SOURCE: STEALTHGAS INC

February 15, 2006 16:05 ET

STEALTHGAS INC Announces Agreement to Acquire an Additional LPG Carrier Expanding the Fleet to 24 Vessels

Takes Delivery of "Gas Czar"

Enters Into New Time Charter Agreements & Releases Updated Fleet Deployment Details

Stealth Maritime Corp. to Manage Two of STEALTHGAS INC's Vessels:

ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 15, 2006 -- STEALTHGAS INC (NASDAQ: GASS) made today several announcements as follows:

Agreement to acquire one additional vessel expanding the fleet to 24 LPG carriers:

STEATHGAS INC announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire one additional LPG carrier "Gas Fortune" for a consideration of USD 9.5 million with expected delivery end February/early March 2006. "Gas Fortune" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG Carrier built in Japan in 1995 with a capacity of 3,500 cubic meters (cbm). Upon delivery, it will be immediately deployed under a time charter to an international gas trader at a rate of USD 175,000 per calendar month until about February 2007. "Gas Fortune" is an additional vessel beyond the 10 identified vessels outlined in the company's IPO.

STEALTHGAS INC takes delivery of "Gas Czar":

STEALTHGAS has taken delivery of "Gas Czar," a vessel that it had previously agreed to acquire. "Gas Czar" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in Japan in 1995 with a capacity of 3,500 cubic meters (cbm). It will be deployed under an existing time charter to an oil major at a rate of USD 171,250 per calendar month until November 2006. Thereafter "Gas Czar" will be deployed for a further 12 months to the same oil major at a per calendar month time charter rate ranging between a minimum of USD 190,000 and a maximum of USD 210,000.

As of today, STEALTHGAS INC has acquired and taken delivery of 9 of the 10 identified vessels outlined in its IPO Prospectus and expects to take delivery of the last identified vessel, "Gas Eternity," by the end of February 2006. Furthermore, beyond the 10 identified vessels, STEALTHGAS INC has acquired and taken delivery of 4 additional vessels and has entered into an agreement to acquire 1 additional vessel, "Gas Fortune," with expected delivery by the end of February/early March 2006. As of today, STEALTHGAS has a fleet of 22 LPG carriers, which will expand to 24 vessels upon delivery of "Gas Eternity" and "Gas Fortune."

New time charter arrangements:

Furthermore, STEALTHGAS INC announced several new charter arrangements for its fleet, as follows:

STEALTHGAS INC. announced that it has entered into a new time charter agreement for "Gas Emperor" for a period of about 15 months at a rate of USD 245,000 per calendar month until about May 2007. "Gas Emperor" was previously trading in the spot market. "Gas Emperor" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in 1995 with a capacity of 5,013 cubic meters (CBM).

In addition, STEALTHGAS INC announced that it has extended the time charter agreement for "Gas Chios," which was set to expire in February 2006, for an additional 12-month period, until about February 2007, at a rate of USD 300,000 per calendar month. "Gas Chios" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in 1991 with a capacity of 6,562 cubic meters (CBM).

STEALTHGAS INC also announced it has fixed a new charter agreement for "Gas Cathar" for a period of 12 months starting from about August/September 2006, when the current time charter is set to expire, at a rate of USD 355,000 per calendar month. "Gas Cathar" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in 2001 with a capacity 7,517 cubic meters (CBM).

The new time charter arrangements for "Gas Emperor," "Gas Chios" and "Gas Cathar" have all been fixed to the same major international gas trader.

Stealth Maritime Corp. to manage two of STEALTHGAS INC's vessels:

Furthermore, STEALTHGAS INC announced that Stealth Maritime Corp. will handle the technical management of "Gas Eternity" upon its delivery in February 2006 and of "Gas Prophet" as of March/April 2006. Stealth Maritime Corp, STEALTHGAS INC's affiliated manager, has recently hired two highly experienced operational and technical managers in the LPG sector namely Mr. Christos Vlachos and Captain Zannis Paschalis. Thus, over time STEALTHGAS INC will be reducing its outsourced third party technical managers from four to three in number.

This development will allow the company to monitor the performance of the outsourced technical managers as measured against its own capabilities, keeping the competitive tendering process intact. It will also allow STEALTHGAS INC to further develop its own technical management expertise within its affiliated management company, Stealth Maritime Corp.

Updated Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:

The table below describes our fleet development and deployment as of today:

Vessel        Vessel                                                Monthly
               Size Vessel  Year Delivered   Employment   Charter    Rate
               (cbm)  Type Built   To GASS     Status   Expiration  (1*) $
CURRENT FLEET
 (Initial Fleet plus Identified Vessels already delivered to GASS)
Gas Cathar     7,517  F.P.  2001  Oct 2005  Time Charter  Aug 2007  365,000
Gas Chios      6,562  F.P.  1991  Oct 2005  Time Charter  Feb 2007  300,000
Gas Marathon   6,550  F.P.  1995  Nov 2005  Bareboat      Oct 2007  220,000
Gas Amazon     6,526  F.P.  1992  May 2005  Time Charter  May 2006  420,000
Sweet Dream(2) 5,018  F.P.  1997  Dec 2005  Time Charter  June 2007 295,000
Gas Emperor    5,013  F.P.  1995  Feb 2005  Time Charter  May 2007  245,000
Birgit Kosan   5,012  F.P.  1994  Apr 2005  Bareboat      Apr 2007  190,000
Catterick      5,000  F.P   1995  Nov 2005  Time Charter  Feb 2007  300,000
Feisty Gas     4,250  F.P.  2001  Dec 2005  Time Charter  Aug 2006  199,000
Gas Spirit(3)  4,250  F.P.  2001  Dec 2005  Time Charter  June 2007 195,000
Gas Courchevel 4,109  S.R.  1991  Nov 2004  Time Charter  Mar 2006  335,000
Gas Sincerity  4,100  F.P.  2000  Nov 2005  Time Charter  July 2006 285,000
Gas Prophet    3,556  F.P.  1996  Oct 2004  Spot          N/A       N/A
Gas Shangai    3,526  F.P.  1999  Dec 2004  Spot          N/A       N/A
Gas Legacy     3,500  F.P.  1998  Oct 2005  Time Charter  Apr 2007  250,000
Gas Czar       3,500  F.P.  1995  Feb 2006  Time Charter  Nov 2006  171,250
Gas Artic      3,434  S.R.  1992  Apr 2005  Bareboat      Apr 2009  190,000
Gas Ice        3,434  S.R.  1991  Apr 2005  Bareboat      Apr 2008  174,250
Gas Crystal    3,211  S.R.  1990  Nov 2005  Spot          N/A       N/A
Gas Oracle     3,014  F.P.  1990  Dec 2005  Time Charter  May 2006  118,000
Gas Prodigy    3,014  F.P.  1995  Oct 2005  Time Charter  Mar 2006  125,000
Gas Tiny       1,320  S.R.  1991  Oct 2004  Time Charter  Nov 2006  120,000
Subtotal -
 22 vessels   95,416
REMAINING IDENTIFIED VESSELS (with expected delivery date)
Gas Eternity   3,500  F.P.  1998  Feb 2006  Spot          N/A       N/A
Subtotal -
 1 vessel      3,500
ADDITIONAL VESSELS (with expected delivery date)
Gas Fortune    3,500  F.P.  1995  Feb/Mar   Time Charter  Feb 2007  175,000
                                    2006
Subtotal -
 1 Vessel      3,500
FLEET TOTAL
 24 VESSELS   102,416
              cbm
--  F.P.: Fully Pressurized
--  S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
--  (1): To calculate daily rate divide by 30.4. All rates are quoted on a
    gross basis and do not take into account chartering commissions
--  (2): Sweet Dream is under a bareboat charter with a rate of $ 195,000
    per month ending January 2006. The time charter in the table commences
    thereafter. As of February it will renamed the Gas Monarch
--  (3): Gas Spirit is employed until June 2006 at a rate of $ 195,000 per
    month. The rate for the 12-month period between June 2006 and June 2007
    will be agreed no later than the end of February 2006 and will range
    between a minimum of $250,000 and a maximum of $350,000.
--  (4): Gas Czar is employed until November 2006 at a rate of $ 171,250
    per month. The rate for the 12 month period between December 2006 and
    November 2007 will be agreed upon no later than the commencement of the
    charter extension for the 12 months and will range between a minimum of
    $190,000 and a maximum of $210,000.
--  (5) Gas Cathar is employed until August 2006 at a rate of $365,000 per
    month. Thereafter she will be employed for a further one year period at a
    rate of $355,000.
    

About STEALTHGAS INC

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC is a ship-owning company serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. STEALTHGAS INC currently has a fleet of 22 LPG carriers, and intends to acquire 2 additional LPG carriers. Once this acquisition is completed, STEALTHGAS INC's fleet will be composed of 24 LPG Carriers with a total capacity of 102,416 cubic meters (cbm). STEALTHGAS INC's shares are listed on NASDAQ and trade under the symbol "GASS."

Forward-Looking Statement

Matters discussed in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although STEALTHGAS INC believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, STEALTHGAS INC. cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charterhire rates and vessel values, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydocking, changes in STEALTHGAS INC's operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists.

Risks and uncertainties are further described in reports filed by STEALTHGAS INC with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com

Contact Information


  • Company Contact:
    Andrew J. Simmons
    Chief Financial Officer
    STEALTHGAS INC
    011-30-210-6250-001
    E-mail: Email Contact

    Investor Relations/Media:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    Capital Link, Inc.(New York)
    Tel. 212-661-7566
    E-mail: Email Contact