SOURCE: StealthGas Inc.

August 10, 2007 09:33 ET

STEALTHGAS INC. Announces Agreement to Acquire One LPG Carrier; Takes Delivery of Three LPG Carriers; Releases Fleet Time Charter Arrangements; and Announces Re-Election of Its Chairman and Ratification of Appointed Auditors

ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - August 10, 2007) - STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS) (the "Company"), a ship-owning company serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire its 39th LPG carrier, the M/V "Gas Premiership", a 2001 built, 7,200 cbm Fully Pressurized ("F.P") LPG carrier. Upon her expected delivery to the Company in February 2008, she will be deployed under a four-year time charter to an international gas trader.

VESSEL DELIVERIES:

The Company also announced that it took delivery of the M/V "Gas Evoluzione" on July 23, 2007, M/V "Gas Kalogeros" on July 27, 2007, and the M/V "Gas Sikousis" on August 3, 2007, three LPG carriers that it had previously announced its agreement to acquire, thereby expanding its current fleet to 36 vessels, with a carrying capacity of 153,929 cbm.

The M/V "Gas Evoluzione" is a 1996 built, 3,517 cbm Fully Pressurized ("F.P.") LPG carrier. Upon its delivery, it was deployed on a time charter for 12-months to an oil major.

The M/V "Gas Kalogeros" is a 5,000 cbm Fully Pressurized ("F.P.") new building LPG carrier which was delivered ex-yard to her original owners in March 2007 and has been delivered to the Company with an attached 10-month time charter to an oil major.

The M/V "Gas Sikousis" is a 2006 built, 3,500 cbm Fully Pressurized ("F.P.") LPG carrier. Upon its delivery to the Company, it was deployed under a 22-month time charter to an oil major. The charter for this vessel also includes, at charter's option, two one-year extensions, the first to be negotiated in May 2009 upon the expiration of the initial term of the charter.

The aggregate revenue per calendar month for the above mentioned four time charters, including the M/V "Gas Premiership", is $997,250.

TIME CHARTER ARRANGEMENTS:

STEALTHGAS INC. announced that it has extended the time charters for 3 vessels, the M/V "Catterick", the M/V "Gas Fortune" and the M/V "Gas Prodigy each to an international gas trader as described below:

The M/V "Catterick" has extended its existing time charter for an additional 12 months, commencing in January 2008, to an international gas trader.

Both the M/V "Gas Fortune" and the M/V "Gas Prodigy" have extended their time charters for 12 months, each commencing in December 2007, and each to an international gas trader.

The aggregate revenue per calendar month for the above three time charters is $746,000.

In addition, at STEALTHGAS' annual meeting held on July 19, 2007 in Athens, Greece, Mr. Michael Jolliffe was re-elected as a non executive director of the Company for an additional three year term and was re-appointed as Chairman of the Board. At the same meeting, the appointment of Deloitte Hadjipavlou Sofianos and Cambanis S.A. Athens as auditors to the Company was ratified.

CEO Harry Vafias commented, "We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of the M/V "Gas Premiership" and the deliveries of the M/V "Gas Evoluzione", M/V "Gas Kalogeros" and the M/V "Gas Sikousis" to our fleet. Once we have taken delivery of the "Gas Premiership" along with the two previously announced LPG carriers that will join our fleet in October 2007, our fleet will consist of 39 ships in total, thus solidifying our position as the leader in the 3,000 to 8,000 cbm segment. In line with our policy of having the majority of our fleet fixed on long term charters, I am pleased to have secured extensions for three of our existing vessels through the end of 2008 at significantly increased charter rates than those currently being earned by these vessels.

Furthermore, we are delighted to announce the re-election of Mr. Jolliffe as a non-executive director and Chairman of our Board. Mr. Jolliffe's insight and guidance has been an integral part to STEALTHGAS' success and we look forward to his continued contribution to our company."

Updated Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:

The table below describes the Company's fleet development and deployment as of today:

                                                                  Charter
                Vessel Size Vessel Year   Delivered  Employment  Expiration
Vessel            (cbm)     Type   Built  To Company   Status       (1)
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
CURRENT FLEET
Gas Cathar (2)        7,517   F.P.   2001     Oct-05 Time Charter    Aug-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Marathon (3)      6,572   F.P.   1995     Nov-05     Bareboat    Oct-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Chios             6,562   F.P.   1991     Oct-05 Time Charter    Mar-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Amazon (4)        6,526   F.P.   1992     May-05 Time Charter   Nov -08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Flawless          6,300   F.P.   2007     Feb-07 Time Charter    Feb-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Monarch           5,018   F.P.   1997     Dec-05 Time Charter    Jun-10
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Nemesis           5,016   F.P.   1995     Jun-06 Time Charter    May-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Lyne (5)              5,014   F.P.   1996     May-06     Bareboat    May-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Emperor           5,013   F.P.   1995     Feb-05 Time Charter    Jun-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Birgit Kosan (6)      5,012   F.P.   1995     Apr-05     Bareboat    Oct-11
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Catterick (7)         5,001    F.P   1995     Nov-05 Time Charter    Jan-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Sir Ivor (8)          5,000   F.P.   2003     May-06     Bareboat    May-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Icon              5,000   F.P.   1994     Jun-07 Time Charter    Jul-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Kalogeros         5,000   F.P.   2007     Jul-07 Time Charter    May-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Sincerity         4,123   F.P.   2000     Nov-05 Time Charter    Jul-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Spirit            4,112   F.P.   2001     Dec-05 Time Charter    Jun-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Zael              4,111   F.P.   2001     Dec-05 Time Charter    Mar-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Courchevel        4,109   S.R.   1991     Nov-04         Spot         -
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Prophet (9)       3,556   F.P.   1996     Oct-04     Bareboat    Sep-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Shanghai (10)     3,526   F.P.   1999     Dec-04 Time Charter    Sep-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Sea Bird II           3,518   F.P.   1996     May-07     Bareboat    May-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Evoluzione        3,517   F.P.   1996     Jul-07 Time Charter    Aug-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Czar              3,510   F.P.   1995     Feb-06 Time Charter    Nov-07
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Legacy            3,500   F.P.   1998     Oct-05 Time Charter    Apr-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Fortune (11)      3,500   F.P.   1995     Feb-06 Time Charter    Dec-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Eternity (12)     3,500   F.P.   1998     Mar-06     Bareboat    Apr-10
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Sikousis (13)     3,500   F.P.   2006     Aug-07 Time Charter    May-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Artic             3,434   S.R.   1992     Apr-05     Bareboat    Apr-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Ice               3,434   S.R.   1991     Apr-05     Bareboat    Apr-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Renovatio         3,313   F.P.   1997     May-07 Time Charter    Jan-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Chiltern              3,312   F.P.   1997     Jun-07     Bareboat    Mar-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Batangas              3,244   F.P.   1995     Jun-06     Bareboat    Jul-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Crystal           3,211   S.R.   1990     Nov-05 Time Charter    Jul-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Oracle            3,014   F.P.   1990     Dec-05 Time Charter    Dec-07
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Prodigy (14)      3,014   F.P.   1995     Oct-05 Time Charter    Dec-08
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Tiny              1,320   S.R.   1991     Oct-04 Time Charter    Jan-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
FLEET TOTAL
36 VESSELS          153,929
                    cbm
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------

Additional Vessels (with expected delivery date)
                -----------------------------------------------------------
Gas Premiership
 (15)                 7,200   F.P.   2001     Feb-08 Time Charter    Feb-12
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Haralambos
 (16)                 7,000   F.P. Oct-07     Oct-07 Time Charter    Oct-09
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
Gas Sophie            3,500   F.P.   1995     Oct-07            -         -
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------
FLEET TOTAL
39 VESSELS      171,629 cbm
                ----------- ------ ------ ---------- ------------ ---------

--  'F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
--  'S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
    

(1)  Earliest date charters could expire.  Most charters include options to
     shorten or extend their term.
(2)  Gas Cathar is currently employed under a time charter with an initial
     term expiring in August 2007, which has been extended to August 2008.
(3)  Gas Marathon is currently employed under a bareboat charter with an
     initial term expiring in October 2007. Thereafter she will be
     re-employed on a bareboat charter October 2009.
(4)  Gas Amazon is currently employed under a time charter with an initial
     term expiring in November 2007, which has been extended to
     November 2008.
(5)  Lyne is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009. Thereafter,
     at the charterer's option, the bareboat charter can be extended for a
     an additional year.
(6)  Birgit Kosan is currently employed under a bareboat charter until
     October 2007. Thereafter she will be re-employed on a bareboat charter
     until September 2011.
(7)  Catterick is currently employed under a time charter with an initial
     term expiring in January 2008, which has been extended to
     January 2009.
(8)  Sir Ivor is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009.
     Thereafter, at the charter's option, the bareboat charter can be
     Extended for an additional year.
(9)  Gas Prophet has for the three year duration of bareboat charter been
     renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
(10) Gas Shanghai is currently employed under a time charter with an
     initial term expiring in September 2007, which has been extended to
     September 2008.
(11) Gas Fortune is currently employed under a time charter with an
     initial term expiring in December 2007, which has been extended to
     December 2008.
(12) Gas Eternity has for the duration of bareboat charter been renamed
     the M.T. Yu Tian 9.
(13) Gas Sikousis is currently employed under a time charter until May
     2009. Thereafter, at the charterer' option, the time charter can be
     extended for two one-year period, the first one to be negotiated in
     May 2009.
(14) Gas Prodigy is currently employed under a time charter with an
     initial term expiring in December 2007, which has been extended to
     December 2008.
(15) Gas Premiership will commence a four year charter upon expected
     delivery in February 2008 expiring in February 2012.
(16) Gas Haralambos will commence a two year charter upon expected delivery
     in October

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 36 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 153,929 cubic meters (cbm). In addition, the company has agreed to acquire one re sale newbuilding LPG carrier expected to be delivered to it in October 2007. It has also entered into agreements to acquire two additional second-hand LPG carriers with expected delivery between October 2007 and February 2008. Once these acquisitions are complete, STEALTHGAS INC.'s fleet will be composed of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 171,629 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 US 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: simmons@stealthgas.com

    Investor Relations/Media:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    Capital Link, Inc.(New York)
    Tel. 212-661-7566
    E-mail: nbornozis@capitallink.com