Chelsea Logistics offers to buy Starlite Ferries

Chrisee Dela Paz
Chelsea Logistics offers to buy Starlite Ferries
Dennis Uy says the planned acquisition will bring Chelsea Logistics a step closer to fulfilling its growth commitment

MANILA, Philippines – Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation is set to acquire local roll-on, roll-off (RORO) shipping company Starlite Ferries Incorporated – a move to become the leading mover of vital goods, cargo, and passengers in the Philippines.

The Dennis Uy-owned logistics firm on Monday, September 4, said in a statement that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the owners of Starlite Ferries to buy 100% of the shares of the latter and its subsidiaries.

Chelsea Logistics said the transaction is pending due diligence and subject to regulatory approval by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), the country’s antitrust agency. 

Under the Philippine Competition Act, the PCC should be notified for mergers or acquisitions with transaction values above P1 billion, before the transaction is sealed.

“The planned acquisition will bring us a step closer to fulfilling our commitment to growth in order to realize more value for our stakeholders, from the investors to the consumers,” Chelsea Logistics chairman Uy said in the statement.

Starlite and its subsidiaries have 14 vessels in the fleet, of which 5 are RORO passenger vessels that were acquired in 2016 and 2017.

Starlite’s website showed that it services the ports of Batangas, Calapan, Puerto Galera, Roxas, and Caticlan. With its new vessels, the company looks to expand further to other ports of operation.

Funds from IPO

Once all the processes and regulatory approvals are obtained, the acquisition will be financed by the net proceeds of Chelsea Logistics’ initial public offering (IPO) of common shares. (READ: How to grow a business, according to Dennis Uy)

Chelsea Logistics has earmarked P1.78 billion of the proceeds for fleet expansion; P245 million for purchase and/or upgrade of ports, port facilities, containers, machineries and equipment; P3.20 billion for acquisition of shipping and logistics firms; as well as P278 million for general corporate purposes.

“By modernizing and expanding our operations, we can provide better shipping and logistics solutions as well as make our country more competitive in capturing the increasing trade opportunities in Southeast Asia,” Uy said.

Uy’s Udenna group ventured into shipping in 2006 through Chelsea Shipping Corporation to support the operations of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated. It has since grown the business into the country’s biggest logistics group with the largest tanker fleet in terms of capacity.

In March, Chelsea Logistics further grew with the acquisition of a 28.15% indirect economic interest in 2GO Group Incorporated.

Excluding the Starlite fleet, Chelsea Logistics has 11 tankers, 8 tugboats, 7 RORO vessels with passenger accommodations, 4 barges, and 3 cargo ships. In addition, 2GO Group has 8 RORO vessels with passenger accommodations, 10 fastcraft, and 8 cargo vessels. – 

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