leaving analysts and brokers to speculate Quintana may be ready to take advantage of the market, by putting itself up for sale, a view shared by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst, Natasha Boyden.
She says company board members would be more likely to want to sell the company at a premium over its stock price rather than sell-off ships.
The Piraeus rumour mill began to churn when Marine Money's man in Greece, Kevin Oates, opened the Greek Finance Forum, October 18, by apologising for the absence from the first panel of Quintana's president and ceo Stamatis Molaris and US-listed Navios Maritime Holdings' cfo George Achniotis, because "of recent developments in the marketplace". Oates promised panel moderator David Frischkorn, vice chairman corporate finance at Dahlman Rose, would have more to say on the subject. He did not. Nor did Dahlman Rose's Simon Rose, who was also in town.
The Angeliki Frangou-led Navios has of course bought fleets in the past, but not on the scale of investment that would be required this time. Indeed, the company came into being when Frangou's blank-cheque acquisition vehicle International Shipping Enterprises (ISE) acquired the US-based logistics and bulk carrier company Navios Maritime for $607m in the second half of 2005.
The Glyfada-based Quintana runs 29 modern ships, 22 owned and another seven panamaxes on bareboat charter. A number of the ships are on longterm t/cs at rates considerably below those currently being obtained. Eight capesize ships are on order, seven of which are owned through jvs involving Quintana, Robertson and coal man Hans Mede, which gives the company a very high value, perhaps too high for the shipping sector.
Quintana's Molaris has been in a similar position before, when he was cfo at Stelmar Tankers, during that company's rapid development and subsequent highly profitable sale to OSG.
Should Quintana be sold, Molaris could end up with well over $20m as restricted stock grants to executives will come in the event of a sale and will make Molaris a 1.1% shareholder.
Robertson held a 9.1% stake at last proxy filing and Mende then had 4.3% of shares.
Source:
www.newsfront.gr, 19 October 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 39
 
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