Evangelos Pistiolis and his family have demonstrated their commitment to Greek tanker owner Top Ships by lifting their stake to 73%.

The chief executive has acquired more shares in the Nasdaq-listed owner of two VLCCs, three suezmaxes and three MRs in open-market deals, as well as converting all the family’s Series E preferred shares.

Top Ships has issued 2.9m shares as a result, giving the family 3.4m of the 4.6m shares outstanding.

The stock closed up 21% at $15.92 in New York on Thursday.

The price was as high as $126 in 2019.

The $27m market cap makes the Pistiolis holding worth $19.7m.

The boss said: “As I have mentioned on various occasions, the recent trading price of our common shares clearly does not reflect the intrinsic value of the company.

“I therefore decided … to acquire a significant shareholding of 446,030 common shares in open-market purchases, thus clearly demonstrating my commitment and support to this company.”

Seeking Alpha analyst Henrik Alex reiterated a “hold” rating on the stock and said the “vicious circle” of dilutive stock issues and reverse stock splits appeared to have been ended by the move.

He noted that the shares were still trading at a fraction of net asset value.

In October, Top Ships enjoyed a spike in its share price after regaining compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.

Shares reduced

The company carried out a reverse stock split at the end of September to boost its price back above the $1 minimum for the New York exchange.

Every 12 shares were converted to one share.

Last month, trader Trafigura secured more VLCC tonnage on long-term deals after agreeing on charter extensions with Top Ships.

The group took the 300,000-dwt Julius Caesar and Legio X Equestris (both built 2022) for up to five more years at a daily rate of $41,500 per vessel.

Top Ships said the firm period will be extended for about three years with two additional years at the charterer’s option.