Imperial Petroleum, a tanker spin-off of Nasdaq-listed StealthGas, has made yet another foray into financial markets to raise funds for acquisitions.

The Harry Vafias-led company, which owns five MRs and one aframax, said in a stock exchange filing it priced about 72.7 million units at $0.55 each.

Imperial said it expects gross proceeds of about $40m from the sale.

Net proceeds are to be spent on capital expenditures “including acquisitions of additional vessels, which we have not yet identified”, Imperial said.

This may include vessels outside the product and crude tanker sectors in which it currently operates, the company added.

Imperial began life in December last year with four tankers from StealthGas, another listed Vafias outfit.

Imperial raised no money in the spin-off, but on 31 January announced having raised $12m from its first shares offering.

The company’s first fleet expansion move followed a few weeks later, in early March, with two ships from the private Vafias stable.

Soon thereafter, the company conducted a follow-on equity raise grossing $60m.

According to market sources, Imperial aims to boost its fleet to about 15 to 20 vessels in the medium to long-term. To achieve that goal, it will not restrict itself to buying vessels from the Vafias family.

Imperial’s share sales have been underwritten by the Maxim Group — an investment bank that has led similar structures to support growth for other, mostly Greek shipowners like OceanPal, Castor Maritime, Globus Maritime and Top Ships.