Shareholders have approved a merger deal that will take Atlas Corp’s shares off the New York Stock Exchange and into private control.
The vote on Friday will see Poseidon Acquisition buy up the shares of Hong Kong and Vancouver-headquartered Atlas, an asset management firm that is the parent of container ship tonnage provider Seaspan Corp.
Atlas said the holders of the majority of its shares voted in favour of the deal, which will come as little surprise given that the Poseidon partners already control most of the company.
But the outfit also said a majority of unaffiliated investors also agreed to the merger deal, which will see Poseidon pay $15.50 per share.
Atlas said it still expects the deal to be completed in the first half of this year, potentially by the end of the first quarter.
“Based upon the current status of regulatory approvals, consents and other customary closing conditions the merger could close as early as March 31, 2023, subject to based upon the current status of all required conditions,” the company said.
Poseidon’s shareholders include affiliates of Fairfax Financial Holdings, the Washington family and Atlas chairman David Sokol, which together already owned 68% of the company when Prem Watsa-controlled Fairfax spent $78.7m this month to exercise warrants to buy more Atlas shares.
Ocean Network Express — the Singapore-based container ship operation of Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK Line and K Line — is also participating in the bid.
Poseidon first proposed in August to buy up Atlas for $14.45 per share.
Atlas recently disclosed, in an effort to head off potential litigation over the merger, the reasons why a special committee was set up to review the initial offer.
“The special committee’s determination to reject the initial consortium proposal was based in part on its belief that the contracted revenue stream and newbuild orderbook of the company would yield a cash flow profile for Seaspan that would produce value in excess of the initial consortium proposal,” Atlas said.
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