CSAV Launches Stock Offer Short of Goal

CSAV's Headquarters in Santiago, via Flickr
CSAV’s Headquarters in Santiago, Chile. Image via Flickr

SANTIAGO, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Chilean shipper Compania Sud Americana de Vapores on Tuesday kicked off a share offering, which it hopes will raise about $330 million — an amount short of its goal of $500 million.

The company – one of the oldest shipping firms in the world – on Monday priced the offer at 24.9 Chilean pesos ($0.04883618) per share and said the purchase period would run until Sept. 18.

In April, Vapores shareholders voted to raise $500 million via the offering of 6.75 billion shares to boost the company’s fleet, repay debt and advance development plans. .

But since then the share price has fallen nearly 40 percent, while the Chilean peso has also weakened.

“Considering that (the shortfall), Vapores’ board is evaluating the possibility of asking for another capital increase to reach the $500 million originally approved at the end of April,” the company said in a statement issued late Monday.

It gave no further details about the fresh potential fundraising.

In recent years, Vapores has faced steep losses as it grapples with lower shipping rates, high fuel prices and expensive leases.

Under the stewardship of the Luksic family, Chile’s richest, Vapores spun off its SAAM storage and logistics unit in 2012 as part of a plan to reverse those losses.

The Luksic family became Vapores’ majority shareholders in early 2012 when the company completed a $1.2 billion capital increase. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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