ECONOMY

Stelmar goes for $677 mln

NEW YORK (AP) – Stelmar Shipping Ltd, a Greek-based oil transporter, said yesterday it has agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC for about $677 million. Stelmar, which operates 41 oil tankers, said the $38.55-a-share purchase price represents a 55 percent premium over the share closing price on May 14, the last trading day before tanker owner and operator OMI Corp of Stamford, Connecticut, announced it was seeking to merge with Stelmar. Stelmar’s board refused to hold talks with OMI, and the bid was abandoned, despite the support of Stelmar founder Stelios Hadzioannou. He and his family own 27 percent of the company. The price to be paid by Fortress also represents a premium of 8 percent over the closing price of Stelmar’s stock Friday. The stock finished at $35.55 on the NYSE. Stelmar’s shares were at $38.05 in early trading yesterday, up $2.50, or 7 percent, on the Big Board. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Hadzioannou founded Stelmar in 1992. He stepped down as chairman in 2002. He and his family founded British-based easyGroup.