WL Ross extracts business from Lehman

The Wilbur Ross-led firm acquired a majority stake in seaborne transportation company Navigator Holdings in a deal approved by the Southern District of New York’s bankruptcy court.

WL Ross & Company has completed a $110 million deal to acquire 4.4 million shares of Navigator Holdings from Lehman Brothers, bringing the firm’s ownership stake in Navigator to more than 50 percent. 

The transaction, which the parties agreed upon in August, was approved by James Peck of the Southern District of New York’s bankruptcy court. The court is overseeing Lehman’s liquidation. 

The firm announced its initial investment in Navigator last year, when it purchased a 19.4 percent stake for $62.5 million.

Navigator provides international seaborne transportation services to liquefied petroleum gas, petrochemical and ammonia providers.  Lehman acquired its stake in Navigator in 2006 in a debt-for-equity swap, according to a Dow Jones report.

WL Ross closed its fifth fund on $2.2 billion, concluding a difficult fundraising period marked by limited partner scrutiny of the firm’s long-term stability. The firm reached the $2.2 billion figure through traditional LP commitments, separately managed accounts and funded co-investment commitments, firm founder Wilbur Ross told Private Equity International.