Oct 22, 2013

Eletson Holdings and Blackstone Form Strategic Partnership to Establish a Leading LPG Shipping Company

Piraeus, Greece, October 22, 2013.  Eletson Holdings Inc. (“Eletson”) today announced the formation of a joint venture with funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (“Blackstone”) to create Eletson Gas, a $700 million liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”) shipping company. As part of the agreement, Eletson will contribute its existing fleet of five medium-size gas carriers, and Blackstone will provide equity capital to finance the growth of the company through the construction of new-build vessels as well as through the acquisition of existing vessels. Operating and technical management of the Eletson Gas fleet will be provided by Eletson.

Eletson Gas also announced the signing of newbuilding contracts for eight vessels – five 12,000 cbm ethylene-capable semi refrigerated (“semi ref”) vessels with Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and three 22,000 cbm ethylene-capable semi ref vessels with China’s Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering as well as the acquisition of a 22,000 cbm second hand semi ref vessel. Additionally, Eletson Gas holds options for two additional 22,000 cbm vessels at Sinopacific. All eight new-build vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2015 and early 2016.

Lascarina J. Karastamati, President of Eletson Holdings, said, “We are delighted to partner with Blackstone as we look to expand Eletson’s existing LPG platform. Our partner’s expertise and global reach, including its exposure to the U.S. energy sector, will help to grow the business successfully into new and existing markets.”

“Through this partnership, we are committed to building a best-in-class, global owner and operator of LPG vessels that is a leader in its market segment,” said Jasvinder Khaira of Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities Fund. “We are thrilled to join Eletson and its strong management team in this new venture.”

DNB Markets, Inc. and Brock Capital acted as financial advisors to Eletson.  Holland & Knight and Akin Gump acted as legal counsel for Eletson and Blackstone respectively.

About Eletson:

Eletson owns and operates one of the world's largest privately owned fleets of medium and long range product tankers.  The fleet presently comprises twenty-two double hull tankers.  Majority-owned Eletson Gas owns and operates five LPG/NH3 carriers, the world's most modern and second largest midsize LPG fleet, has acquired a semi ref handymax vessel and has on order eight handysize/handymax ethylene-capable semi ref vessels scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, with options for two more.  All of the vessels are Greek flagged, with a combined capacity of 1.8 mil dwt.

About Blackstone:

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our asset management businesses include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, hedge fund solutions, non-investment grade credit, secondary funds, and multi asset class exposures falling outside of other funds’ mandates. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Oriane Schwartzman
+1 212 390 2250

Peter G. Kanelos
Eletson Gas CFO
+30 210 459 8161