Two companies controlled by billionaire Idan Ofer have sold their entire stake in International Seaways, according to a filing that emerged after the New York-listed tanker owner’s shares soared to record highs.
Ofer-controlled EPS Ventures and parent Quantum Pacific Shipping filed papers with the US Securities & Exchange Commission disclosing that they own zero shares in the Lois Zabrocky-led tanker owner.
The exact date of any sales was not disclosed in the Wednesday filing, other than to indicate that the company had no holdings in Seaways as of the end of last year.
The Ofer companies first publicly disclosed a stake in New York-headquartered International Seaways in October 2022, when they reported holding 2.48m shares amounting to 5.05% of the company.
It appears to have been a profitable investment. On the day before the stake was disclosed, Seaways’ shares closed at $35.08, and although their price seesawed after that, it always remained above that October 2022 level.
The stock price had already been climbing in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which lengthened tanker tonne-miles as trades were shaken up by geopolitical upheaval. The shares started 2022 at $15.24 apiece, rising to a record of $52.88 in March of last year.
In December they started an upward trajectory again, reaching a new record of $54.27 at the end of January. They have since fallen back to close Wednesday at $51.87.
The Ofer companies could not be immediately reached through the Singapore headquarters of Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping before business hours.
As TradeWinds reported at the time the Ofer investment was disclosed, it was identified as a passive stake, with no stated intention to influence Seaways’ business.
The billionaire’s stake emerged shortly after another shipping billionaire — Norwegian-Cypriot tycoon John Fredriksen — unveiled a 16.6% stake in the company.
His Famatown Finance took a much more active approach, unsuccessfully seeking seats on the Seaways board.
The Fredriksen company has yet to make a subsequent update about its holding.