BW Group is gearing up to sell off more than one-quarter of its major stake in gas carrier owner Navigator Holdings in a deal that could be worth around $93m.

New York-listed Navigator said the Singapore-based shipping group is offering 6m shares to the public.

The deal will see BW, which is Navigator’s largest shareholder with 21.9m shares representing 29.9% of the UK-based shipowner, sell 8.2% of Navigator’s outstanding shares.

That would move it to second place on the shareholder rolls, leaving Danish-Chilean shipping group Ultranav as Navigator’s top investor.

Citigroup and DNB Markets are acting as bookrunners on the deal.

After news of the offering, Navigator’s share price fell 4.6% to hit $15.44 in after-market trading.

The dip came even though Navigator is not selling any new shares in the deal and has agreed instead to buy back half of the BW shares on offer, which could see the company spend nearly $47m to take 3m shares off the market.

BW, led by Andreas Sohmen-Pao, bought its stake in Navigator from WL Ross in December 2020 for $197m which saw it pay $9 per share.

That means the offering will likely fetch BW a more than 70% gain from the deal if it is ultimately priced at around the latest share price.

Ultranav, which is led by chairman Per von Appen of Chile, owns 29% of Navigator after merging its Ultragas subsidiary with the company in 2021.