Navigator Holdings rises in 1st day on the New York Stock Exchange

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Navigator Holdings Ltd.’s stock is rising in its first day on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of the owner and operator of a fleet of liquefied gas carriers climbed 95 cents, or 5 per cent, to $19.95 in Thursday morning trading.

Navigator, backed by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, said its initial public offering of 12 million shares — raised from 11.3 million — priced at $19 each. That’s at the high end of the projected range of $17 to $19 per share.

Navigator is offering about 9 million shares, while certain selling stockholders are offering about 3 million shares. Navigator won’t receive any proceeds from shares sold by the selling stockholders.

The selling stockholders are giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.8 million shares.

The company raised $228 million from the offering.

Navigator anticipates receiving approximately $156.4 million in net proceeds, which it plans to use to fund about $72.7 million due under purchase agreements for some vessels to be delivered in 2015. The remaining proceeds are expected to be used for general corporate purposes.

Ross’ company acquired a majority interest in Navigator following the bankruptcy of former owner Lehman Bros. Inc.

The stock is trading under the “NVGS” ticker symbol. The offering is expected to close on Tuesday.