Firm Advises on Merger of Star Bulk and Oceanbulk Shipping Lines

June 18, 2014

Firm assists Star Bulk Carriers Corp. shareholder Monarch Alternative Capital LP in deal that creates the largest U.S.-listed dry bulk company.

On June 16, Greece-based Star Bulk Carriers Corp. announced its deal to acquire Oceanbulk Shipping LLC and Oceanbulk Carriers LLC, creating the largest U.S.-listed dry bulk company. As part of the deal, Star Bulk is expected to issue 51.104 million new shares to asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Star Bulk nonexecutive chairman Petros Pappas and his immediate family. Upon completion of the deal, Oaktree will be the largest shareholder in Star Bulk with 61.3 percent of Star Bulk’s common stock and the Pappas investors will own 12.5 percent. In connection with the transaction, funds controlled by Willkie client Monarch Alternative Capital LP, which own 20.9 percent of the outstanding shares representing 28.1 percent of the shareholders not affiliated with Oaktree and Pappas, agreed to vote all their shares in favor of the deal.

The deal is expected to create the largest, diversified, ultra-modern U.S.-listed dry bulk company with a fully delivered fleet of 69 vessels, including 33 Capesize and Newcastlemax vessels. The combined fleet is one of the largest eco fleets in the world with 39 eco and 7 semi-eco vessels.

The deal was handled by partners Mark Cognetti and Tony Yanez and associate Margaret McSpadden.