Capital Maritime withdraws IPO after bad start

NEW YORK – Capital Maritime & Trading Corp said it withdrew its proposed initial public offering yesterday, citing unfavorable market conditions. The Athens-based shipping company, which owns and operates a fleet of product tankers, will continue to operate as a private company and could consider another IPO if conditions became appropriate, Capital Maritime said in a statement. The company had filed for an offering of 16.7 million shares in the estimated pricing range of $14 to $16 per share. Underwriters were led by Goldman Sachs & Co and Bear, Stearns & Co Inc. The Athens-based company was to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol «CPM.» «The company is… not prepared to consider any discount, despite sufficient demand just below the targeted range,» Capital Maritime said. IPO expert David Menlow said that Capital Maritime was late to the game. «What you’re seeing is a culling process. The market is saying, ‘We don’t want this anymore,’ and hopefully the underwriters will listen,» said Menlow of IPOFinancial. com, an independent research firm. In the fall, shipping companies Arlington Tankers Ltd and US Shipping Partners LP were priced at $20 and $22.25 respectively. Shares of US Shipping have since bumped up to the $25 range and Arlington has moved a bit higher to the $21 range. «If Capital Maritime had come in six months ago, they would have gotten the IPO done,» Menlow said.

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