Saltchuk Makes Offer to Take OSG Private

OSG Horizon
File image courtesy VT Halter

Published Jan 29, 2024 6:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Seattle-based family holding company Saltchuk is interested in buying out publicly-listed tanker and ATB firm Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG). If successful, OSG would be the second U.S.-flag tanker company to delist in three years. 

Saltchuk owns about 21 percent of OSG, making it the company's largest shareholder. It previously considered making a bid back in 2021, but abandoned the idea because of the business uncertainty of the late-COVID era. In a letter of explanation, Saltchuk's management said that "the timing was not right" at that point in the pandemic. 

Saltchuk has returned with an offer to buy out the rest of OSG's outstanding shares at $6.25 each. OSG's stock rose above this offer price to $6.43 by the close on Monday, marking an eight-year high. 

In a statement to investors, OSG's board said that Saltchuk's expression of interest was unsolicited and was still being evaluated with the company's financial advisors. It cautioned that the board is still considering the matter and that no decisions have yet been made. 

"Shipping has multi-decade investment cycles and shorter-term economic cycles, both of which are better supported by a privately held family business," said Saltchuk Holdings chairman Mark Tabbutt. 

Saltchuk is the holding company of the Engle family, and it owns a growing portfolio of maritime businesses, including TOTE, Tropical Shipping, Foss Maritime and towing company Young Brothers. As of 2017, it was the largest family-owned business in Washington State. 

OSG competitor Seacor went private in 2020 in a buyout led by private equity firm American Industrial Partners.