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DORIAN LPG LTD. SEC Filing Form 10-K Annual report 2/2017, submited: 2017-06-14

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Form 10-K

A 10-K is a comprehensive summary report of a company's performance that must be submitted annually to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Typically, the 10-K contains much more detail than the annual report. It includes information such as company history, organizational structure, equity, holdings, earnings per share, subsidiaries, etc.

The 10-K must be filed within 60 days (it used to be 90 days) after the end of the fiscal year.

10-K 1 lpg-20170331x10k.htm 10-K lpg_Current_Folio_10K

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017

 

or

 

[  ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

Commission file number: 001-36437

 

Dorian LPG Ltd.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

 

Marshall Islands

 

66-0818228

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

 

 

 

27 Signal Road, Stamford, CT

 

06902

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (203) 674-9900

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

 

 

 

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share

Preferred stock purchase rights

 

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ◻No ☒   

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ◻No ☒    

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒    No ◻

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒    No ◻

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ◻No ☒    

 

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates, based upon the closing price of common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange as of September 30, 2016, was approximately $186,179,478. For this purpose, all outstanding shares of common stock have been considered held by non-affiliates, other than the shares beneficially owned by directors, officers and shareholders of 10% or more of the registrant outstanding common shares, without conceding that any of the excluded parties are "affiliates" of the registrant for purposes of the federal securities laws. As of June 9, 2017, there were 54,974,526 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding. 

 

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Commission, pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the Registrant’s fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I. 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1. 

BUSINESS

 

1

ITEM 1A. 

RISK FACTORS

 

23

ITEM 1B. 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

46

ITEM 2. 

PROPERTIES

 

46

ITEM 3. 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

46

ITEM 4. 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

46

 

 

 

 

PART II. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5. 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

47

ITEM 6. 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

49

ITEM 7. 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

52

ITEM 7A. 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

70

ITEM 8. 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

71

ITEM 9. 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

71

ITEM 9A. 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

71

ITEM 9B. 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

72

 

 

 

 

PART III. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10. 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

73

ITEM 11. 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

73

ITEM 12. 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDERS MATTERS

 

73

ITEM 13. 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

73

ITEM 14. 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

73

 

 

 

 

PART IV. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15. 

EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

74

 

 

 


 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including analyses and other information based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable and statements relating to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “will” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions.

 

The forward-looking statements in this report are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies that are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

 

In addition to important factors and matters discussed elsewhere in this report, and in the documents incorporated by reference herein, important factors that, in our view, could cause our actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include:

 

·

our future operating or financial results;

 

·

our acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending or operating expenses;

 

·

shipping trends, including changes in charter rates, scrapping rates and vessel and other asset values;

 

·

factors affecting supply of and demand for liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, shipping;

 

·

changes in trading patterns that impact tonnage requirements;

 

·

general economic conditions and specific economic conditions in the oil and natural gas industry and the countries and regions where LPG is produced and consumed;

 

·

the supply of and demand for LPG, which is affected by the production levels and price of oil, refined petroleum products and natural gas, including production from United States shale fields;

 

·

completion of infrastructure projects to support marine transportation of LPG, including export terminals and pipelines;

 

·

changes to the supply and demand for LPG vessels as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal;

 

·

oversupply of or limited demand for LPG vessels comparable to ours or higher specification vessels;

 

·

competition in the LPG shipping industry;

 

·

our ability to profitably employ our vessels, including vessels participating in the Helios Pool (defined below);

 

·

the failure of our or the Helios Pool’s (defined below) significant customers to perform their obligations to us or to the Helios Pool;

 

·

the performance of the Helios Pool;

 

·

the loss or reduction in business from our or the Helios Pool’s significant customers;

 


 

 

·

our financial condition and liquidity, including our ability to obtain financing in the future to fund capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, the terms of such financing and our ability to comply with covenants set forth in our existing and future financing arrangements;

 

·

our costs, including crew wages, insurance, provisions, repairs and maintenance, and general and administrative expenses;

 

·

our dependence on key personnel;

 

·

the availability of skilled workers and the related labor costs;

 

·

the effects of new products and new technology in our industry;

 

·

operating hazards in the maritime transportation industry, including piracy;

 

·

the adequacy of our insurance coverage in the event of a catastrophic event;

 

·

compliance with and changes to governmental, tax, environmental and safety laws and regulations;

 

·

compliance with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010, or other applicable regulations relating to bribery; and

 

·

the volatility of the price of our common shares.

 

Actual results could differ materially from expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements if one or more of the underlying assumptions or expectations proves to be inaccurate or is not realized. You should thoroughly read this report with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. Other sections of this report include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We qualify all of the forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

We caution readers of this report not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as of the date of this report, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

 

 

 


 

PART I

 

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS  

 

Unless otherwise indicated, references to "Dorian," the "Company," "we," "our," "us," or similar terms refer to Dorian LPG Ltd. and its subsidiaries and predecessors. The terms "Predecessor" and "Predecessor Business" refer to the owning companies of the four vessels that comprised our initial fleet (hereinafter referred to as our "Initial Fleet"), prior to their acquisition by us.  We use the term "VLGC" to refer to very large gas carriers and the term “PGC” to refer to pressurized gas carriers. We use the term "LPG" to refer to liquefied petroleum gas and we use the term "cbm" to refer to cubic meters in describing the carrying capacity of our vessels. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to "U.S. dollars," "USD," "dollars," and "$" in this report are to the lawful currency of the United States of America and references to "Norwegian Krone" and "NOK" are to the lawful currency of Norway. Unless stated otherwise, the information below gives effect to a one-for-five reverse stock split of our common shares effected on April 25, 2014.

 

Overview

 

We are a Marshall Islands corporation incorporated on July 1, 2013 and headquartered in the United States. We are focused on owning and operating VLGCs in the LPG shipping industry. Our founding executives have managed vessels in the LPG shipping market since 2002. We currently own and operate a fleet of twenty-two VLGCs, including nineteen new fuel-efficient 84,000 cbm ECO-design VLGCs, or our ECO VLGCs, and three 82,000 cbm VLGCs. The twenty-two VLGCs in our fleet have an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 1.8 million cbm and an average age of 2.9 years as of June 9, 2017. We provide in-house commercial and technical management services for all of our vessels, including our vessels deployed in the Helios Pool, which may also receive commercial management services from Phoenix (defined below).

 

Sixteen of our ECO VLGCs were constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., or Hyundai, and three of our ECO VLGCs were constructed at Daewoo Shipping and Marine Engineering Ltd, or Daewoo. Our nineteen ECO VLGCs, which incorporate fuel efficiency and emission-reducing technologies and certain custom features, were acquired by us for an aggregate purchase price of $1.4 billion, which was financed with proceeds from a $758 million debt facility that we entered into in March 2015 with a group of banks and financial institutions, or the 2015 Debt Facility, proceeds from equity offerings, and cash generated from operations. These nineteen ECO VLGCs were delivered to us between July 2014 and February 2016, seventeen of which were delivered during calendar year 2015 or later.

 

On April 1, 2015, we and Phoenix Tankers Pte. Ltd., or Phoenix, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., an unaffiliated third party, began operation of Helios LPG Pool LLC, or the Helios Pool, a joint venture owned 50% by us and 50% by Phoenix. We believe that the operation of certain of our VLGCs in this pool allows us to achieve better market coverage and utilization. Vessels entered into the Helios Pool are commercially managed jointly by Dorian LPG (UK) Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary, and Phoenix. The members of the Helios Pool share in the net pool revenues generated by the entire group of vessels participating in the pool, weighted according to certain technical vessel characteristics, and net pool revenues are distributed as variable rate time charter hire to each participant. The vessels entered into the Helios Pool may operate either in the spot market, pursuant to contracts of affreightment, or COAs, or on time charters of two years' duration or less. We and Phoenix have agreed that the Helios Pool will have a right of first refusal to operate each VLGC of our respective fleets not employed on a time charter of more than two years' duration. In March 2016, the Helios Pool reached an agreement with Oriental Energy Company Ltd., or Oriental Energy, one of the largest propane dehydrogenation plant operators and LPG importers in China to operate up to eight VLGCs on its behalf. As of June 9, 2017, the Helios Pool operated twenty-seven VLGCs, including eighteen of our vessels, four Phoenix vessels, and five Oriental Energy vessels. In addition, the Helios Pool has entered into a COA with Oriental Energy covering Oriental Energy’s shipments from the United States Gulf, which gives us exposure to the growing Chinese LPG market.

 

 

1


 

Our Fleet

 

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our fleet as of June 9, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

Capacity

 

 

 

Sister

 

 

 

ECO

 

 

 

Charter

 

 

 

(Cbm)

 

Shipyard

 

Ships

 

Year Built

 

Vessel(1)

 

Employment

 

Expiration(2)

 

VLGCs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Markos NL

 

82,000

 

Hyundai

 

A

 

2006

 

 

Time Charter(3)

 

Q4 2019

 

Captain John NP

 

82,000

 

Hyundai

 

A

 

2007

 

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Captain Nicholas ML

 

82,000

 

Hyundai

 

A

 

2008

 

 

Pool-TCO(5)

 

Q2 2018

 

Comet

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2014

 

X

 

Time Charter(6)

 

Q3 2019

 

Corsair

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2014

 

X

 

Time Charter(7)

 

Q3 2018

 

Corvette 

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Cougar

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Concorde

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Cobra

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Continental

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Constitution

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Commodore

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Cresques

 

84,000

 

Daewoo

 

C

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Constellation

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Cheyenne

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Clermont

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Cratis

 

84,000

 

Daewoo

 

C

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool-TCO(5)

 

Q3 2017

 

Chaparral

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Copernicus

 

84,000

 

Daewoo

 

C

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Commander

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Time Charter(8)

 

Q4 2020

 

Challenger

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2015

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Caravelle

 

84,000

 

Hyundai

 

B

 

2016

 

X

 

Pool(4)

 

 

Total

 

1,842,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(1)

Represents vessels with very low revolutions per minute, longstroke, electronically controlled engines, larger propellers, advanced hull design, and low friction paint.

 

(2)

Represents calendar year quarters.

 

(3)

Currently on time charter with an oil major that began in December 2014.

 

(4)

“Pool” indicates that the vessel operates in the Helios Pool on voyage charters with third parties and receives as charter hire a portion of the net revenues of the pool calculated according to a formula based on the vessel’s pro rata performance in the pool.

 

(5)

“Pool-TCO” indicates that the vessel is operated in the Helios Pool on a time charter out to a third party and receives as charter hire a portion of the net revenues of the pool calculated according to a formula based on the vessel’s pro rata performance in the pool.

 

(6)

Currently on time charter with an oil major that began in July 2014.

 

(7)

Currently on time charter with an oil major that began in July 2015.

 

(8)

Currently on time charter with a major oil company that began in November 2015.

 

2


 

The LPG Shipping Industry

 

International seaborne LPG transportation services are generally provided by two types of operators: LPG distributors and traders and independent shipowners. Traditionally the main trading route in our industry has been the transport of LPG from the Arabian Gulf to Asia. With the emergence of the United States as a major LPG export hub, the United States Gulf to Asia has become an important trade route. Vessels are generally operated under time charters, bareboat charters, spot charters, or contracts of affreightment. LPG distributors and traders use their fleets not only to transport their own LPG, but also to transport LPG for third-party charterers in direct competition with independent owners and operators in the tanker charter market. We operate in markets that are highly competitive and based primarily on supply and demand of available vessels. Generally, we compete for charters based upon charter rate, customer relationships, operating expertise, professional reputation and vessel specifications (size, age and condition). We also believe that our in-house technical and commercial management allows us to provide superior customer service and reliability which enhances our relationships with our charterers. Our industry is subject to strict environmental regulation, including emissions regulations, and we believe our modern, ECO-class fleet and our high level of crew training and vessel maintenance make us a preferred provider of VLGC tonnage.

Our Customers

 

Our customers, either directly or through the Helios Pool, include or have included global energy companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., China International United Petroleum & Chemicals Co., Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell plc, Statoil ASA, and Oriental Energy Company Ltd., commodity traders such as Itochu Corporation and the Vitol Group and importers such as E1 Corp., SK Gas Co. Ltd. and Indian Oil Corporation. See “Item 7. Management Discussion and Analysis—Overview” for a discussion of our customers that accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues and “Item 1A. Risk Factors—We expect to be dependent on a limited number of customers for a material part of our revenues, and failure of such customers to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or negatively impact our results of operations and cash flows.” For the years ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, approximately 69.1% and 70.2% of our revenues, respectively, were generated through the Helios Pool as net pool revenues—related parties. No revenues were generated through the Helios Pool for the year ended March 31, 2015 as the Helios Pool began operation on April 1, 2015. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—We and the Helios Pool operate exclusively in the LPG shipping industry. Due to our lack of diversification and the lack of diversification of the Helios Pool, adverse developments in the LPG shipping industry may adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.”

 

We intend to continue to pursue a balanced chartering strategy by employing our vessels on a mix of multi-year time charters, some of which may include a profit-sharing component, shorter-term time charters, spot market voyages and contracts of affreightment. Six of our vessels are currently on fixed time charters (including through the Helios Pool) and have an average remaining term of 1.8 years as of June 9, 2017. See “Our Fleet” above for more information.

 

Further, each of our vessels serve the same type of customer, have similar operations and maintenance requirements, operate in the same regulatory environment, and are subject to similar economic characteristics. Based on this, we have determined that we operate in one reportable segment, the international transportation of liquid petroleum gas. Furthermore, when we charter a vessel to a charterer, the charterer is free to trade the vessel worldwide and, as a result, the disclosure of geographic information is impracticable.

 

Competition

 

LPG carrier capacity is primarily a function of the size of the existing world fleet, the number of newbuildings being delivered and the scrapping of older vessels. According to industry sources, as of May 19, 2017, there were 1,430 LPG capable carriers with an aggregate capacity of approximately 31.6 million cbm. As of such date, a further 87 LPG capable carriers with an aggregate carrying capacity of roughly 4.0 million cbm were on order for delivery by the end of 2020, equivalent to 12.5% of the existing fleet in capacity terms. In contrast to oil tankers and drybulk carriers, according to industry sources, the number of shipyards with LPG carrier experience is quite limited. Due to an influx of newbuild tonnage since early 2015, it is considered unlikely that significant vessel orders will be placed prior to the delivery of the contracted orderbook as of the time of writing. In the VLGC sector in which we operate, as of May 19, 2017, there were

3


 

247 vessels with an aggregate carrying capacity of 20.2 million cbm in the world fleet with 32 vessels on order for delivery by the second half of 2020.

 

Our largest competitors for VLGC shipping services include BW LPG Limited, or BWLPG, Avance Gas Holding Ltd., or Avance, Petredec, and Astomos Energy Corporation. According to industry sources, there were approximately 60 owners in the worldwide VLGC fleet as of May 19, 2017, with the top ten owners possessing 55% of the total fleet on a vessel count basis. Competition for the transportation of LPG depends on the price, location, size, age, condition and acceptability of the vessel to the charterer. We believe we own and operate the youngest and second largest fleet in the VLGC size segment, which, in our view, enhances our position relative to that of our competitors. But see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—We will face substantial competition in trying to expand relationships with existing customers and obtain new customers.”

 

Seasonality

 

Liquefied gases are primarily used for industrial and domestic heating, as a chemical and refinery feedstock, as a transportation fuel and in agriculture. The LPG shipping market is typically stronger in the spring and summer months in anticipation of increased consumption of propane and butane for heating during the winter months. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns in these months tend to disrupt vessel scheduling and the supply of certain commodities. Demand for our vessels therefore may be stronger in our quarters ending June 30 and September 30 and relatively weaker during our quarters ending December 31 and March 31, although 12-month time charter rates tend to smooth these short-term fluctuations. To the extent any of our time charters expire during the relatively weaker fiscal quarters ending December 31 and March 31, it may not be possible to re-charter our vessels at similar rates. As a result, we may have to accept lower rates or experience off-hire time for our vessels, which may adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Employees

 

As of March 31, 2017, we employed 69 persons in our offices in the United States, Greece and the United Kingdom. In addition to our shore-based employees, we had approximately 517 seafaring staff serving on our owned vessels. Seafarers are sourced from seafarer recruitment and placement service agencies and are employed with short-term employment contracts.

 

Classification, Inspection and Maintenance

 

Every large commercial seagoing vessel must be "classed" by a classification society. A classification society certifies that a vessel is "in class," signifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules of the classification society and the vessel's country of registry and the international conventions of which that country is a member. In addition, where surveys are required by international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of a flag state, the classification society will undertake them on application or by official order, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.

 

For maintenance of the class certificate, regular and special surveys of hull, machinery, including the electrical plant and any special equipment classed, are required to be performed by the classification society, to ensure continuing compliance. Vessels are drydocked at least once during a fiveyear class cycle for inspection of the underwater parts and for repairs related to inspections. Vessels under five years of age can waive drydocking provided the vessel is inspected underwater. If any defects are found, the classification surveyor will issue a "recommendation" which must be rectified by the shipowner within prescribed time limits. The classification society also undertakes on request of the flag state other surveys and checks that are required by the regulations and requirements of that flag state. These surveys are subject to agreements made in each individual case and/or to the regulations of the country concerned.

 

Most insurance underwriters make it a condition for insurance coverage that a vessel be certified as "in class" by a classification society, which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies, or the IACS. In December 2013, the IACS adopted harmonized Common Structure Rules that align with International Maritime Organization, or the IMO, goal standards. Our VLGCs are currently classed with either Lloyd's Register, the American

4


 

Bureau of Shipping, or ABS, or Det Norske Veritas, all members of the IACS. All of the vessels in our fleet have been awarded International Safety Management, or ISM, certification and are currently "in class."

 

We also carry out inspections of the ships on a regular basis; both at sea and while the vessels are in port. The results of these inspections are documented in a report containing recommendations for improvements to the overall condition of the vessel, maintenance, safety and crew welfare. Based in part on these evaluations, we create and implement a program of continual maintenance and improvement for our vessels and their systems.

 

Safety, Management of Ship Operations and Administration

 

Safety is our top operational priority. Our vessels are operated in a manner intended to protect the safety and health of the crew, the general public and the environment. We actively manage the risks inherent in our business and are committed to preventing incidents that threaten safety, such as groundings, fires and collisions. We are also committed to reducing emissions and waste generation. We have established key performance indicators to facilitate regular monitoring of our operational performance. We set targets on an annual basis to drive continuous improvement, and we review performance indicators every three months to determine if remedial action is necessary to reach our targets. Our shore staff performs a full range of technical, commercial and business development services for us. This staff also provides administrative support to our operations in finance, accounting and human resources.

 

Risk of Loss and Insurance

 

The operation of any vessel, including LPG carriers, has inherent risks. These risks include mechanical failure, personal injury, collision, property loss, vessel or cargo loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries or hostilities. In addition, there is always an inherent possibility of marine disaster, including explosions, spills and other environmental mishaps, and the liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. We believe that our present insurance coverage is adequate to protect us against the accident related risks involved in the conduct of our business and that we maintain appropriate levels of environmental damage and pollution insurance coverage consistent with standard industry practice. However, not all risks can be insured, and there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid, or that we will always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates.

 

We have obtained hull and machinery insurance on all our vessels against marine and war risks, which include the risks of damage to our vessels, salvage or towing costs, and actual or constructive total loss. However, our insurance policies contain deductible amounts for which we are responsible. We have also arranged additional total loss coverage for each vessel. This coverage, which is called hull interest and freight interest coverage, provides us additional coverage in the event of the total loss of a vessel.

 

We have also obtained loss of hire insurance to protect us against loss of income in the event one of our vessels cannot be employed due to damage that is covered under the terms of our hull and machinery insurance (marine and war risks). Under our loss of hire policies, our insurer will pay us an agreed daily rate in respect of each VLGC in excess of 14 days for marine risks and zero days for war risks for the time that the vessel is out of service as a result of damage, for a maximum of 180 days.

 

We have also obtained protection and indemnity insurance, which covers our third party legal liabilities in connection with our shipping activities, and is provided by mutual protection and indemnity associations, or P&I clubs. This insurance includes third party liability and other expenses related to the injury or death of crew members, passengers and other third parties, loss or damage to cargo, claims arising from collisions with other vessels or from contact with jetties or wharves and other damage to other third party property, including pollution arising from oil or other substances, and other related costs, including wreck removal. Subject to the capping discussed below, our coverage, except for pollution, is unlimited.

 

Our current protection and indemnity insurance coverage for pollution is $1 billion per vessel per incident. The thirteen P&I clubs that compose the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs, or the International Group, insure approximately 90% of the world's commercial tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to reinsure each

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association's liabilities. Each P&I club has capped its exposure in this pooling agreement so that the maximum claim covered by the pool and its reinsurance would be approximately $5.45 billion per accident or occurrence. We are a member of three P&I Clubs: The Standard Club Ltd., The United Kingdom Mutual Steamship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Limited and The London SteamShip Owners' Mutual Insurance Association Limited. As a member of these P&I clubs, we are subject to a call for additional premiums based on the clubs' claims record, as well as the claims record of all other members of the P&I clubs comprising the International Group. However, our P&I clubs have reinsured the risk of additional premium calls to limit our additional exposure. This reinsurance is subject to a cap, and there is the risk that the full amount of the additional call would not be covered by this reinsurance.

 

Environmental and Other Regulation

 

General

 

Governmental and international agencies extensively regulate the carriage, handling, storage and regasification of LPG. These regulations include international conventions and national, state and local laws and regulations in the countries where our vessels now or, in the future, will operate or where our vessels are registered. We cannot predict the ultimate cost of complying with these regulations, or the impact that these regulations will have on the resale value or useful lives of our vessels. Various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies require us to obtain permits, licenses and certificates for the operation of our vessels. For the years ending March 31, 2018 and 2019, we estimate that capital expenditures for reducing our environmental emissions would total approximately $0.3 million on one of our VLGCs relating to performance enhancing devices to achieve power savings resulting in lower fuel consumption.

 

Although we believe that we are substantially in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations and have all permits, licenses and certificates required for our vessels, future noncompliance or failure to maintain necessary permits or approvals could require us to incur substantial costs or temporarily suspend operation of one or more of our vessels. A variety of governmental and private entities inspect our vessels on both a scheduled and unscheduled basis. These entities, each of which may have unique requirements and each of which conducts frequent inspections, include local port authorities, such as the United States Coast Guard, or USCG, harbor master or equivalent, classification societies, flag state, or the administration of the country of registry, charterers, terminal operators and LPG producers.

 

International Maritime Organization Regulation of LPG Vessels

 

The International Maritime Organization, or the IMO, is the United Nations' agency that provides international regulations governing shipping and international maritime trade, including the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, as modified by the protocol of 1978 relating thereto, and as amended from time to time, or MARPOL, including the designation of Emission Control Areas, or ECAs, thereunder. The flag state, as discussed in the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, has overall responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of international maritime regulations for all ships granted the right to fly its flag. The "Shipping Industry Flag State Performance" tables evaluate flag states based on factors such as ratification of international maritime treaties, implementation and enforcement of international maritime regulations and participation at IMO meetings. Each of our vessels is flagged in the Bahamas. The requirements contained in the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, or the ISM Code, promulgated by the IMO, govern our operations. Among other requirements, the ISM Code requires shipowners, ship managers and bareboat charterers to develop and maintain an extensive safety management system that includes, among other things, the adoption of policies for safety and environmental protection setting forth instructions and procedures for operating its vessels safely and also describing procedures for responding to emergencies. We are compliant with the requirement to hold a Document of Compliance under the ISM Code for LPG ships (Gas carriers).

 

Vessels that transport gas, including LPG carriers, are also subject to regulation under the IMO's International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk Gas Carrier Code, or the IGC Code. The IGC Code and similar regulations in individual member states, address fire and explosion risk posed by the transport of liquefied gases. Collectively these standards and regulations impose detailed requirements relating to the design and arrangement or cargo tanks, vents, and pipes; construction materials and compatibility; cargo pressure; and temperature

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control. Compliance with the IGC Code must be evidenced by a Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases of Bulk. The completely revised and updated IGC Code entered into force on January 1, 2016, with an implementation/application date of July 1, 2016. The amendments were developed following a comprehensive five-year review and are intended to take into account the latest advances in science and technology. Each of our vessels is in compliance with the IGC Code. Noncompliance with the IGC Code or other applicable IMO regulations may subject a shipowner or a bareboat charterer to increased liability, may lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to, or detention in, some ports.

 

The IMO also periodically amends the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 and its protocol of 1988, otherwise known as SOLAS, and its implementing regulations. SOLAS includes construction, equipment, and procedure requirements to assure the safe operation of commercial vessels. Among other things, SOLAS requires lifeboats and other lifesaving appliances be provided on vessels and mandates the use of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, an international radio equipment and watchkeeping standard, afloat and at shore stations. The IMO has also adopted the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, or STCW. New SOLAS safety requirements relating to lifeboats and safe manning of vessels that were adopted in May 2012 came into effect on January 1, 2014. Flag states that have ratified SOLAS and STCW generally employ the classification societies, which have incorporated SOLAS and STCW requirements into their class rules, to undertake surveys to confirm compliance.

 

In the wake of increased worldwide security concerns, after the September 11, 2001 attack in the United States, the IMO amended SOLAS and added the International Ship and Port Facilities Security Code, or ISPS, as a new chapter to that convention. The objective of the ISPS, which came into effect on July 1, 2004, is to detect security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities. Amendments to SOLAS Chapter VII, made mandatory in 2004, apply to vessels transporting dangerous goods and require those vessels to be in compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, or IMDG Code. We have developed Ship Security Plans, appointed and trained Ship and Office Security Officers and all of our vessels have been certified to meet the ISPS Code requirements.

 

SOLAS and other IMO regulations concerning safety, including those relating to treaties on training of shipboard personnel, lifesaving appliances, radio equipment and the global maritime distress and safety system, are applicable to our operations. Noncompliance with these IMO regulations may subject us to increased liability or penalties, may lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to or detention in some ports. For example, the USCG and European Union, or EU, authorities have indicated that vessels not in compliance with the ISM Code will be prohibited from trading in United States and EU ports.

 

MARPOL establishes environmental standards relating to oil leakage or spilling, garbage management, sewage, air emissions, handling and disposal of noxious liquids and the handling of harmful substances carried in bulk, liquid or packaged form.

 

The IMO amended Annex I to MARPOL by adding a new regulation relating to oil fuel tank protection that applies to various ships delivered on or after August 1, 2010. It includes requirements for the protected location of the fuel tanks, performance standards for accidental oil fuel outflow, a tank capacity limit and certain other maintenance, inspection and engineering standards. IMO regulations also require owners and operators of vessels to adopt Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plans. Periodic training and drills for response personnel and for vessels and their crews are required.

 

In 2012, the IMO's Marine Environmental Protection Committee, or MEPC, adopted a resolution amending the International Code for the Construction of Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk, or IBC Code. The provisions of the IBC Code are mandatory under MARPOL and SOLAS. These amendments, which entered into force in June 2014, pertain to revised international certificates of fitness for the carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk and identifying new products that fall under the IBC Code.  In May 2014, additional amendments to the IBC Code were adopted that became effective in January 2016. These amendments pertain to the installation of stability instruments and cargo tank purging. Our ECO VLGCs are equipped with stability instruments and cargo tank purging. We may need to make certain financial expenditures to comply with these amendments for the remaining VLGCs.

 

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The IMO continues to review and introduce new regulations. It is impossible to predict what additional regulations, if any, may be passed by the IMO and what effect, if any, such regulation may have on our operations.

 

Air Emissions

 

In September 1997, the IMO adopted MARPOL Annex VI "Regulations for the prevention of Air Pollution" to MARPOL, or Annex VI, to address air pollution from ships. Annex VI came into force on May 19, 2005. It applies to all ships, fixed and floating drilling rigs and other floating platforms, sets limits on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, such as chlorofluoro carbons. "Deliberate emissions" are not limited to times when the ship is at sea; they can for example include discharges occurring in the course of the ship's repair and maintenance. Shipboard incineration (from incinerators installed after January 1, 2000) of certain substances (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) are also prohibited. Annex VI also includes a global cap on sulfur content of fuel oil and allows for more stringent controls on sulfur emissions in special coastal areas known as Emission Control Areas, or ECAs, designated by the MEPC. Ships weighing more than 400 gross tons and engaged in international voyages involving countries that have ratified the conventions, or ships flying the flag of those countries, are required to have an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate, or an IAPP Certificate. Annex VI has been ratified by some but not all IMO member states. Annex VI came into force in the United States on January 8, 2009. All the vessels in our operating fleet have been issued IAPP Certificates.

 

Amended Annex VI also establishes new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their date of installation. At MEPC’s 70th Session in October 2016, MEPC approved the North Sea and Baltic Sea as ECAs for nitrogen oxide, effective January 1, 2021. It is expected that these areas will be formally designated after draft amendments are presented at MEPC’s next session. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, promulgated equivalent (and in some senses stricter) emissions standards in late 2009. As a result of these designations or similar future designations, we may be required to incur additional operating or other costs.

 

On July 1, 2010, amendments to Annex VI that require progressively stricter limitations on sulfur emissions from ships took effect. As of January 1, 2012, fuel used to power ships was not permitted to contain more than 3.50% sulfur. This cap will then decrease progressively until it reaches 0.50% by January 1, 2020. On October 27, 2016, MPEC also announced its decision concerning the implementation of regulations mandating a reduction in sulfur emissions from the current 3.50% to 0.50% as of the beginning of 2020 rather than pushing the deadline back to 2025. By 2020, ships will now have to either remove sulfur from emissions through the use of emission scrubbers or buy fuel with low sulfur content. We currently have two vessels in our fleet with emission scrubbers and would have to either install additional emission scrubbers or replace the higher sulfur content fuel with higher priced low sulfur content fuel. This increased demand for low sulfur fuel may also result in an increase in prices for such fuel.

 

However, in ECAs such as the North America ECA fuels cannot contain more than 0.1% sulfur as of January 1, 2015. The Annex VI amendments also establish new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their date of installation. Further, the European directive 2005/33/EU, which became effective on January 1, 2010, bans the use of fuel oils containing more than 0.1% sulfur by mass by any merchant vessel while at berth in any EU country. Our vessels have achieved compliance, where necessary, with both the applicable IMO and EU sulfur regulations, by burning compliant fuels where required by such regulations.

 

Additionally, as discussed above, more stringent emission standards could apply in coastal areas designated as ECAs, such as the United States and Canadian coastal areas designated by the MEPC. United States air emissions standards are now equivalent to these amended Annex VI requirements, and once these amendments become effective, we may incur costs to comply with these revised standards. Additional or new conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted that could require the installation of expensive emission control systems.

 

Ballast Water Management Convention

 

The IMO adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, or the BWM Convention, in February 2004. The BWM Convention’s implementing regulations call for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements, to be replaced in time with mandatory

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concentration limits. All ships will also have to carry a ballast water record book and an International Ballast Water Management Certificate. The BWM Convention enters into force 12 months after it has been adopted by 30 states, the combined merchant fleets of which represent not less than 35% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant shipping. On September 8, 2016, this threshold was met (with 52 contracting parties making up 35.14%). Thus, the BWM Convention will enter into force on September 8, 2017. Many of the implementation dates in the BWM Convention have already passed, so that once the BWM Convention enters into force, the period of installation of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements would be extremely short, with several thousand ships a year needing to install ballast water management systems, or BWMS. For this reason, on December 4, 2013, the IMO Assembly passed a resolution revising the application dates of the BWM Convention so that they are triggered by the entry into force date and not the dates originally in the BWM Convention. This, in effect, makes all vessels constructed before the entry into force date “existing vessels” and allows for the installation of a BWMS on such vessels at the first renewal survey following entry into force of the convention. On October 27, 2016, MEPC adopted updated “guidelines for approval of ballast water managements systems (G8).” G8 updates previous guidelines concerning procedures to approve BWMS, including mid-ocean ballast exchange or ballast water treatment requirements. However, many countries already regulate the discharge of ballast water carried by vessels from country to country to prevent the introduction of invasive and harmful species via such discharges. The United States, for example, requires vessels entering its waters from another country to conduct mid-ocean ballast exchange, or undertake some alternate measure, and to comply with certain reporting requirements. Currently, sixteen of our VLGCs are in compliance with the BWM Convention guidelines. BWMS are expected to be installed on the remaining six VLGCs between July 2018 and March 2022 for approximately $0.8 million per vessel.

 

Bunkers Convention / Civil Liability Convention State Certificates

 

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damaged of 2001, or the Bunker Convention, entered into force on November 21, 2008. The Bunker Convention provides a liability, compensation and compulsory insurance system for the victims of oil pollution damage caused by spills of bunker oil. The Bunker Convention requires the ship owner liable to pay compensation for pollution damage (including the cost of preventive measures) caused in the territory, including the territorial sea of a State Party, as well as its economic zone or equivalent area. Registered owners of any sea going vessel and seaborne craft over 1,000 gross tonnage, of any type whatsoever, and registered in a State Party, or entering or leaving a port in the territory of a State Party, will be required to maintain insurance which meets the requirements of the Bunker Convention, an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime (but not exceeding the amount calculated in accordance with the Bunker Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims of 1976, as amended, or the LLMC) and to obtain a certificate issued by a State Party attesting that such insurance is in force. The State issued certificate must be carried on board at all times. With respect to non-ratifying states, liability for spills or releases of bunker fuel is determined by the national or other domestic laws in the jurisdiction where the events or damage occur.

 

Many countries have ratified and follow the liability plan adopted by the IMO and set out in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969, as amended in 2000, or CLC. Under this convention and depending on whether the country in which the damage results is a party to the 1992 Protocol to the CLC, a vessel's registered owner is strictly liable for pollution damage caused in the territorial waters of a contracting state by discharge of persistent oil, subject to certain complete defenses. The limited liability protections are forfeited under the CLC where the spill is caused by the owner's personal fault and under the 1992 Protocol where the spill is caused by the owner's personal act or omission or by intentional or reckless conduct. Vessels trading to states that are parties to these conventions must provide evidence of insurance covering the liability of the owner.

 

In jurisdictions, such as the United States where the CLC or the Bunkers Convention has not been adopted, various legislative schemes or common law govern, and liability is imposed either on the basis of fault or on a strict-liability basis.

 

P&I Clubs in the International Group issue the required Bunkers Convention "Blue Cards" to enable signatory states to issue certificates. All of our vessels are in possession of a CLC Stateissued certificate attesting that the required insurance coverage is in force.

 

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AntiFouling Requirements

 

In 2001, the IMO adopted the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships, or the Antifouling Convention. The Antifouling Convention, which entered into force on September 17, 2008, prohibits the use of organotin compound coatings to prevent the attachment of mollusks and other sea life to the hulls of vessels. Vessels of over 400 gross tons engaged in international voyages must obtain an International Antifouling System Certificate, or AFS, and undergo a survey before the vessel is put into service or when the antifouling systems are altered or replaced. We have obtained AFSs for all of our vessels, which are subject to the Antifouling Convention, and do not believe that maintaining such certificates will have an adverse financial impact on the operation of our vessels.

 

United States Environmental Regulation of LPG Vessels

 

Our vessels operating in United States waters now, or in the future, are or will be subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to protection of the environment. In some cases, these laws and regulations require us to obtain governmental permits and authorizations before we may conduct certain activities. These environmental laws and regulations may impose substantial penalties for noncompliance and substantial liabilities for pollution. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties. As with the industry generally, our operations will entail risks in these areas, and compliance with these laws and regulations, which may be subject to frequent revisions and reinterpretation, increases our overall cost of business.

 

Oil Pollution Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

 

The United States Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA90, established an extensive regulatory and liability regime for environmental protection and cleanup of oil spills. OPA90 affects all owners and operators whose vessels trade with the United States or its territories or possessions, or whose vessels operate in the waters of the United States, which include the United States territorial waters and the two hundred nautical mile exclusive economic zone of the United States. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or CERCLA, applies to the discharge of hazardous substances whether on land or at sea. While OPA90 and CERCLA would not apply to the discharge of LPG, they may affect us because we carry oil as fuel and lubricants for our engines, and the discharge of these substances could cause an environmental hazard. Under OPA90, vessel operators, including vessel owners, managers and bareboat or "demise" charterers, are "responsible parties" who are all liable regardless of fault, individually and as a group, for all containment and cleanup costs and other damages arising from oil spills from their vessels. These "responsible parties" would not be liable if the spill results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war. The other damages aside from cleanup and containment costs are defined broadly to include:

 

·

natural resource damages and related assessment costs;

 

·

real and personal property damages;

 

·

net loss of taxes, royalties, rents, profits or earnings capacity;

 

·

lost profits or impairment of earning capacity due to injury, destruction or loss of real or personal property or natural resources;

 

·

net cost of public services necessitated by a spill response, such as protection from fire, safety or health hazards; and

 

·

loss of subsistence use of natural resources.

 

Effective December 21, 2015, the USCG adjusted the limits of OPA90 liability to the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18,796,800 for tank vessels over 3,000 gross tons (subject to possible adjustment for inflation) other than single hull tank vessels. These limits of liability do not apply, however, where the incident is caused by violation of applicable United States federal safety, construction or operating regulations by a responsible party (or its agent, employee or a person

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acting pursuant to a contractual relationship), or a responsible party’s gross negligence or willful misconduct. These limits likewise do not apply if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with the substance removal activities. These limits are subject to possible adjustment for inflation. OPA90 specifically permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, and some states have enacted legislation providing for unlimited liability for discharge of pollutants within their waters. In some cases, states, which have enacted their own legislation, have not yet issued implementing regulations defining shipowners' responsibilities under these laws.

 

CERCLA, which also applies to owners and operators of vessels, contains a similar liability regime and provides for cleanup, removal and natural resource damages for releases of "hazardous substances." Liability under CERCLA is limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $0.5 million for each release from vessels not carrying hazardous substances, cargo or residue, and $300 per gross ton or $5 million for each release from vessels carrying hazardous substances, cargo or residue. As with OPA90, these limits of liability do not apply where the incident is caused by violation of applicable United States federal safety, construction or operating regulations, or by the responsible party's gross negligence or willful misconduct or if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with the substance removal activities. OPA90 and CERCLA each preserve the right to recover damages under existing law, including maritime tort law.

 

OPA90 requires owners and operators of vessels to establish and maintain with the USCG evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet the limit of their potential strict liability under OPA90/CERCLA. Under the regulations, evidence of financial responsibility may be demonstrated by insurance, surety bond, selfinsurance or guaranty. Under OPA90 regulations, an owner or operator of more than one vessel is required to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility for the entire fleet in an amount equal only to the financial responsibility requirement of the vessel having the greatest maximum liability under OPA90/CERCLA. Each of our shipowning subsidiaries that has vessels trading in United States waters has applied for, and obtained from the USCG National Pollution Funds Center, threeyear certificates of financial responsibility, supported by guarantees which we purchased from an insurance based provider. We believe that we will be able to continue to obtain the requisite guarantees and that we will continue to be granted certificates of financial responsibility from the USCG for each of our vessels that is required to have one.

 

In response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a number of bills that could potentially increase or even eliminate the limits of liability under OPA90 have been introduced in the United States Congress. In April 2015, it was announced that new regulations are expected to be imposed in the United States regarding offshore oil and gas drilling and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, or the BSEE, announced a new well-control rule in April 2016. In December 2015, the BSEE announced a new pilot inspection program for offshore facilities. Compliance with any new requirements of OPA90 may substantially impact our cost of operations or require us to incur additional expenses to comply with any new regulatory initiatives or statutes. Additional legislation, regulation, or other requirements applicable to the operation of our vessels that may be implemented in the future as could adversely affect our business and ability to make distributions to our shareholders.

 

Clean Water Act

 

The United States Clean Water Act, or CWA, prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in United States navigable waters unless authorized by a permit or exemption, and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for unauthorized discharges. The CWA also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under OPA90 and CERCLA. In addition, many states in the United States that border a navigable waterway have enacted environmental pollution laws that impose strict liability on a person for removal costs and damages resulting from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance. These laws may be more stringent than United States federal law. The EPA recently proposed revisions to the CWA.

 

The EPA and the USCG have enacted rules relating to ballast water discharge, compliance with which requires the installation of equipment on our vessels to treat ballast water before it is discharged in or the implementation of other port facility disposal arrangements or procedures at potentially substantial costs, and/or otherwise restrict our vessels from entering United States waters.

 

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The EPA requires a permit regulating ballast water discharges and other discharges incidental to the normal operation of certain vessels within United States water under the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels, or VGP.  For a new vessel delivered to an owner or operator after September 19, 2009, to be covered by the VGP, the owner must submit a Notice of Intent, or NOI, at least 30 days before the vessel operates in United States waters. On March 28, 2013, the EPA re-issued the VGP for another 5 years. This VGP took effect on December 19, 2013. The VGP focuses on authorizing discharges incidental to operations of commercial vessels and the new VGP contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels to reduce the risk of invasive species in United States waters, more stringent requirements for gas scrubbers and the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants.

 

The USCG regulations adopted under the United States National Invasive Species Act, or NISA, also impose mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks entering or operating in United States waters, which require the installation of equipment to treat ballast water before it is discharged in United States waters or, in the alternative, the implementation of other port facility disposal arrangements or procedures. Vessels not complying with these regulations are restricted from entering United States waters. As of June 21, 2012, the USCG implemented revised regulations on ballast water management by establishing standards on the allowable concentration of living organisms in ballast water discharged from ships in United States waters. The USCG must approve any technology before it is placed on a vessel. 

 

As of January 1, 2014, vessels are technically subject to the phasing-in of these standards. However, it was not until December 2016 that the USCG first approved said technology. The USCG previously provided waivers to vessels which could not install the as-yet unapproved technology and vessels now requiring a waiver will need to show why they cannot install the approved technology. The EPA, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to enforcing ballast discharge standards under the VGP. On December 27, 2013, the EPA issued an enforcement response policy in connection with the new VGP in which the EPA indicated that it would take into account the reasons why vessels do not have the requisite technology installed, but will not grant any waivers.

 

It should also be noted that in October 2015, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that directed the EPA to redraft the sections of the 2013 VGP that address ballast water. However, the Second Circuit stated that 2013 VGP will remains in effect until the EPA issues a new VGP. In the fall of 2016, sources reported that the EPA indicated it was working on a new VGP. It presently remains unclear how the ballast water requirements set forth by the EPA, the USCG, and IMO BWM Convention, some of which are in effect and some which are pending, will co-exist.

 

Compliance with the VGP could require the installation of equipment on our vessel to treat ballast water before it is discharged or the implementation of other disposal arrangements, and/or otherwise restrict our vessel from entering United States waters. In addition, certain states have enacted more stringent discharge standards as conditions to their required certification of the VGP. We submit NOIs for our vessel where required and do not believe that the costs associated with obtaining and complying with the VGP have a material impact on our operations.

 

Clean Air Act

 

The United States Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended, or the CAA, requires the EPA to promulgate standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds and other air contaminants. Our vessels are subject to vapor control and recovery requirements for certain cargoes when loading, unloading, ballasting, cleaning and conducting other operations in regulated port areas and emission standards for socalled "Category 3" marine diesel engines operating in United States waters. The marine diesel engine emission standards are currently limited to new engines beginning with the 2004 model year. On April 30, 2010, the EPA promulgated final emission standards for Category 3 marine diesel engines equivalent to those adopted in the amendments to Annex VI. The emission standards apply in two stages: nearterm standards for newlybuilt engines went into effect from 2011, and longterm standards requiring an 80% reduction in nitrogen dioxides, or NOx, that went into effect on January 1, 2016. We have incurred costs to install control equipment on our vessels to comply with these standards.

 

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European Union

 

The EU has also adopted legislation that would: (1) ban manifestly substandard vessels (defined as those over 15 years old that have been detained by port authorities at least twice in a six month period) from European waters and require port states to inspect vessels posing a high risk to maritime safety or the marine environment; and (2) provide the EU with greater authority and control over classification societies, including the ability to seek to suspend or revoke the authority of negligent societies.

 

The EU has implemented regulations requiring vessels to use reduced sulfur content fuel for their main and auxiliary engines. The EU Directive 2005/EC/33 (amending Directive 1999/32/EC) introduced requirements parallel to those in Annex VI relating to the sulfur content of marine fuels. In addition, the EU imposed a 0.1% maximum sulfur requirement for fuel used by ships at berth in EU ports, effective January 1, 2010.

 

In 2009, the EU amended a directive on shipsource pollution imposing criminal sanctions for intentional, reckless or seriously negligent illicit ship-source discharges of polluting substances by ships including minor discharges and the discharges, individually or in the aggregate, result in deteriorations or the quality of water. Aiding and abetting the discharge of a polluting substance may also lead to criminal penalties. The directive could result in criminal liability for pollution from vessels in waters of European countries that adopt implementing legislation. Criminal liability for pollution may result in substantial penalties or fines and increased civil liability claims. We cannot predict what regulations, if any, may be adopted by the EU or any other country or authority.

 

Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 

In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol entered into force. Pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol, adopting countries are required to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, generally referred to as greenhouse gases, which are suspected of contributing to global warming. Currently, the emissions of greenhouse gases from ships involved in international transport are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol. In December 2009, more than 27 nations, including the United States and China, signed the Copenhagen Accord, which includes a nonbinding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, in December 2011, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change adopted the Durban Platform which calls for a process to develop binding emissions limitations on both developed and developing countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change applicable to all Parties. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris resulted in the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016. The Paris Agreement does not directly limit greenhouse gas emissions from ships. On June 1, 2017, the President of the United States announced that it is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The timing and effect of such action has yet to be determined.

 

In April 2015, the European Parliament approved EU draft rules, which will require annual carbon dioxide emission monitoring and reporting from ship owners who use EU ports. These rules are expected to be effective in 2018 and apply to ships over 5,000gt. For 2020, the EU made a unilateral commitment to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from its member states by 20% of 1990 levels.  The EU also committed to reduce its emissions by 20% under the Kyoto Protocol's second period, from 2013 to 2020.

 

As of January 1, 2013, all ships must comply with mandatory requirements adopted by MEPC in July 2011 in part to address greenhouse gas emissions. By 2025, all new ships built will be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2014. The amendments to Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships add a new Chapter 4 to Annex VI on Regulations on energy efficiency requiring new ships to meet the Energy Efficiency Design Index, or EEDI, and all ships to develop and implement a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan, or SEEMP. Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate. The regulations apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. These new rules will likely affect the operations of vessels that are registered in countries that are signatories to Annex VI or vessels that call upon ports located within such countries. The implementation of the EEDI and SEEMP standards could cause us to incur additional compliance costs. MEPC is also considering marketbased mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships. It is impossible to predict the likelihood that such a standard might be adopted or its potential impact on our operations at this time.

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In the United States, the EPA has issued a final finding that greenhouse gases threaten public health and safety, and has promulgated regulations that regulate the emission of greenhouse gases from certain mobile sources and has proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gases from large stationary sources. The EPA enforces both the CAA and the international standards found in Annex VI concerning marine diesel emissions and the sulfur content found in marine fuel. Moreover, in the United States, individual states can also enact environmental regulations. For example, California has introduced caps for greenhouse gas emissions and, in the end of 2016, signaled it may take additional action regarding climate change. Any climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives adopted by the IMO, the EU, the United States, or other countries where we operate, or any treaty adopted at the international level to succeed the Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement, that restrict emissions of greenhouse gases could require us to make significant financial expenditures, including capital expenditures or operational changes to upgrade our vessels, that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. In addition, even without such regulation, our business may be indirectly affected to the extent that climate change results in sea level changes or more intense weather events.

 

Vessel Security Regulations

 

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been a variety of initiatives intended to enhance vessel security. On November 25, 2002, the Maritime Transportation Act of 2002, or MTSA, came into effect. To implement certain portions of the MTSA, in July 2003, the USCG issued regulations requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  The regulations also impose requirements on certain ports and facilities, some of which are regulated by the EPA. Similarly, in December 2002, amendments to SOLAS created a new chapter of the convention dealing specifically with maritime security. The new chapter XI-2 became effective in July 2004 and imposes various detailed security obligations on vessels and port authorities, most of which are contained in the ISPS Code. The ISPS Code is designed to protect ports and international shipping against terrorism. After July 1, 2004, to trade internationally, a vessel must attain an International Ship Security Certificate, or ISSC, from a recognized security organization approved by the vessel's flag state. The following are among the various requirements, some of which are found in SOLAS:

 

·

onboard installation of automatic identification systems to provide a means for the automatic transmission of safetyrelated information from among similarly equipped ships and shore stations, including information on a ship's identity, position, course, speed and navigational status;

 

·

onboard installation of ship security alert systems, which do not sound on the vessel but only alert the authorities on shore;

 

·

the development of vessel security plans;

 

·

ship identification number to be permanently marked on a vessel's hull;

 

·

a continuous synopsis record kept onboard showing a vessel's history including, the name of the ship and of the state whose flag the ship is entitled to fly, the date on which the ship was registered with that state, the ship's identification number, the port at which the ship is registered and the name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address; and

 

·

compliance with flag state security certification requirements.

 

The USCG regulations, intended to align with international maritime security standards, exempt non United States vessels from obtaining USCGapproved MTSA vessel security plans provided such vessels have on board an ISSC that attests to the vessel's compliance with SOLAS security requirements and the ISPS Code.

 

We have developed security plans, appointed and trained Ship and Company Security Officers and each of our vessels in our fleet complies with the requirements of the ISPS Code, SOLAS and the MTSA.

 

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Other Regulation

 

In 1996, the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damages in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, or HNS, was adopted and subsequently amended by the 2010 Protocol, or the 2010 HNS Convention. Our LPG vessels may also become subject to the HNS Convention, if it is entered into force. The HNS Convention creates a regime of liability and compensation for damage from HNS, including liquefied gases. The HNS Convention introduces strict liability for the shipowner and covers pollution damage as well as the risks of fire and explosion, including loss of life or personal injury and damage to property.  The 2010 HNS Convention sets up a twotier system of compensation composed of compulsory insurance taken out by shipowners and an HNS Fund which comes into play when the insurance is insufficient to satisfy a claim or does not cover the incident. Under the 2010 HNS Convention, if damage is caused by bulk HNS, claims for compensation will first be sought from the shipowner up to a maximum of 100 million Special Drawing Rights, or SDR. If the damage is caused by packaged HNS or by both bulk and packaged HNS, the maximum liability is 115 million SDR. Once the limit is reached, compensation will be paid from the HNS Fund up to a maximum of 250 million SDR. The 2010 HNS Convention has not come into effect. It will come into force eighteen months after the date on which certain consent and administrative requirements are satisfied. While a majority of the necessary number of states has indicated their consent to be bound by the 2010 HNS Convention, the required minimum has not been met. We cannot estimate the costs that may be needed to comply with any such requirements that may be adopted with any certainty at this time.

 

Taxation

 

The following is a discussion of the material Marshall Islands and United States federal income tax considerations relevant to an investment decision by a United States Holder and a NonUnited States Holder, each as defined below, with respect to the common shares. This discussion does not purport to deal with the tax consequences of owning our common shares to all categories of investors, some of which, such as financial institutions, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, taxexempt organizations, insurance companies, persons holding our common stock as part of a hedging, integrated, conversion or constructive sale transaction or a straddle, traders in securities that have elected the marktomarket method of accounting for their securities, persons liable for alternative minimum tax, persons who are investors in partnerships or other passthrough entities for United States federal income tax purposes, dealers in securities or currencies, United States Holders whose functional currency is not the United States dollar and investors that own, actually or under applicable constructive ownership rules, 10% or more of our shares of common stock, may be subject to special rules. This discussion deals only with holders who purchase and hold the common shares as a capital asset. You are encouraged to consult your own tax advisors concerning the overall tax consequences arising in your own particular situation under United States federal, state, local or nonUnited States law of the ownership of common shares.

 

Marshall Islands Tax Considerations

 

In the opinion of Seward & Kissel LLP, the following are the material Marshall Islands tax consequences of our activities to us and of our common shares to our shareholders. We are incorporated in the Marshall Islands. Under current Marshall Islands law, we are not subject to tax on income or capital gains, and no Marshall Islands withholding tax will be imposed upon payments of dividends by us to our shareholders as there is no reciprocal tax treaty between the Marshall Islands and the United States.

 

 

United States Federal Income Tax Considerations

 

In the opinion of Seward & Kissel LLP, the following are the material United States federal income tax consequences to us of our activities and to United States Holders and NonUnited States Holders, each as defined below, of the common shares. The following discussion of United States federal income tax matters is based on the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the Code, judicial decisions, administrative pronouncements, and existing and proposed regulations issued by the United States Department of the Treasury, or the Treasury Regulations, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. The discussion below is based, in part, on the description of our business as described in this report and assumes that we conduct our business as described herein.

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United States Federal Income Taxation of Operating Income: In General

 

We anticipate that we will earn substantially all our income from the hiring of vessels for use on a time or spot charter basis, including through the Helios Pool, and from the performance of services directly related to those uses, all of which we refer to as "shipping income."

 

Unless we qualify for an exemption from United States federal income taxation under the rules of Section 883 of the Code, or Section 883, as discussed below, a foreign corporation such as the Company will be subject to United States federal income taxation on its "shipping income" that is treated as derived from sources within the United States, to which we refer as "United States source shipping income." For United States federal income tax purposes, "United States source shipping income" includes 50% of shipping income that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States.

 

Shipping income attributable to transportation exclusively between nonUnited States ports will be considered to be 100% derived from sources entirely outside the United States. Shipping income derived from sources outside the United States will not be subject to any United States federal income tax.

 

Shipping income attributable to transportation exclusively between United States ports is considered to be 100% derived from United States sources. However, we are not permitted by United States law to engage in the transportation of cargoes that produces 100% United States source shipping income.

 

Unless we qualify for the exemption from tax under Section 883, our gross United States source shipping income would be subject to a 4% tax imposed without allowance for deductions as described below.

 

Exemption of Operating Income from United States Federal Income Taxation

 

Under Section 883 and the Treasury Regulations thereunder, a foreign corporation will be exempt from United States federal income taxation of its United States source shipping income if:

 

1)

it is organized in a "qualified foreign country" which is one that grants an "equivalent exemption" from tax to corporations organized in the United States in respect of each category of shipping income for which exemption is being claimed under Section 883; and

 

2)

one of the following tests is met:

 

A)

more than 50% of the value of its shares is beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by "qualified shareholders," which as defined includes individuals who are "residents" of a qualified foreign country, to which we refer as the "50% Ownership Test"; or

 

B)

its shares are "primarily and regularly traded on an established securities market" in a qualified foreign country or in the United States, to which we refer as the "PubliclyTraded Test."

 

The Republic of The Marshall Islands, the jurisdiction where we and our shipowning subsidiaries are incorporated, has been officially recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, as a qualified foreign country that grants the requisite "equivalent exemption" from tax in respect of each category of shipping income we earn and currently expect to earn in the future. Therefore, we will be exempt from United States federal income taxation with respect to our United States source shipping income if we satisfy either the 50% Ownership Test or the PubliclyTraded Test.

 

We believe that we satisfy the PubliclyTraded Test, a factual determination made on an annual basis, with respect to our taxable year ended March 31, 2017, and we expect to continue to do so for our subsequent taxable years, and we intend to take this position for United States federal income tax reporting purposes. We do not currently anticipate circumstances under which we would be able to satisfy the 50% Ownership Test.

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PubliclyTraded Test

 

The Treasury Regulations under Section 883 provide, in pertinent part, that shares of a foreign corporation will be considered to be "primarily traded" on an established securities market in a country if the number of shares of each class of stock that are traded during any taxable year on all established securities markets in that country exceeds the number of shares in each such class that are traded during that year on established securities markets in any other single country. The Company's common shares, which constitute its sole class of issued and outstanding stock is "primarily traded" on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, an established securities market for these purposes.

 

Under the Treasury Regulations, our common shares will be considered to be "regularly traded" on an established securities market if one or more classes of our shares representing more than 50% of our outstanding stock, by both total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote and total value, are listed on such market, to which we refer as the "listing threshold." Since all of our common shares are listed on the NYSE, we expect to satisfy the listing threshold.

 

The Treasury Regulations also require that with respect to each class of stock relied upon to meet the listing threshold, (i) such class of stock traded on the market, other than in minimal quantities, on at least 60 days during the taxable year or onesixth of the days in a short taxable year, which we refer to as the "trading frequency test"; and (ii) the aggregate number of shares of such class of stock traded on such market during the taxable year must be at least 10% of the average number of shares of such class of stock outstanding during such year or as appropriately adjusted in the case of a short taxable year, which we refer to as the "trading volume" test. We anticipate that we will satisfy the trading frequency and trading volume tests. Even if this were not the case, the Treasury Regulations provide that the trading frequency and trading volume tests will be deemed satisfied if, as is expected to be the case with our common shares, such class of stock is traded on an established securities market in the United States and such shares are regularly quoted by dealers making a market in such shares.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Treasury Regulations provide, in pertinent part, that a class of shares will not be considered to be "regularly traded" on an established securities market for any taxable year in which 50% or more of the vote and value of the outstanding shares of such class are owned on more than half the days during the taxable year by persons who each own 5% or more of the vote and value of such class of outstanding stock, to which we refer as the "5% Override Rule."

 

For purposes of being able to determine the persons who actually or constructively own 5% or more of the vote and value of our common shares, or "5% Shareholders," the Treasury Regulations permit us to rely on those persons that are identified on Schedule 13G and Schedule 13D filings with the Commission, as owning 5% or more of our common shares. The Treasury Regulations further provide that an investment company which is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, will not be treated as a 5% Shareholder for such purposes.

 

In the event the 5% Override Rule is triggered, the Treasury Regulations provide that the 5% Override Rule will nevertheless not apply if we can establish that within the group of 5% Shareholders, qualified shareholders (as defined for purposes of Section 883) own sufficient number of shares to preclude nonqualified shareholders in such group from owning 50% or more of our common shares for more than half the number of days during the taxable year.

 

We believe that we satisfy the PubliclyTraded Test and will not be subject to the 5% Override Rule for taxable year ending March 31, 2017 and we also expect to continue to do so for our subsequent taxable years. However, there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of the Section 883 exemption. For example, we may no longer qualify for Section 883 exemption for a particular taxable year if 5% Shareholders were to own, in the aggregate, 50% or more of our outstanding common shares on more than half the days of the taxable year, unless we could establish that within the group of 5% Shareholders, qualified shareholders own sufficient number of our shares to preclude the non-qualified shareholders in such group from owning 50% or more of our common shares for more than half the number of days during the taxable year. Under the Treasury Regulations, we would have to satisfy certain substantiation requirements regarding the identity of our shareholders. These requirements are onerous and there is no assurance that we would be able to satisfy them. Given the factual nature of the issues involved, we can give no assurances in regards of our or our subsidiaries' qualification for the Section 883 exemption.

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Taxation in Absence of Section 883 Exemption

 

If the benefits of Section 883 are unavailable, our United States source shipping income would be subject to a 4% tax imposed by Section 887 of the Code on a gross basis, without the benefit of deductions, or the "4% gross basis tax regime," to the extent that such income is not considered to be "effectively connected" with the conduct of a United States trade or business, as described below. Since under the sourcing rules described above, no more than 50% of our shipping income would be treated as being United States source shipping income, the maximum effective rate of United States federal income tax on our shipping income would never exceed 2% under the 4% gross basis tax regime.

 

To the extent our United States source shipping income is considered to be "effectively connected" with the conduct of a United States trade or business, as described below, any such "effectively connected" United States source shipping income, net of applicable deductions, would be subject to United States federal income tax, currently imposed at rates of up to 35%. In addition, we would generally be subject to the 30% "branch profits" tax on earnings effectively connected with the conduct of such trade or business, as determined after allowance for certain adjustments, and on certain interest paid or deemed paid attributable to the conduct of our United States trade or business.

 

Our United States source shipping income would be considered "effectively connected" with the conduct of a United States trade or business only if:

 

·

we have, or are considered to have, a fixed place of business in the United States involved in the earning of United States source shipping income; and

 

·

substantially all of our United States source shipping income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation, such as the operation of a vessel that follows a published schedule with repeated sailings at regular intervals between the same points for voyages that begin or end in the United States.

 

We do not intend to have, or permit circumstances that would result in having, any vessel sailing to or from the United States on a regularly scheduled basis. Based on the foregoing and on the expected mode of our shipping operations and other activities, it is anticipated that none of our United States source shipping income will be "effectively connected" with the conduct of a United States trade or business.

 

United States Taxation of Gain on Sale of Vessels

 

Regardless of whether we qualify for exemption under Section 883, we will not be subject to United States federal income tax with respect to gain realized on a sale of a vessel, provided the sale is considered to occur outside of the United States under United States federal income tax principles. In general, a sale of a vessel will be considered to occur outside of the United States for this purpose if title to the vessel, and risk of loss with respect to the vessel, pass to the buyer outside of the United States. It is expected that any sale of a vessel by us will be considered to occur outside of the United States.

 

United States Federal Income Taxation of United States Holders

 

As used herein, the term "United States Holder" means a holder that for United States federal income tax purposes is a beneficial owner of common shares and is an individual United States citizen or resident, a United States corporation or other United States entity taxable as a corporation, an estate the income of which is subject to United States federal income taxation regardless of its source, or a trust if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary jurisdiction over the administration of the trust and one or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust.

 

If a partnership holds the common shares, the tax treatment of a partner will generally depend upon the status of the partner and upon the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner in a partnership holding the common shares, you are encouraged to consult your tax advisor.

 

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Distributions

 

Subject to the discussion of passive foreign investment companies below, any distributions made by us with respect to our common shares to a United States Holder will generally constitute dividends to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined under United States federal income tax principles. Distributions in excess of such earnings and profits will be treated first as a nontaxable return of capital to the extent of the United States Holder's tax basis in its common shares and thereafter as capital gain. Because we are not a United States corporation, United States Holders that are corporations will not be entitled to claim a dividends received deduction with respect to any distributions they receive from us. Dividends paid with respect to our common shares will generally be treated as foreign source dividend income and will generally constitute "passive category income" for purposes of computing allowable foreign tax credits for United States foreign tax credit purposes.

 

Dividends paid on our common shares to certain noncorporate United States Holders will generally be treated as "qualified dividend income" that is taxable to such United States Holders at preferential tax rates provided that (1) the common shares are readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States (such as the NYSE, on which our common shares will be traded), (2) the shareholder has owned the common stock for more than 60 days in the 121day period beginning 60 days before the date on which the common stock becomes exdividend, and (3) we are not a passive foreign investment company for the taxable year during which the dividend is paid or the immediately preceding taxable year.

 

There is no assurance that any dividends paid on our common shares will be eligible for these preferential rates in the hands of such noncorporate United States Holders, although, as described above, we expect such dividends to be so eligible provided an eligible noncorporate United States Holder meets all applicable requirements and we are not a passive foreign passive investment company in the taxable year during which the dividend is paid or the immediately preceding taxable year. Any dividends paid by us which are not eligible for these preferential rates will be taxed as ordinary income to a noncorporate United States Holder.

 

Special rules may apply to any "extraordinary dividend"—generally, a dividend in an amount which is equal to or in excess of 10% of a shareholder's adjusted tax basis in a common share—paid by us. If we pay an "extraordinary dividend" on our common shares that is treated as "qualified dividend income," then any loss derived by certain noncorporate United States Holders from the sale or exchange of such common shares will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of such dividend.

 

Sale, Exchange or Other Disposition of Common Shares

 

Assuming we do not constitute a passive foreign investment company for any taxable year, a United States Holder generally will recognize taxable gain or loss upon a sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares in an amount equal to the difference between the amount realized by the United States Holder from such sale, exchange or other disposition and the United States Holder's tax basis in such shares. Such gain or loss will be treated as longterm capital gain or loss if the United States Holder's holding period is greater than one year at the time of the sale, exchange or other disposition. Such capital gain or loss will generally be treated as United States source income or loss, as applicable, for United States foreign tax credit purposes. Longterm capital gains of certain noncorporate United States Holders are currently eligible for reduced rates of taxation. A United States Holder's ability to deduct capital losses is subject to certain limitations.

 

Passive Foreign Investment Company Status and Significant Tax Consequences

 

Special United States federal income tax rules apply to a United States Holder that holds shares in a foreign corporation classified as a "passive foreign investment company," or a PFIC, for United States federal income tax purposes.

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In general, we will be treated as a PFIC with respect to a United States Holder if, for any taxable year in which such holder holds our common shares, either

 

·

at least 75% of our gross income for such taxable year consists of passive income (e.g., dividends, interest, capital gains and rents derived other than in the active conduct of a rental business); or

 

·

at least 50% of the average value of our assets during such taxable year produce, or are held for the production of, passive income.

 

For purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC, we will be treated as earning and owning our proportionate share of the income and assets, respectively, of any of our shipowning subsidiaries in which we own at least 25% of the value of the subsidiary's stock. Income earned, or deemed earned, by us in connection with the performance of services would not constitute passive income. By contrast, rental income would generally constitute "passive income" unless we were treated under specific rules as deriving our rental income in the active conduct of a trade or business.

 

We believe that income we earn from the voyage charters, and also from time charters, for the reasons discussed below, will be treated as active income for PFIC purposes and as a result, we intend to take the position that we satisfy the 75% income test for our taxable year ended March 31, 2017.

 

As of the date of this Annual Report, we have taken delivery of all of the vessels under our newbuilding contracts. Accordingly, based on our current and anticipated operations, we do not believe that we will be treated as a PFIC for our taxable year ended March 31, 2017, or subsequent taxable years, and we intend to take such position for our United States federal income tax reporting purposes. Our belief is based principally on the position that the gross income we derive from our voyage or time chartering activities should constitute services income, rather than rental income. Accordingly, such income should not constitute passive income, and the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of such income, in particular, the vessels, should not constitute passive assets for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC. There is substantial legal authority supporting this position consisting of case law and IRS pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters as services income for other tax purposes. However, there is also authority which characterizes time charter income as rental income rather than services income for other tax purposes. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept this position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine that we are a PFIC. In addition, although we intend to conduct our affairs in a manner to avoid being classified as a PFIC with respect to any taxable year, we cannot assure you that the nature of our operations will not change in the future.

 

As discussed more fully below, for any taxable year in which we are, or were to be treated as, a PFIC, a United States Holder would be subject to different taxation rules depending on whether the United States Holder makes an election to treat us as a "Qualified Electing Fund," which election we refer to as a "QEF election." As an alternative to making a QEF election, a United States Holder should be able to make a "marktomarket" election with respect to our common shares, as discussed below. A United States holder of shares in a PFIC will be required to file an annual information return containing information regarding the PFIC as required by applicable Treasury Regulations. We intend to promptly notify our shareholders if we determine we are a PFIC for any taxable year.

 

Taxation of United States Holders Making a Timely QEF Election

 

If a United States Holder makes a timely QEF election, which United States Holder we refer to as an "Electing Holder," the Electing Holder must report for United States federal income tax purposes its pro rata share of our ordinary earnings and net capital gain, if any, for each of our taxable years during which we are a PFIC that ends with or within the taxable year of the Electing Holder, regardless of whether distributions were received from us by the Electing Holder. No portion of any such inclusions of ordinary earnings will be treated as "qualified dividend income." Net capital gain inclusions of certain noncorporate United States Holders would be eligible for preferential capital gains tax rates. The Electing Holder's adjusted tax basis in the common shares will be increased to reflect any income included under the QEF election. Distributions of previously taxed income will not be subject to tax upon distribution but will decrease the Electing Holder's tax basis in the common shares. An Electing Holder would not, however, be entitled to a deduction for its pro rata share of any losses that we incur with respect to any taxable year. An Electing Holder would generally recognize

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capital gain or loss on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares. A United States Holder would make a timely QEF election for our common shares by filing one copy of IRS Form 8621 with his United States federal income tax return for the first year in which he held such shares when we were a PFIC. If we take the position that we are not a PFIC for any taxable year, and it is later determined that we were a PFIC for such taxable year, it may be possible for a United States Holder to make a retroactive QEF election effective for such year. If we determine that we are a PFIC for any taxable year, we will provide each United States Holder with all necessary information required for the United States Holder to make the QEF election and to report its pro rata share of our ordinary earnings and net capital gain, if any, for each of our taxable years during which we are a PFIC that ends with or within the taxable year of the Electing Holder as described above.

 

Taxation of United States Holders Making a "MarktoMarket" Election

 

Alternatively, for any taxable year in which we determine that we are a PFIC, and, assuming as we anticipate will be the case, our shares are treated as "marketable stock," a United States Holder would be allowed to make a "marktomarket" election with respect to our common shares, provided the United States Holder completes and files IRS Form 8621 in accordance with the relevant instructions and related Treasury Regulations. If that election is made, the United States Holder generally would include as ordinary income in each taxable year the excess, if any, of the fair market value of the common shares at the end of the taxable year over such Holder's adjusted tax basis in the common shares. The United States Holder would also be permitted an ordinary loss in respect of the excess, if any, of the United States Holder's adjusted tax basis in the common shares over its fair market value at the end of the taxable year, but only to the extent of the net amount previously included in income as a result of the marktomarket election. A United States Holder's tax basis in his common shares would be adjusted to reflect any such income or loss amount recognized. In a year when we are a PFIC, any gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares would be treated as ordinary income, and any loss realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of the common shares would be treated as ordinary loss to the extent that such loss does not exceed the net marktomarket gains previously included by the United States Holder.

 

Taxation of United States Holders Not Making a Timely QEF or Mark toMarket Election

 

For any taxable year in which we determine that we are a PFIC, a United States Holder who does not make either a QEF election or a "marktomarket" election for that year, whom we refer to as a "NonElecting Holder," would be subject to special rules with respect to (i) any excess distribution (i.e., the portion of any distributions received by the NonElecting Holder on the common shares in a taxable year in excess of 125% of the average annual distributions received by the NonElecting Holder in the three preceding taxable years, or, if shorter, the NonElecting Holder's holding period for the common shares), and (ii) any gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares. Under these special rules:

 

·

the excess distribution or gain would be allocated ratably over the NonElecting Holder's aggregate holding period for the common shares;

 

·

the amount allocated to the current taxable year, and any taxable year prior to the first taxable year in which we were a PFIC, would be taxed as ordinary income and would not be "qualified dividend income"; and

 

·

the amount allocated to each of the other taxable years would be subject to tax at the highest rate of tax in effect for the applicable class of taxpayer for that year, and an interest charge for the deemed tax deferral benefit would be imposed with respect to the resulting tax attributable to each such other taxable year.

 

United States Federal Income Taxation of "NonUnited States Holders"

 

As used herein, the term "NonUnited States Holder" means a holder that, for United States federal income tax purposes, is a beneficial owner of common shares (other than a partnership) that is not a United States Holder.

 

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If a partnership holds our common shares, the tax treatment of a partner will generally depend upon the status of the partner and upon the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our common shares, you are encouraged to consult your tax advisor.

 

Dividends on Common Shares

 

A NonUnited States Holder generally will not be subject to United States federal income or withholding tax on dividends received from us with respect to our common shares, unless:

 

·

the dividend income is effectively connected with the NonUnited States Holder's conduct of a trade or business in the United States; or

 

·

the NonUnited States Holder is an individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year of receipt of the dividend income and other conditions are met.

 

Sale, Exchange or Other Disposition of Common Shares

 

A NonUnited States Holder generally will not be subject to United States federal income or withholding tax on any gain realized upon the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares, unless:

 

·

the gain is effectively connected with the NonUnited States Holder's conduct of a trade or business in the United States; or

 

·

the NonUnited States Holder is an individual who is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year of disposition and other conditions are met.

 

Income or Gains Effectively Connected with a United States Trade or Business

 

If the NonUnited States Holder is engaged in a United States trade or business for United States federal income tax purposes, dividends on our common shares and gain from the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common shares, that are effectively connected with the conduct of that trade or business (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, is attributable to a United States permanent establishment), will generally be subject to regular United States federal income tax in the same manner as discussed in the previous section relating to the taxation of United States Holders. In addition, in the case of a corporate NonUnited States Holder, its earnings and profits that are attributable to the effectively connected income, which are subject to certain adjustments, may be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a rate of 30%, or at a lower rate as may be specified by an applicable United States income tax treaty.

 

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

 

In general, dividend payments, or other taxable distributions, and the payment of the gross proceeds on a sale of our common shares, made within the United States to a noncorporate United States Holder will be subject to information reporting. Such payments or distributions may also be subject to backup withholding if the noncorporate United States Holder:

 

·

fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number;

 

·

is notified by the IRS that it has have failed to report all interest or dividends required to be shown on its federal income tax returns; or

 

·

in certain circumstances, fails to comply with applicable certification requirements.

 

NonUnited States Holders may be required to establish their exemption from information reporting and backup withholding with respect to dividends payments or other taxable distribution on our common shares by certifying their

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status on an appropriate IRS Form W8. If a NonUnited States Holder sells our common shares to or through a United States office of a broker, the payment of the proceeds is subject to both United States backup withholding and information reporting unless the NonUnited States Holder certifies that it is a nonUnited States person, under penalties of perjury, or it otherwise establish an exemption. If a NonUnited States Holder sells our common shares through a NonUnited States office of a NonUnited States broker and the sales proceeds are paid outside the United States, then information reporting and backup withholding generally will not apply to that payment. However, United States information reporting requirements, but not backup withholding, will apply to a payment of sales proceeds, even if that payment is made outside the United States, if a NonUnited States Holder sells our common shares through a NonUnited States office of a broker that is a United States person or has some other contacts with the United States. Such information reporting requirements will not apply, however, if the broker has documentary evidence in its records that the NonUnited States Holder is not a United States person and certain other conditions are met, or the NonUnited States Holder otherwise establishes an exemption.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Rather, a refund may generally be obtained of any amounts withheld under backup withholding rules that exceed the taxpayer's United States federal income tax liability by filing a timely refund claim with the IRS.

 

Individuals who are United States Holders (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury regulations, NonUnited States Holders and certain United States entities) who hold "specified foreign financial assets" (as defined in Section 6038D of the Code) are required to file IRS Form 8938 with information relating to the asset for each taxable year in which the aggregate value of all such assets exceeds $75,000 at any time during the taxable year or $50,000 on the last day of the taxable year (or such higher dollar amount as prescribed by applicable Treasury Regulations). Specified foreign financial assets would include, among other assets, our common shares, unless the common shares are held in an account maintained with a United States financial institution. Substantial penalties apply to any failure to timely file IRS Form 8938, unless the failure is shown to be due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. Additionally, in the event an individual United States Holder (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury Regulations, a NonUnited States Holder or a United States entity) that is required to file IRS Form 8938 does not file such form, the statute of limitations on the assessment and collection of United States federal income taxes of such holder for the related tax year may not close until three years after the date that the required information is filed. United States Holders (including United States entities) and NonUnited States Holders are encouraged consult their own tax advisors regarding their reporting obligations in respect of our common shares.

 

Available Information

 

Our website is located at www.dorianlpg.com. Information on our website does not constitute a part of this annual report. Our goal is to maintain our website as a portal through which investors can easily find or navigate to pertinent information about us, including our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, and any other reports, after we file them with the Commission. The public may obtain a copy of our filings, free of charge, through our corporate internet website as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such material with, or furnished it to, the Commission. Additionally, these materials, including this annual report and the accompanying exhibits, may be inspected and copied at the public reference facilities maintained by the Commission at 100 F Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20549, or from the Commission’s website http://www.sec.gov.

 

ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS

 

The following risks relate principally to us and our business and the industry in which we operate. Other risks relate principally to the securities markets and ownership of our common shares. Any of the risk factors described below could significantly and negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay dividends, and lower the trading price of our common shares.

 

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Risks Relating to Our Company

 

We and the Helios Pool operate exclusively in the LPG shipping industry. Due to our lack of diversification and the lack of diversification of the Helios Pool, adverse developments in the LPG shipping industry may adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

We currently rely exclusively on the cash flow generated from the vessels in our fleet, all of which are VLGCs operating in the LPG shipping industry (including through the Helios Pool). Unlike some other shipping companies, which have vessels of varying sizes that can carry different cargoes, such as containers, dry bulk, crude oil and oil products, we depend and expect to continue to depend exclusively on VLGCs transporting LPG. Similarly, the Helios Pool also depends exclusively on the cash flow generated from VLGCs operating in the LPG shipping industry. Our lack of diversification and the lack of diversification of the Helios Pool make us vulnerable to adverse developments in the LPG shipping industry, which would have a significantly greater impact on our business, financial condition and operating results than it would if we or the Helios Pool owned and operated more diverse assets or engaged in more diverse lines of business.

 

The recent downturn in spot market charter rates has had and may continue to have a negative effect on our results of operations and cash flows, including as a result of seasonal fluctuations, which may adversely affect our earnings.

As of the date of this annual report, sixteen of our twenty-two vessels operate in the spot market or under COAs through the Helios Pool. This exposes us to fluctuations in spot market charter rates. We also employ six of our VLGCs (including through the Helios Pool) on time charters. As these time charters expire, we may employ these vessels in the spot market.

Generally, the VLGC spot market rates are highly seasonal, with typical strength in the second and third calendar quarters as suppliers build inventory for high consumption during the northern hemisphere winter. The successful operation of our vessels in the competitive and highly volatile spot charter market depends on, among other things, obtaining profitable spot charters, which depends greatly on vessel supply and demand, and minimizing, to the extent possible, time spent waiting for charters and time spent traveling unladen to pick up cargo.

Recently, there have been periods when spot charter rates have declined below the operating costs of vessels. For example, the Baltic Exchange Liquid Petroleum Gas Index, an index published daily by the Baltic Exchange for the spot market rate for the benchmark Ras Tanura‑Chiba route (expressed as U.S. dollars per metric ton), has fallen 81% from a peak of $143.250 in July 2014 to $26.964 as of June 9, 2017. If future spot charter rates decline, or remain depressed, then we may not profitably operate our vessels trading in the spot market or those participating in the Helios Pool, meet our obligations, including payments on indebtedness, or pay dividends.

 

Further, although our six fixed time charters generally provide reliable revenues, they also limit the portion of our fleet available for spot market voyages during an upswing in the market when spot market voyages might be more profitable. Conversely, when the current charters for the six vessels in our fleet on fixed time charter expire (or are terminated early), it may not be possible to re-charter these vessels at similar or higher rates, or at all. As a result, we may have to accept lower rates or experience off hire time for our vessels, which would adversely impact our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We and/or our pool managers may not be able to successfully secure employment for our vessels or vessels in the Helios Pool, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

As of June 9, 2017, including through the Helios Pool, sixteen of our vessels are operating in the spot market or under COAs and six of our vessels are on fixed time charters that expire between the third calendar quarter of 2017 and the fourth calendar quarter of 2020. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in finding employment for our vessels in the spot market, on time charters or otherwise, or that any employment will be at profitable rates. Moreover, as vessels entered into the Helios Pool are commercially managed by our wholly-owned subsidiary and Phoenix, we also cannot assure you that we or they will be successful in finding employment for the vessels in the Helios Pool or that any employment will be profitable. An inability to locate suitable employment for our vessels or the vessels in the Helios Pool could affect our general financial condition, results of operation and cash flow as well as the availability of financing.

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Furthermore, the Helios Pool currently time charters-in three VLGCs from Oriental Energy at a fixed time charter hire rate, which is due regardless of whether we and Phoenix are able to locate suitable employment for the vessels in the Helios Pool. In addition, the Helios Pool has entered into a COA with Oriental Energy covering Oriental Energy’s shipments from the United States Gulf. As a result of these fixed expenses, there is an increased risk that an inability to locate suitable employment for these vessels in the Helios Pool could affect our general financial condition, results of operation and cash flow.

 

We will face substantial competition in trying to expand relationships with existing customers and obtain new customers.

 

The process of obtaining new charter agreements is highly competitive and generally involves an intensive screening process and competitive bidding process, which, in certain cases, extends for several months. Contracts are awarded based upon a variety of factors, including:

 

·

the location, size, age, and condition of a vessel;

 

·

the operator's industry relationships, experience and reputation for customer service, quality operations and safety;

 

·

the quality, experience and technical capability of the crew;

 

·

the experience of the crew with the operator and type of vessel;

 

·

the operator's relationships with shipyards and the ability to get suitable berths;

 

·

the operator's construction management experience, including the ability to obtain ontime delivery of new vessels according to customer specifications;

 

·

the operator's willingness to accept operational risks pursuant to the charter, such as allowing termination of the charter for force majeure events; and

 

·

the competitiveness of the bid in terms of overall price.

 

Our vessels, and the vessels operating in the Helios Pool, operate in a highly competitive market and we expect substantial competition for providing transportation services from a number of companies (both LPG vessel owners and operators). We anticipate that an increasing number of maritime transport companies, including many with strong reputations and extensive resources and experience, have or will enter the LPG shipping market. Our existing and potential competitors may have significantly greater financial resources than us. In addition, competitors with greater resources may have larger fleets, or could operate larger fleets through consolidations, acquisitions, newbuildings or pooling of their vessels with other companies, and, therefore, may be able to offer a more competitive service than us or the Helios Pool, including better charter rates. We expect competition from a number of experienced companies providing contracts for gas transportation services to potential LPG customers, including state-sponsored entities and major energy companies affiliated with the projects requiring shipping services. As a result, we (including the Helios Pool) may be unable to expand our relationships with existing customers or to obtain new customers on a profitable basis, if at all, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

We and the Helios Pool are subject to risks with respect to counterparties, and failure of such counterparties to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or negatively impact our results of operations and cash flows.

 

We have entered into, and expect to enter into in the future, various contracts, including charter agreements, and contracts of affreightment, shipbuilding contracts and credit facilities that subject us to counterparty risks. Similarly, the Helios Pool has entered into, and expects to enter into in the future, various contracts, including charters and contracts of affreightment, that subject it to counterparty risks. The ability and willingness of our and the Helios Pool’s counterparties to perform their obligations under any contract will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the maritime and LPG industries, the overall

25


 

financial condition of the counterparty, charter rates for specific types of vessels, and various expenses. For example, a reduction of cash flow resulting from declines in world trade or the lack of availability of debt or equity financing may result in a significant reduction in the ability of our charterers or the Helios Pool’s charterers to make required charter payments. In addition, in depressed market conditions, charterers and customers may no longer need a vessel that is then under charter or contract or may be able to obtain a comparable vessel at lower rates. As a result, charterers and customers may seek to renegotiate the terms of their existing charter agreements or avoid their obligations under those contracts. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us or the Helios Pool, we could sustain significant losses and a significant reduction in the charter hire we earn from the Helios Pool, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

We expect to be dependent on a limited number of customers for a material part of our revenues, and failure of such customers to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or negatively impact our results of operations and cash flows.

 

For the year ended March 31, 2017, the Helios Pool and two other individual charterers accounted for 69%, 13%, and 10% of our total revenues, respectively. Within the Helios Pool, two charterers represented 26% and 13% of net pool revenues—related party for the year ended March 31, 2017. We expect that a material portion of our revenues will continue to be derived from these customers. The ability of each of our customers to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control. Should the aforementioned customers fail to honor their obligations under agreements with us or the Helios Pool, we could sustain material losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. 

 

The expansion of the Panama Canal may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

In June 2016, the expansion of the Panama Canal, or the Canal, was completed. The new locks allow the Canal to accommodate significantly larger vessels, including VLGCs, which we operate. Transit from the United States Gulf to Asia, an important trade route for our customers, can now be shortened by approximately 15 days compared to transiting via the Cape of Good Hope. The decrease in voyage time may increase the number of VLGCs available for cargo lifting and thereby increase industry capacity, which may have an adverse effect on time charter equivalent rates.

 

Our indebtedness may adversely affect our operational flexibility and financial condition.

 

As of March 31, 2017, we had outstanding indebtedness of $770.1 million. On May 31, 2017, we entered into an agreement to amend the 2015 Debt Facility, or the Amendment, that included a release of $26.8 million of restricted cash, of which $24.8 million was applied to the next two debt principal payments. For further details, see Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein. On June 8, 2017, we entered into a $97.0 million bridge loan agreement with DNB Capital LLC, or the 2017 Bridge Loan. The proceeds of the 2017 Bridge Loan were used to repay in full the RBS Loan Facility (defined below) at 96% of the then outstanding principal amount. The remaining proceeds were used to pay legal and advisory fees related to the 2017 Bridge Loan and to provide cash for use in operations. For further details, see Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein. Amounts owed under our current credit facilities and any future credit facilities will require us to dedicate a part of our cash flow from operations to paying interest and principal payments. These payments will limit funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, dividends, and other purposes and may also limit our ability to undertake further equity or debt financing in the future. Our indebtedness also increases our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions, limits our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in the industry, and places us at a disadvantage to other, less leveraged, competitors.

Our credit facilities bear interest at variable rates and we anticipate that any future credit facilities will also bear interest at variable rates. Increases in prevailing rates could increase the amounts that we would have to pay to our lenders or financing counterparties, even though the outstanding principal amount remains the same, and our net income and available cash flows would decrease as a result.

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We expect our earnings and cash flow to vary from year to year due to the cyclical nature of the LPG shipping industry. If we do not generate or reserve enough cash flow from operations to satisfy our financing obligations, we may have to undertake alternative financing plans, such as:

seeking to raise additional capital;

refinancing or restructuring our debt or financing obligations;

selling LPG tankers; and/or

reducing or delaying capital investments.

However, these alternative financing plans, if necessary, may not be sufficient to allow us to meet our debt obligations. If we are unable to meet our debt obligations and we default on our obligations under our debt agreements, our lenders could elect to declare our outstanding borrowings and certain other or amounts owed, together with accrued interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable and foreclose on the vessels securing that debt.

 

Our existing and future debt agreements contain and are expected to contain restrictive covenants that may limit our liquidity and corporate activities, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our debt agreements contain, and any future financing arrangements are expected to contain, customary covenants and event of default clauses, including crossdefault provisions and restrictive covenants and performance requirements, which may affect operational and financial flexibility. Such restrictions could affect, and in many respects limit or prohibit, among other things, our ability to pay dividends, incur additional indebtedness, create liens, sell assets, or engage in mergers or acquisitions. These restrictions could limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions or meet extraordinary capital needs or otherwise restrict corporate activities. There can be no assurance that such restrictions will not adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs.

 

Our agreements relating to the 2015 Debt Facility, which is secured by, among other things, eighteen of our VLGCs, and the 2017 Bridge Loan (see Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein), which is secured by, among other things, four of our VLGCs, require us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy financial covenants.

 

In addition, under the 2015 Debt Facility and the 2017 Bridge Loan (see Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein), our payment of dividends to shareholders as well as payment of dividends by our subsidiaries to us is generally subject to no event of default. Further, under the Amendment to the 2015 Debt Facility, we are temporarily restricted from paying dividends and repurchasing shares of our common stock until the earlier of (i) when we complete a common stock offering with net proceeds of at least $50.0 million and (ii) May 31, 2019.

 

We entered into the 2017 Bridge Loan and repaid in full the term loans with the Royal Bank of Scotland, or the RBS Loan Facility, at 96% of the then outstanding principal amount in June 2017. See Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein for further details on the 2017 Bridge Loan and the repayment of the RBS Loan Facility. We were in compliance with the financial covenants for the 2015 Debt Facility as of March 31, 2017, which was amended in May 2017. See Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements included herein for further details on the Amendment.

 

As a result of the restrictions in our debt agreements, or similar restrictions in our future financing arrangements, we may need to seek permission from our lenders in order to engage in certain corporate actions. Our lenders' interests may be different from ours and we may not be able to obtain their permission when needed or at all. This may prevent us from taking actions that we believe are in our best interest, which may adversely impact our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.

 

A failure by us to meet our payment and other obligations, including our financial and value to loan covenants, could lead to defaults under our secured loan agreements. In addition, a default under one of our credit facilities could

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result in the cross-acceleration of our other indebtedness. Our lenders could then accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose on our fleet.

 

The market values of our vessels may decrease, which could cause us to breach covenants in our loan agreements or record an impairment or loss, or negatively impact our ability to enter into future financing arrangements, and as a result could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our existing debt agreements, which are secured by, among other things, liens on the vessels in our fleet contain various financial covenants, including requirements that relate to our financial condition, operating performance and liquidity. For example, we are required to maintain a minimum debt to adjusted equity ratio that is based, in part, upon the market value of the vessels securing the applicable loan, as well as a minimum ratio of the market value of the vessels securing a loan to the principal amount outstanding under such loan. The market value of LPG carriers is sensitive to, among other things, changes in the LPG carrier charter markets, with vessel values deteriorating in times when LPG carrier charter rates are falling and improving when charter rates are anticipated to rise. While the market values of LPG carriers generally have increased since the economic slowdown in 2008-2009, they still remain below the historic high levels achieved prior to the economic slowdown. LPG vessel values remain subject to significant fluctuation. A decline in the fair market values of our vessels could result in our not being in compliance with these loan covenants. Furthermore, if the value of our vessels deteriorates and our estimated future cash flows decrease, we may have to record an impairment adjustment in our financial statements or we may be unable to enter into future financing arrangements acceptable to us or at all, which would adversely affect our financial results and further hinder our ability to raise capital.

 

If we are unable to comply with any of the restrictions and covenants in our debt agreements, or in current or future debt financing agreements, and we are unable to obtain a waiver or amendment from our lenders for such noncompliance, a default could occur under the terms of those agreements. Our ability to comply with these restrictions and covenants, including meeting financial ratios and tests, is dependent on our future performance and may be affected by events beyond our control. If a default occurs under these agreements, lenders could terminate their commitments to lend or in some circumstances accelerate the outstanding loans and declare all amounts borrowed due and payable. Our vessels serve as security under our debt agreements. If our lenders were to foreclose their liens on our vessels in the event of a default, this may impair our ability to continue our operations. In addition, our debt agreements contain cross-default provisions, meaning that if we are in default under one of our debt agreements, amounts outstanding under our other debt agreements may also be in default, accelerated and become due and payable. If any of these events occur, we cannot guarantee that our assets will be sufficient to repay in full all of our outstanding indebtedness, and we may be unable to find alternative financing. Even if we could obtain alternative financing, that financing might not be on terms that are favorable or acceptable to us. In addition, if we find it necessary to sell our vessels at a time when vessel prices are low, we will recognize losses and a reduction in our earnings, which could affect our ability to raise additional capital necessary for us to comply with our debt agreements.

 

We are exposed to volatility in the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, and we have and we intend to selectively enter into derivative contracts, which can result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income.

 

The amounts outstanding under our existing credit facilities have been advanced at a floating rate based on LIBOR and changes in LIBOR could affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, and, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our earnings and cash flow. In recent years, LIBOR has been at relatively low levels, but it may rise in the future. Our financial condition could be materially adversely affected if LIBOR rises, as $219.6 million of our floating rate borrowings are unhedged as of June 9, 2017.

 

We have entered into and may selectively in the future enter into derivative contracts to hedge our overall exposure to interest rate risk exposure related to our credit facilities. Entering into swaps and derivatives transactions is inherently risky and presents various possibilities for incurring significant expenses. The derivatives strategies that we employ currently and in the future may not be successful or effective, and we could, as a result, incur substantial additional interest costs or losses.

 

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Investments in derivative instruments, such as forward freight agreements, could result in losses.

 

From time to time, we may take hedging or speculative positions in derivative instruments, including freight forward agreements, or FFAs. Upon settlement, if an FFA contracted charter rate is less than the average of the rates, as reported by an identified index, for the specified route and period, the seller of the FFA is required to pay the buyer an amount equal to the difference between the contracted rate and the settlement rate, multiplied by the number of days in the specified period. Conversely, if the contracted rate is greater than the settlement rate, the buyer is required to pay the seller the settlement sum. If we take positions in FFAs or other derivative instruments and do not correctly anticipate charter rate movements over the specified route and time period, we could suffer losses in the settling or termination of the FFA. This could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.

 

Because we generate all of our revenues in U.S. dollars but incur a portion of our expenses in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

We generate all of our revenues in U.S. dollars and the majority of our expenses are also in U.S. dollars. However, a portion of our overall expenses is incurred in other currencies, particularly the Euro, British Pound Sterling, the Japanese Yen, Norwegian Krone and the Singapore Dollar. Changes in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the other currencies, in particular the Euro, or the amount of expenses we incur in other currencies could cause fluctuations in our net income. See “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk—Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk.”

 

If we fail to manage our growth properly, we may not be able to successfully expand our fleet and may incur significant expenses and losses.

 

As and when market conditions permit, we intend to continue to prudently grow our fleet over the long term, in addition to the nineteen ECO VLGCs that were delivered between July 2014 and February 2016. Acquisition opportunities may arise from time to time, and any such acquisition could be significant. Successfully consummating and integrating acquisitions will depend on:

 

·

locating and acquiring suitable vessels at a suitable price;

 

·

identifying and completing acquisitions or joint ventures;

 

·

integrating any acquired LPG carriers or businesses successfully with our existing operations;

 

·

hiring, training and retaining qualified personnel and crew to manage and operate our growing business and fleet;

 

·

expanding our customer base; and

 

·

obtaining required financing.

 

Certain acquisition and investment opportunities may not result in the consummation of a transaction. Any acquisition could involve the payment by us of a substantial amount of cash, the incurrence of a substantial amount of debt or the issuance of a substantial amount of equity. In addition, we may not be able to obtain acceptable terms for the required financing for any such acquisition or investment that arises.

 

Growing a business by acquisition presents numerous risks such as undisclosed liabilities and obligations, difficulty in obtaining additional qualified personnel, managing relationships with customers and suppliers and integrating newly acquired vessels into existing infrastructures. Moreover, acquiring any business is subject to risks related to incorrect assumptions regarding the future results of acquired operations or assets or expected cost reductions or other synergies expected to be realized as a result of acquiring operations or assets.

 

Additionally, the expansion of our fleet may impose significant additional responsibilities on our management and staff, including the management and staff of our in-house commercial and technical managers, and may necessitate that we increase the number of personnel. Further, there is the risk that we may fail to successfully and timely integrate

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the operations or management of any acquired businesses or assets and the risk of diverting management's attention from existing operations or other priorities. If we fail to consummate and integrate our acquisitions in a timely and costeffective manner, our financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends, if any, to our shareholders could be adversely affected. Moreover, we cannot predict the effect, if any, that any announcement or consummation of an acquisition would have on the trading price of our common shares.

 

An inability to effectively time investments in and divestments of vessels could prevent the implementation of our business strategy and negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.

Our strategy is to own and operate a fleet large enough to provide global coverage, but not larger than what the demand for our services can support over a longer period by both contracting newbuildings and through acquisitions and divestitures in the second-hand market. Our business is greatly influenced by the timing of investments and/or divestments and contracting of newbuildings. If we are unable able to identify the optimal timing of such investments, divestments or contracting of newbuildings in relation to the shipping value cycle due to capital restraints, this could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

 

As our fleet grows in size, we may need to improve our operations and financial systems and recruit additional staff and crew; if we cannot improve these systems or recruit suitable employees, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

As and when market conditions permit, we intend to continue to prudently grow our fleet over the long term, and as a consequence of this, we may have to invest in upgrading our operating and financial systems. In addition, we may have to recruit wellqualified seafarers and shoreside administrative and management personnel. We may not be able to hire suitable employees to the extent we continue to expand our fleet. Our vessels require technically skilled staff with specialized training. If our crewing agents are unable to employ such technically skilled staff, they may not be able to adequately staff our vessels. If we are unable to operate our financial and operations systems effectively or we are unable to recruit suitable employees as we expand our fleet, our results of operation and our ability to expand our fleet may be adversely affected.

 

We may be unable to attract and retain key management personnel and other employees in the shipping industry without incurring substantial expense as a result of rising crew costs, which may negatively affect the effectiveness of our management and our results of operations.

 

The successful development and performance of our business depends on our ability to attract and retain skilled professionals with appropriate experience and expertise. Any loss of the services of any of the senior management or key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

 

Additionally, obtaining voyage and time charters with leading industry participants depends on a number of factors, including the ability to man vessels with suitably experienced, high-quality masters, officers and crew. In recent years, the limited supply of and increased demand for well-qualified crew has created upward pressure on crewing costs, which we generally bear under our time and spot charters. Increases in crew costs may adversely affect our profitability. In addition, if we cannot retain sufficient numbers of quality on-board seafaring personnel, our fleet utilization will decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

 

Our directors and officers may in the future hold direct or indirect interests in companies that compete with us.

 

Our directors and officers have a history of involvement in the shipping industry and some of them currently, and some of them may in the future, directly or indirectly, hold investments in companies that compete with us. In that case, they may face conflicts between their own interests and their obligations to us.

 

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We cannot provide assurance that our directors and officers will not be influenced by their interests in or affiliation with other shipping companies, or our competitors, and seek to cause us to take courses of action that might involve risks to our other shareholders or adversely affect us or our shareholders.

 

Our business and operations involve inherent operating risks, and our insurance and indemnities from our customers may not be adequate to cover potential losses from our operations.

 

Our vessels are subject to a variety of operational risks caused by adverse weather conditions, mechanical failures, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, or other circumstances or events. We procure hull and machinery insurance, protection and indemnity insurance, which includes environmental damage and pollution insurance coverage, and war risk insurance for our fleet. While we endeavor to be adequately insured against all known risks related to the operation of our ships, there remains the possibility that a liability may not be adequately covered and we may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage for our fleet in the future. The insurers may also not pay particular claims. Even if our insurance coverage is adequate, we may not be able to timely obtain a replacement vessel in the event of a loss. There can be no assurance that such insurance coverage will remain available at economic rates. Furthermore, such insurance coverage will contain deductibles, limitations and exclusions, which are standard in the shipping industry and may increase our costs or lower our revenue if applied in respect of any claim.

 

We may be unable to procure adequate insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates in the future.

We may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates in the future during adverse insurance market conditions. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have led in the past to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. A marine disaster could exceed our insurance coverage, which could harm our business, financial condition and operating results. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business and financial condition. In addition, our insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain of our actions, such as our vessels failing to maintain certification with applicable maritime self-regulatory organizations.

Changes in the insurance markets attributable to terrorist attacks may also make certain types of insurance more difficult for us to obtain. In addition, upon renewal or expiration of our current policies, the insurance that may be available to us may be significantly more expensive than our existing coverage.

Because we will obtain some of our insurance through protection and indemnity associations, we may be required to make additional premium payments.

Although we believe we carry protection and indemnity insurance consistent with industry standards, all risks may not be adequately insured against, and any particular claim may not be paid. Any claims covered by insurance would be subject to deductibles, and since it is possible that a large number of claims may be brought, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material. Certain of our insurance coverage is maintained through mutual protection and indemnity associations, and as a member of such associations we may be required to make additional payments, or calls, over and above budgeted premiums if member claims exceed association reserves. These calls will be in amounts based on our claim records, as well as the claim records of other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive insurance coverage for tort liability, including pollution-related liability. In addition, our protection and indemnity associations may not have enough resources to cover claims made against them. Our payment of these calls could result in significant expense to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, and ability to pay dividends.

 

We may incur substantial costs for the drydocking, maintenance or replacement of our vessels as they age, and, as our vessels age, the risks associated with older vessels could adversely affect our ability to obtain profitable charters.

 

The drydocking of our vessels requires significant capital expenditures and loss of revenue while our vessels are offhire. Any significant increase in the number of days of offhire due to such drydocking or in the costs of any repairs could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. Although

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we do not anticipate that more than one vessel will be out of service at any given time, we may underestimate the time required to drydock our vessels, or unanticipated problems may arise.

 

In addition, although all of our vessels were built within the past eleven years, we estimate that our vessels have a useful life of 25 years. In general, the costs to maintain a vessel in good operating condition increases with the age of the vessel. Older vessels are typically less fuel-efficient than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. Cargo insurance rates increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers.

 

As our vessels become older, we may have to replace such vessels upon the expiration of their useful lives. Unless we maintain reserves or are able to borrow or raise funds for vessel replacement, we will be unable to replace such older vessels. The inability to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. Any reserves set aside for vessel replacement will not be available for the payment of dividends to shareholders.

 

If we purchase secondhand vessels, we will be exposed to increased costs which could adversely affect our earnings.

 

We may acquire secondhand vessels in the future, and while we typically inspect secondhand vessels prior to purchase, this does not provide us with the same knowledge about their condition that we would have had if these vessels had been built for and operated exclusively by us. A secondhand vessel may have conditions or defects that we were not aware of when we bought the vessel and which may require us to incur costly repairs to the vessel. These repairs may require us to put a vessel into drydock which would reduce our fleet utilization and increase our operating costs.

 

SeaDor Holdings, Kensico Capital Management, HNA Group Co. Ltd., John C. Hadjipateras, BW Group, Ltd. and Wellington Management Group LLP each have a substantial ownership stake in us, and their interests could conflict with the interests of our other shareholders.

 

According to information contained in public filings, our principal shareholders include SeaDor Holdings, an affiliate of SEACOR Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CKH), Kensico Capital Management; Sino Energy Holdings LLC and HNA Logistics LP, affiliates of HNA Group Co., Ltd.; John C. Hadjipateras, our Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors; BW Euroholdings Ltd., an affiliate of BW Group Ltd.; and Wellington Management Group LLP, or our Principal Shareholders, and as of June 9, 2017, they own, or may be deemed to beneficially own, 16.7%, 14.6%, 11.7%, 11.5%, 10.9% and 9.9%, respectively, of our total shares outstanding. SeaDor Holdings, Kensico Capital Management, and John C. Hadjipateras are represented on our Board of Directors. As a result of this substantial ownership interest and, as applicable, their participation on the Board of Directors, our Principal Shareholders currently have the ability to influence certain actions requiring shareholders' approval, including increasing or decreasing the authorized share capital, the election of directors, declaration of dividends, the appointment of management, and other policy decisions. While any future transaction with our Principal Shareholders could benefit us, their interests could at times conflict with the interests of our other shareholders. Conflicts of interest may arise between us and our Principal Shareholders or their affiliates, which may result in the conclusion of transactions on terms not determined by market forces. Any such conflicts of interest could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and the trading price of our common shares. Moreover, the concentration of ownership may delay, deter or prevent acts that would be favored by our other shareholders or deprive shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our business. Similarly, this concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our shares because investors may perceive disadvantages in owning shares in a company with concentrated ownership.

 

United States tax authorities could treat us as a "passive foreign investment company," which could have adverse United States federal income tax consequences to United States holders.

 

A foreign corporation will be treated as a PFIC for United States federal income tax purposes if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of "passive income" or (2) at least 50% of the average value of the corporation's assets produce or are held for the production of "passive income." For purposes of these tests, "passive income" generally includes dividends, interest, and gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties which are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business. For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services generally does not

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constitute "passive income." United States shareholders of a PFIC are subject to an adverse United States federal income tax regime with respect to the income derived by the PFIC, the distributions they receive from the PFIC and the gain, if any, they derive from the sale or other disposition of their shares in the PFIC.

 

Whether we will be treated as a PFIC for our taxable year 2017 and subsequent taxable years will depend upon the nature and extent of our operations. In this regard, we intend to treat the gross income we derive from our voyage and time chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income. Accordingly, such income should not constitute passive income, and the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of such income, in particular, our vessels, should not constitute passive assets for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC. There is substantial legal authority supporting this position consisting of case law and the United States Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters as services income for other tax purposes. However, there is also authority which characterizes time charter income as rental income rather than services income for other tax purposes. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept this position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine that we are a PFIC. In addition, although we intend to conduct our affairs in a manner to avoid being classified as a PFIC with respect to any taxable year, we cannot assure you that the nature of our operations will not change in the future.

 

For any taxable year in which we are, or were to be treated as, a PFIC, United States shareholders would face adverse United States federal income tax consequences. Under the PFIC rules, unless a shareholder makes an election available under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, (which election could itself have adverse consequences for such shareholders, as discussed below under "Item 1. Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—United States Federal Income Taxation of United States Holders"), excess distributions and any gain from the disposition of such shareholder's common shares would be allocated ratably over the shareholder's holding period of the common shares and the amounts allocated to the taxable year of the excess distribution or sale or other disposition and to any year before we became a PFIC would be taxed as ordinary income. The amount allocated to each other taxable year would be subject to tax at the highest rate in effect for individuals or corporations, as appropriate, for that taxable year, and an interest charge would be imposed with respect to such tax. See "Item 1. Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—United States Federal Income Taxation of United States Holders" for a more comprehensive discussion of the United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders if we are treated as a PFIC.

 

We may have to pay tax on United States source shipping income, which would reduce our earnings.

 

Under the Code, 50% of the gross shipping income of a corporation that owns or charters vessels, as we and our subsidiaries do, that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States may be subject to a 4%, or an effective 2%, United States federal income tax without allowance for deduction, unless that corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code and the applicable Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

We believe that we qualify, and we expect to qualify, for exemption under Section 883 for our taxable year ended March 31, 2017 and our subsequent taxable years and we intend to take this position for United States federal income tax return reporting purposes. However, there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption and thereby become subject to United States federal income tax on our United States source shipping income. For example, we would no longer qualify for exemption under Section 883 of the Code for a particular taxable year if certain "nonqualified" shareholders with a 5% or greater interest in our common shares owned, in the aggregate, 50% or more of our outstanding common shares for more than half the days during the taxable year. Due to the factual nature of the issues involved, there can be no assurances on that we or any of our subsidiaries will qualify for exemption under Section 883 of the Code.

 

If we or our subsidiaries were not entitled to exemption under Section 883 of the Code for any taxable year based on our failure to satisfy the publiclytraded test, we or our subsidiaries would be subject for such year to an effective 2% United States federal income tax on the gross shipping income we or our subsidiaries derive during the year that is attributable to the transport of cargoes to or from the United States. The imposition of this taxation would have a negative effect on our business and would decrease our earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.

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Risks Relating to our Industry

 

The cyclical nature of the demand for LPG transportation may lead to significant changes in charter rates, vessel utilization and vessel values, which may adversely affect our revenues, profitability and financial condition.

 

Historically, the LPG shipping market has been cyclical with attendant volatility in profitability, charter rates and vessel values. The degree of charter rate volatility among different types of gas carriers has varied widely. Because many factors influencing the supply of, and demand for, vessel capacity are unpredictable, the timing, direction and degree of changes in the LPG shipping market are also not predictable. If charter rates decline, our earnings may decrease, particularly with respect to our vessels deployed in the spot market, including through the Helios Pool, but also with respect to our other vessels when their charters expire, as they may not be rechartered on favorable terms when compared to the terms of the expiring charters. Accordingly, a decline in charter rates would have an adverse effect on our revenues, profitability, liquidity, cash flow and financial position.

 

Future growth in the demand for LPG carriers and charter rates will depend on economic growth in the world economy and demand for LPG product transportation that exceeds the capacity of the growing worldwide LPG carrier fleet. We believe that the future growth in demand for LPG carriers and the charter rate levels for LPG carriers will depend primarily upon the supply and demand for LPG, particularly in the economies of China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the United States and upon seasonal and regional changes in demand and changes to the capacity of the world fleet. The capacity of the world LPG shipping fleet appears likely to increase in the near term. Economic growth may be limited in the near term, and possibly for an extended period, as a result of the current global economic conditions, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

The factors affecting the supply of and demand for LPG carriers are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable.

 

The factors that influence demand for our vessels include:

 

·

global or regional economic or political conditions, particularly in LPG consuming regions;

 

·

changes in global or general industrial activity specifically in the plastics and chemical industries;

 

·

changes in the cost of oil and natural gas from which LPG is derived;

 

·

changes in the consumption of LPG or natural gas due to availability of new, alternative energy sources or changes in the price of LPG or natural gas relative to other energy sources or other factors making consumption of LPG or natural gas less attractive;

 

·

supply of and demand for LPG products;

 

·

the development and location of production facilities for LPG products;

 

·

regional imbalances in production and demand of LPG products;

 

·

the distance LPG and LPG products are to be moved by sea;

 

·

worldwide production of natural gas;

 

·

availability of competing LPG vessels;

 

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·

availability of alternative transportation means, including pipelines for LPG, which are currently few in number, linking production areas and industrial and residential areas consuming LPG, or the conversion of existing nonpetroleum gas pipelines to petroleum gas pipelines in those markets;

 

·

changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns;

 

·

development and exploitation of alternative fuels and non-conventional hydrocarbon production;

 

·

governmental regulations, including environmental or restrictions on offshore transportation of natural gas;

 

·

local and international political, economic and weather conditions;

 

·

domestic and foreign tax policies; and

 

·

accidents, severe weather, natural disasters and other similar incidents relating to the natural gas industry.

 

The factors that influence the supply of vessel capacity include:

 

·

the number of newbuilding deliveries (including the equivalent of 13% of the capacity of the existing LPG capable carrier fleet expected to be delivered by the end of calendar 2020);

 

·

the scrapping rate of older vessels;

 

·

LPG vessel prices, including financing costs and the price of steel, other raw materials and vessel equipment;

 

·

the availability of shipyards to build LPG vessels when demand is high;

 

·

changes in environmental and other regulations that may limit the useful lives of vessels;

 

·

technological advances in LPG vessel design and capacity; and

 

·

the number of vessels that are out of service.

 

A significant decline in demand for the seaborne transport of LPG or a significant increase in the supply of LPG vessel capacity without a corresponding growth in LPG vessel demand could cause a significant decline in prevailing charter rates, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results and cash flow.

 

A shift in consumer demand from LPG towards other energy sources or changes to trade patterns may have a material adverse effect on our business.

Substantially all of our earnings are related to the LPG industry.  A shift in the consumer demand from LPG towards other energy resources such as oil, wind energy, solar energy, or water energy will affect the demand for our LPG carriers.  This could have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

Seaborne trading and distribution patterns are primarily influenced by the relative advantage of the various sources of production, locations of consumption, pricing differentials and seasonality. Changes to the trade patterns of LPG may have a significant negative or positive impact on the demand for our vessels. This could have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

 

The market values of our vessels may fluctuate significantly. When the market values of our vessels are low, we may incur a loss on sale of a vessel or record an impairment charge, which may adversely affect our earnings and possibly lead to defaults under our loan agreements or under future loan agreements we may enter into.

 

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Vessel values are both cyclical and volatile, and may fluctuate due to a number of different factors, including general economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry; sophistication and condition of the vessels; types and sizes of vessels; competition from other shipping companies; the availability of other modes of transportation; increases in the supply of vessel capacity; charter rates; the cost and delivery of newbuildings; governmental or other regulations; supply of and demand for LPG products; prevailing freight rates; and the need to upgrade secondhand and previously owned vessels as a result of charterer requirements, technological advances in vessel design or equipment or otherwise. In addition, as vessels grow older, they generally decline in value.

 

Due to the cyclical nature of the market, if for any reason we sell any of our owned vessels at a time when prices are depressed and before we have recorded an impairment adjustment to our financial statements, the sale may be for less than the vessel's carrying value in our financial statements, resulting in a loss and reduction in earnings. Furthermore, if vessel values experience significant declines and our estimated future cash flows decrease, we may have to record an impairment adjustment in our financial statements, which could adversely affect our financial results. If the market value of our fleet declines, we may not be in compliance with certain provisions of our loan agreements and we may not be able to refinance our debt or obtain additional financing or pay dividends, if any. If we are unable to pledge additional collateral, our lenders could accelerate our debt and foreclose on our vessels.

 

Our revenues, operations and future growth could be adversely affected by a decrease in the supply of or demand for LPG or natural gas.

 

In recent years, there has been a strong supply of natural gas and an increase in the construction of plants and projects involving natural gas, of which LPG is a byproduct. Several of these projects, however, have experienced delays in their completion for various reasons and thus the expected increase in the supply of LPG from these projects may be delayed significantly. If the supply of natural gas decreases, we may see a concurrent reduction in the production of LPG and resulting lesser demand and lower charter rates for our vessels and the vessels in the Helios Pool, which could ultimately have a material adverse impact on our revenues, operations and future growth. Additionally, changes in environmental or other legislation establishing additional regulation or restrictions on LPG production and transportation, including the adoption of climate change legislation or regulations, or legislation in the United States placing additional regulation or restrictions on LPG production from shale gas could result in reduced demand for LPG shipping.

 

General economic conditions could materially adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations, as well as our future prospects.

 

The global economy and the volume of world trade have remained relatively weak since the severe decline in the latter part of 2008 and in 2009. Recovery of the global economy is proceeding at varying speeds across regions but remains subject to downside risks, including substantial sovereign debt burdens in countries throughout the world, the United Kingdom’s pending exit from the EU, continuing turmoil and hostilities in the Middle East, Afghanistan and other geographic areas and the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. There has historically been a strong link between the development of the world economy and demand for LPG shipping. Accordingly, an extended negative outlook for the world economy could reduce the overall demand for our services.  More specifically, some LPG products we carry are used in cyclical businesses, such as the manufacturing of plastics and in the chemical industry, that were adversely affected by the economic downturn and, accordingly, continued weakness and any further reduction in demand in those industries could adversely affect the LPG shipping industry. In particular, an adverse change in economic conditions affecting China, India, Japan or Southeast Asia generally could have a negative effect on the demand for LPG products, thereby adversely affecting our business, financial position and results of operations, as well as our future prospects.

 

In addition, as a result of the ongoing economic turmoil in Greece resulting from the sovereign debt crisis and the related austerity measures implemented by the Greek government, our operations in Greece may be subjected to new regulations that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and may require that we pay to the Greek government new taxes or other fees. We also face the risk that strikes, work stoppages, civil unrest and violence within Greece may disrupt our shoreside operations located in Greece.

 

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The state of global financial markets and current economic conditions may adversely impact our ability to obtain financing or refinance our credit facilities on acceptable terms, which may hinder or prevent us from operating or expanding our business.

 

Global financial markets, including credit markets and debt and equity capital markets, remain relatively weak since the severe decline in the latter part of 2008 and 2009. These issues, along with the re-pricing of credit risk and the difficulties experienced by financial institutions, have made, and will likely continue to make, it difficult to obtain financing. As a result of the disruptions in the credit markets and higher capital requirements, many lenders have increased margins on lending rates, enacted tighter lending standards, required more restrictive terms (including higher collateral ratios for advances, shorter maturities and smaller loan amounts), or refused to refinance existing debt on terms similar to current debt or at all. Furthermore, certain banks that have historically been significant lenders to the shipping industry reduced or ceased lending activities in the shipping industry. New banking regulations, including tightening of capital requirements and the resulting policies adopted by lenders, could further reduce lending activities. We may experience difficulties obtaining financing commitments or be unable to fully draw on the capacity under our credit facilities committed in the future or refinance our credit facilities when our facilities mature if our lenders are unwilling to extend financing to us or unable to meet their funding obligations due to their own liquidity, capital or solvency issues. We cannot be certain that financing will be available when needed on acceptable terms or at all. In the absence of available financing, we may be unable to satisfy our obligations, take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures.

 

Our operating results are subject to seasonal fluctuations, which could affect our operating results and the amount of available cash with which we can pay dividends.

 

We operate our LPG carriers in markets that have historically exhibited seasonal variations in demand and, as a result, in charter hire rates. The LPG shipping market is typically stronger in the spring and summer months in anticipation of increased consumption of propane and butane for heating during the winter months. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns in these months tend to disrupt vessel scheduling and supplies of certain commodities. As a result, our revenues may be stronger in fiscal quarters ended June 30 and September 30, and conversely, our revenues may be weaker during the fiscal quarters ended December 31 and March 31. This seasonality could materially affect our quarterly operating results.

 

Future technological innovation could reduce our charter hire income and the value of our vessels.

 

The charter hire rates and the value and operational life of a vessel are determined by a number of factors including the vessel's efficiency, operational flexibility and physical life. Efficiency includes speed, fuel economy and the ability to load and discharge cargo quickly. Flexibility includes the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. The length of a vessel's physical life is related to its original design and construction, its maintenance and the impact of the stress of operations. We believe that our fleet is among the youngest and most ecofriendly fleet of all our competitors. However, if new LPG carriers are built that are more efficient or more flexible or have longer physical lives than our vessels, competition from these more technologically advanced vessels could adversely affect the amount of charter hire payments we receive for our vessels and the resale value of our vessels could significantly decrease. Similarly, if the vessels of the other participants in the Helios Pool fleet become outdated, the amount of charter hire payments to the Helios Pool may be adversely effected. As a result of the foregoing, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

 

Changes in fuel, or bunker, prices may adversely affect profits.

 

While we do not bear the cost of fuel, or bunkers, under time and bareboat charters, including for our vessels employed on time charters through the Helios Pool, fuel is a significant expense in our shipping operations when vessels are off-hire or deployed under spot charters. Changes in the price of fuel may adversely affect our profitability. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and environmental concerns. Further, fuel may become much more expensive in the future, which may reduce profitability.

 

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We are subject to regulation and liability, including environmental laws, which could require significant expenditures and adversely affect our financial conditions and results of operations.

 

Our business and the operation of our vessels are subject to complex laws and regulations and materially affected by government regulation, including environmental regulations in the form of international conventions and national, state and local laws and regulations in force in the jurisdictions in which the vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries in which the vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries of their registration.

 

These regulations include, but are not limited to OPA90 that establishes an extensive regulatory and liability regime for the protection and cleanup of the environment from oil spills and applies to any discharges of oil from a vessel, including discharges of fuel oil and lubricants, the CAA, the CWA, and requirements of the USCG and the EPA, and the MTSA, and regulations of the IMO, including MARPOL, CLC, the Bunker Convention, the IMO International Convention of Load Lines of 1966, as from time to time amended, and SOLAS. To comply with these and other regulations we may be required to incur additional costs to modify our vessels, meet new operating maintenance and inspection requirements, develop contingency plans for potential spills, and obtain insurance coverage. We are also required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to obtain permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances with respect to our operations. These permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances may be issued or renewed with terms that could materially and adversely affect our operations. Because these laws and regulations are often revised, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of complying with them or the impact they may have on the resale prices or useful lives of our vessels. However, a failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may result in administrative and civil penalties, criminal sanctions or the suspension or termination of our operations. Additional laws and regulations may be adopted which could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of our doing business and which could materially adversely affect our operations. For example, a future serious incident, such as the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may result in new regulatory initiatives. 

 

The operation of our vessels is affected by the requirements set forth in the ISM Code. The ISM Code requires ship owners and bareboat charterers to develop and maintain an extensive "Safety Management System" that includes, among other things, the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. The failure of a ship owner or bareboat charterer to comply with the ISM Code may subject the owner or charterer to increased liability, may decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels, or may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports. In our case, noncompliance with the ISM Code may result in breach of our loan covenants. Currently, each of the vessels in our fleet is ISM Code certified. Because these certifications are critical to our business, we place a high priority on maintaining them. Nonetheless, there is the possibility that such certifications may not be renewed.

 

We currently maintain, for each of our vessels, pollution liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1.0 billion per incident. In addition, we carry hull and machinery and protection and indemnity insurance to cover the risks of fire and explosion. Under certain circumstances, fire and explosion could result in a catastrophic loss. We believe that our present insurance coverage is adequate, but not all risks can be insured, and there is the possibility that any specific claim may not be paid, or that we will not always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates. If the damages from a catastrophic spill exceeded our insurance coverage, the effect on our business would be severe and could possibly result in our insolvency.

 

Recent action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and United States agencies indicate that cybersecurity regulations for the maritime industry are likely to be further developed in the near future in an attempt to combat cybersecurity threats. This might cause companies to cultivate additional procedures for monitoring cybersecurity, which could require additional expenses and/or capital expenditures. However, the impact of such regulations is hard to predict at this time.

 

We believe that regulation of the shipping industry will continue to become more stringent and compliance with such new regulations will be more expensive for us and our competitors. Substantial violations of applicable requirements or a catastrophic release from one of our vessels could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations and markets.

Due to concern over the risk of climate change, a number of countries and the IMO have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These regulatory measures may include, among others, adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. In addition, although the emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping currently are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which required adopting countries to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, a new treaty may be adopted in the future that includes restrictions on shipping emissions. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris resulted in the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016. The Paris Agreement does not directly limit greenhouse gas emissions from ships. Compliance with changes in laws, regulations and obligations relating to climate change could increase our costs related to operating and maintaining our vessels and require us to install new emission controls, acquire allowances or pay taxes related to our greenhouse gas emissions, or administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program. Revenue generation and strategic growth opportunities could also be adversely affected by compliance with such changes.

 

Our vessels may call on ports located in countries that are subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States or other governments, which could adversely affect our reputation and the market for our common shares.

 

Since January 1, 2010, none of our vessels has called on ports located in countries subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States government and countries identified by the United States government as state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran, Sudan and Syria. The United States sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application, as they do not all apply to the same covered persons or proscribe the same activities, and such sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be amended or strengthened over time. In 2010, the United States enacted the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act, or CISADA, which expanded the scope of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. Among other things, CISADA expands the application of the prohibitions involving Iran to include ships or shipping services by non-United States companies, such as our company, and introduces limits on the ability of companies and persons to do business or trade with Iran when such activities relate to the investment, supply or export of refined petroleum or petroleum products. In addition, in October 2012, President Obama issued an executive order implementing the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, or the ITRA, which extends the application of all United States laws and regulations relating to Iran to non-United States companies controlled by United States companies or persons as if they were themselves United States companies or persons, expands categories of sanctionable activities, adds additional forms of potential sanctions and imposes certain related reporting obligations with respect to activities of the Commission registrants and their affiliates. The ITRA also includes a provision requiring the President of the United States to impose five or more sanctions from Section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended, on a person the President determines is controlling beneficial owner of, or otherwise owns, operates or controls or insures a vessel that was used to transport crude oil from Iran to another country and (1) if the person is a controlling beneficial owner of the vessel, the person had actual knowledge the vessel was so used or (2) if the person otherwise owns, operates, controls, or insures the vessel, the person knew or should have known the vessel was so used. Such a person could be subject to a variety of sanctions, including exclusion from United States capital markets, exclusion from financial transactions subject to United States jurisdiction, and exclusion of that person's vessels from United States ports for up to two years. Finally, in January 2013, the United States enacted the Iran Freedom and Counter Proliferation Act of 2012 (the "IFCPA") which expanded the scope of United States sanctions on any person that is part of Iran's energy, shipping or shipbuilding sector and operators of ports in Iran, and imposes penalties on any person who facilitates or otherwise knowingly provides significant financial, material or other support to these entities.

 

On November 24, 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China) entered into an interim agreement with Iran entitled the “Joint Plan of Action,” or JPOA. Under the JPOA it was agreed that, in exchange for Iran taking certain voluntary measures to ensure that its nuclear program is used only for peaceful purposes, the United States and EU would voluntarily suspend certain sanctions for a period of six months.

 

On January 20, 2014, the United States and EU indicated that they would begin implementing the temporary relief measures provided for under the JPOA. These measures include, among other things, the suspension of certain

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sanctions on the Iranian petrochemicals, precious metals, and automotive industries from January 20, 2014 until July 20, 2014.  The United States subsequently extended the JPOA twice.

 

On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 and the EU announced that they reached a landmark agreement with Iran titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program, or the JCPOA, which is intended to significantly restrict Iran’s ability to develop and produce nuclear weapons for 10 years while simultaneously easing sanctions directed toward non-United States persons for conduct involving Iran, but taking place outside of United States jurisdiction and does not involve United States persons. On January 16, 2016, the United States joined the EU and the UN in lifting a significant number of their nuclear-related sanctions on Iran following an announcement by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or the IAEA, that Iran had satisfied its respective obligations under the JCPOA. 

 

United States sanctions prohibiting certain conduct that is now permitted under the JCPOA have not actually been repealed or permanently terminated at this time.  Rather, the United States government has implemented changes to the sanctions regime by: (1) issuing waivers of certain statutory sanctions provisions; (2) committing to refrain from exercising certain discretionary sanctions authorities; (3) removing certain individuals and entities from the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s sanctions lists; and (4) revoking certain Executive Orders and specified sections of Executive Orders. These sanctions will not be permanently "lifted" until the earlier of “Transition Day,” set to occur on October 20, 2023, or upon a report from the IAEA stating that all nuclear material in Iran is being used for peaceful activities.

 

Although we believe that we are in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may vary or may be subject to changing interpretations and we may be unable to prevent our charterers from violating contractual and legal restrictions on their operations of the vessels. Any such violation could result in fines or other penalties for us and could result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in the Company. Additionally, some investors may decide to divest their interest, or not to invest, in the Company simply because we do business with companies that do business in sanctioned countries. Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. Investor perception of the value of our common shares may also be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.

 

Our vessels are subject to periodic inspections by a classification society.

 

The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be classed by a classification society authorized by its country of registry. The classification society certifies that a vessel is safe and seaworthy in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and SOLAS. Our VLGCs are currently classed with either Lloyd's Register, ABS or Det Norske Veritas.

 

A vessel must undergo annual surveys, intermediate surveys and special surveys. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel's machinery may be on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a fiveyear period. Our vessels are on special survey cycles for hull inspection and continuous survey cycles for machinery inspection. Every vessel is also required to be drydocked every two to three years for inspection of the underwater parts of such vessel. However, for vessels not exceeding 15 years that have means to facilitate underwater inspection in lieu of drydocking, the drydocking can be skipped and be conducted concurrently with the special survey.

 

If a vessel does not maintain its class and/or fails any annual survey, intermediate survey or special survey, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable, and we could be in violation of covenants in our loan agreements and insurance contracts or other financing arrangements. This would adversely impact our operations and revenues.

 

Maritime claimants could arrest our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow.

 

Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and others may be entitled to a maritime lien against that vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder

40


 

may enforce its lien by arresting or attaching a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could interrupt our cash flow and require us to pay large sums of funds to have the arrest lifted.

 

In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the "sister ship" theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel which is subject to the claimant's maritime lien and any "associated" vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. Claimants could try to assert "sister ship" liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another of our ships or, possibly, another vessel managed by one of our shareholders holding more than 5% of our common stock or entities affiliated with them.

 

Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, resulting in loss of revenues.

 

The government of a vessel's registry could requisition for title or seize our vessels. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes the owner. A government could also requisition our vessels for hire. Requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes the charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during a period of war or emergency. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

 

The operation of ocean-going vessels is inherently risky, and an incident resulting in significant loss or environmental consequences involving any of our vessels could harm our reputation and business.

 

The operation of an ocean-going vessel carries inherent risks. Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as marine disasters, bad weather, mechanical failures, grounding, fire, explosions, collisions, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, cargo loss, latent defects, acts of God and other circumstances or events. Changing economic, regulatory and political conditions in some countries, including political and military conflicts, have from time to time resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes and boycotts. Damage to the environment could also result from our operations, particularly through spillage of fuel, lubricants or other chemicals and substances used in operations, or extensive uncontrolled fires. These hazards may result in death or injury to persons, loss of revenues or property, environmental damage, higher insurance rates, damage to our customer relationships, market disruptions, delay or rerouting, any of which may also subject us to litigation. As a result, we could be exposed to substantial liabilities not recoverable under our insurances. Further, the involvement of our vessels in a serious accident could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel operator and lead to a loss of business.

If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs are unpredictable and may be substantial. We may have to pay drydocking costs that our insurance does not cover at all or in full. The loss of earnings while these vessels are being repaired and repositioned, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, may adversely affect our business and financial condition. In addition, space at drydocking facilities is sometimes limited and not all drydocking facilities are conveniently located. We may be unable to find space at a suitable drydocking facility or our vessels may be forced to travel to a drydocking facility that is not conveniently located to our vessels' positions. The loss of earnings while these vessels are forced to wait for space or to travel or be towed to more distant drydocking facilities may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

We may be subject to litigation that could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

 

We are currently not involved in any litigation matters that are expected to have a material adverse effect on our business or financial condition. Nevertheless, we anticipate that we could be involved in litigation matters from time to time in the future. The operating hazards inherent in our business expose us to litigation, including personal injury litigation, environmental litigation, contractual litigation with clients, intellectual property litigation, tax or securities litigation, and maritime lawsuits including the possible arrest of our vessels. We cannot predict with certainty the outcome or effect of any claim or other litigation matter. Any future litigation may have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and our ability to pay dividends, because of potential negative outcomes, the costs associated with prosecuting or defending such lawsuits, and the diversion of management's attention to these matters. Additionally, our insurance may not be applicable or sufficient to cover the related costs in all cases or our insurers may not remain solvent.

41


 

 

Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels could adversely affect our business.

 

Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, off the coast of West Africa and in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Sea piracy incidents continue to occur. If these piracy attacks occur in regions in which our vessels are deployed and are characterized by insurers as "war risk" zones or Joint War Committee "war and strikes" listed areas, premiums payable for such coverage, for which we are responsible with respect to vessels employed on spot charters, but not vessels employed on bareboat or time charters, could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, costs to employ onboard security guards could increase in such circumstances. Some sources report there was a drop in the number of piracy incidents in 2016. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, detention hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost, or unavailability of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our operations outside the United States expose us to global risks, such as political conflict and terrorism, which may interfere with the operation of our vessels and could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenues and costs.

 

We are an international company and primarily conduct our operations outside the United States. Changing economic, political and governmental conditions in the countries where we are engaged in business or where our vessels are registered affect us. In the past, political conflicts resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways and other efforts to disrupt shipping. As a result of the military response of the United States and other nations to threats of terrorism as well as the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, the likelihood of future acts of terrorism may increase, and our vessels may face higher risks of being attacked. In addition, future hostilities or other political instability in regions where our vessels trade could affect our trade patterns and adversely affect our operations and performance. Hostilities in or closure of major waterways in the Middle East, Ukraine or Black Sea region could adversely affect the availability of and demand for crude oil and petroleum products, as well as LPG, and negatively affect our investment and our customers' investment decisions over an extended period of time. In addition, sanctions against oil exporting countries such as Iran, Russia, Sudan and Syria may also impact the availability of crude oil, petroleum products and LPG and which would increase the availability of applicable vessels thereby impacting negatively charter rates.

 

Terrorist attacks, or the perception that LPG or natural gas facilities or oil refineries and LPG carriers are potential terrorist targets, could materially and adversely affect the continued supply of LPG. Concern that LPG and natural gas facilities may be targeted for attack by terrorists has contributed to a significant community and environmental resistance to the construction of a number of natural gas facilities, primarily in North America. If a terrorist incident involving a gas facility or gas carrier did occur, the incident may adversely affect necessary LPG facilities or natural gas facilities currently in operation. Furthermore, future terrorist attacks could result in increased volatility of the financial markets in the United States and globally and could result in an economic recession in the United States or the world. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenues and costs.

 

If labor or other interruptions are not resolved in a timely manner, they could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

 

We employ masters, officers and crews to man our vessels. If not resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner, industrial action or other labor unrest or any other interruption arising from incidents of whistleblowing whether proven or not, could prevent or hinder our operations from being carried out as we expect and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

 

42


 

Information technology failures and data security breaches, including as a result of cybersecurity attacks, could negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition, subject us to increased operating costs, and expose us to litigation.

 

We rely on our computer systems and network infrastructure across our operations. Despite our implementation of security and back-up measures, all of our technology systems are vulnerable to damage, disability or failures due to physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure, operational error, or other catastrophic events. Our technology systems are also subject to cybersecurity attacks including malware, other malicious software, phishing email attacks, attempts to gain unauthorized access to our data, the unauthorized release, corruption or loss of our data, loss or damage to our data delivery systems, and other electronic security breaches. In addition, as we continue to grow the volume of transactions in our businesses, our existing IT systems infrastructure, applications and related functionality may be unable to effectively support a larger scale operation, which can cause the information being processed to be unreliable and impact our decision-making or damage our reputation with customers.

 

Furthermore, despite our efforts to ensure the integrity of our systems and prevent future cybersecurity attacks, it is possible that our business, financial and other systems could be compromised, especially because such attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources including persons involved in organized crime or associated with external service providers. Those parties may also attempt to fraudulently induce employees, customers or other users of our systems to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data or use electronic means to induce the company to enter into fraudulent transactions. Past and future occurrences of such attacks could damage our reputation and our ability to conduct our business, impact our credit and risk exposure decisions, cause us to lose customers or revenues, subject us to litigation and require us to incur significant expense to address and remediate or otherwise resolve these issues, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Risks Relating to Our Common Shares

 

The price of our common shares may be highly volatile.

 

The market price of our common shares has and may continue to fluctuate significantly in response to many factors, such as actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results and those of other public companies in the LPG shipping or related industries, market conditions in the LPG shipping industry, changes in financial estimates by securities analysts, significant sales of our shares by us or our shareholders, economic and regulatory trends, general market conditions, rumors and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. In addition, since approximately 75% of our outstanding shares are held by our Principal Shareholders, any movement in our stock price may be exaggerated due to less liquidity. An adverse development in the market price for our common shares could also negatively affect our ability to issue new equity to fund our activities.

 

Our board of directors may not declare dividends.

 

We have not paid any dividends since our inception in July 2013. In general, under the terms of our credit facilities, we are not permitted to pay dividends if there is a default or a breach of a loan covenant. Further, under the Amendment to the 2015 Debt Facility, we are temporarily restricted from paying dividends and repurchasing shares of our common stock until the earlier of (i) when we complete a common stock offering with net proceeds of at least $50.0 million and (ii) May 31, 2019.

 

In the future, we will evaluate the potential level and timing of dividends as soon as profits and cash flows allow. However, the timing and amount of any dividend payments will always be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, earnings, capital expenditure commitments, market prospects, current capital expenditure programs, investment opportunities, the provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to shareholders, and the terms and restrictions of our credit facilities. The LPG shipping industry is highly volatile, and we cannot predict with certainty the amount of cash, if any, that will be available for distribution as dividends in any period. Also, there may be a high degree of variability from period to period in the amount of cash that is available for the payment of dividends.

 

43


 

We may incur expenses or liabilities or be subject to other circumstances in the future that reduce or eliminate the amount of cash that we have available for distribution as dividends, including as a result of the risks described herein. Our growth strategy contemplates that we will primarily finance our acquisitions of additional vessels through debt financings or the net proceeds of future equity issuances on terms acceptable to us. If financing is not available to us on acceptable terms, our board of directors may determine to finance or refinance acquisitions with cash from operations, which would reduce the amount of any cash available for the payment of dividends.

 

The Republic of Marshall Islands laws also generally prohibit the payment of dividends other than from surplus (retained earnings and the excess of consideration received for the sale of shares above the par value of the shares) or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent by the payment of such a dividend. We may not have sufficient surplus in the future to pay dividends and our subsidiaries may not have sufficient funds or surplus to make distributions to us. We can give no assurance that dividends will be paid at all.

 

We are a holding company, and depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations and to make dividend payments.

 

We are a holding company, and our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own all of our operating assets. As a result, our ability to satisfy our financial obligations and to pay dividends, if any, to our shareholders depends on the ability of our subsidiaries to generate profits available for distribution to us. The ability of a subsidiary to make these distributions could be affected by a claim or other action by a third party, including a creditor, the terms of our financing arrangements or by the law of its jurisdiction of incorporation which regulates the payment of dividends.

 

We may issue additional shares in the future, which could cause the market price of our common shares to decline.

 

We may issue additional shares in the future in connection with, among other things, future vessel acquisitions or repayment of outstanding indebtedness, without shareholder approval, in a number of circumstances. Our issuance of additional shares would have the following effects: our existing shareholders' proportionate ownership interest in us will decrease; the amount of cash available for dividends payable per share may decrease; the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding share may be diminished; and the market price of our shares may decline.

 

A future sale of shares by major shareholders may reduce the share price.

 

As of the date of this report and based on information contained in documents publicly filed by our Principal Shareholders, our Principal Shareholders own an aggregate of 41.4 million common shares, or approximately 75% of our outstanding common shares. Sales or the possibility of sales of substantial amounts of our common shares by any of our Principal Shareholders could adversely affect the market price of our common shares.

 

We are incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of corporate law.

 

We are incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of corporate or case law. As a result, shareholders may have fewer rights and protections under Marshall Islands law than under a typical jurisdiction in the United States.  Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of incorporation and bylaws and by the Marshall Islands Business Corporations Act, or BCA. The provisions of the BCA resemble provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, there have been few judicial cases in the Republic of the Marshall Islands interpreting the BCA. The rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under the law of the Republic of the Marshall Islands are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain United States jurisdictions. Shareholder rights may differ as well. While the BCA does specifically incorporate the non-statutory law, or judicial case law, of the State of Delaware and other states with substantially similar legislative provisions, we cannot predict whether Marshall Islands courts would reach the same conclusions as United States courts. Therefore, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by the management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction.

 

44


 

It may be difficult to enforce a United States judgment against us, our officers and our directors because we are a foreign corporation.

 

We are incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and most of our subsidiaries are organized in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Substantially all of our assets and those of our subsidiaries are located outside the United States. As a result, our shareholders should not assume that courts in the countries in which we or our subsidiaries are incorporated or where our assets or the assets of our subsidiaries are located (1) would enforce judgments of United States courts obtained in actions against us or our subsidiaries based upon the civil liability provisions of applicable United States federal and state securities laws or (2) would enforce, in original actions, liabilities against us or our subsidiaries based upon these laws.

 

We are an "emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies make our common shares less attractive to investors.

 

We are an "emerging growth company," as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not "emerging growth companies." We cannot determine if investors will find our common shares less attractive because we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common shares less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common shares and our share price may be more volatile.

 

In addition, under the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act of 2002 for so long as we are an emerging growth company. For as long as we take advantage of the reduced reporting obligations, the information that we provide shareholders may be different from information provided by other public companies, which could impact the trading price of our shares.

 

Our organizational documents contain antitakeover provisions.

 

Several provisions of our articles of incorporation and our bylaws could make it difficult for our shareholders to change the composition of our board of directors in any one year, preventing them from changing the composition of management. In addition, the same provisions may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that shareholders may consider favorable. These provisions include:

 

·

authorizing our board of directors to issue "blank check" preferred shares without shareholder approval;

 

·

providing for a classified board of directors with staggered, threeyear terms;

 

·

authorizing the removal of directors only for cause;

 

·

limiting the persons who may call special meetings of shareholders;

 

·

establishing advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted on by shareholders at shareholder meetings; and

 

·

restricting business combinations with interested shareholders.

 

In addition, we have entered into a shareholders’ rights agreement that will make it more difficult for a third party to acquire significant stake in us without the support of our board of directors. See “—We have a shareholders’ rights agreement that could delay or prevent a change in control” below. These anti-takeover provisions could substantially impede the ability of our shareholders to benefit from a change in control and, as a result, may reduce the market price of our common shares and shareholders' ability to realize any potential change of control premium. 

 

 

45


 

We have a shareholders’ rights agreement that could delay or prevent a change in control.

 

On December 16, 2016, our Board of Directors adopted a shareholder rights agreement, or the Rights Agreement. The Rights Agreement may cause substantial dilution to a person or group that attempts to acquire control of our Company on terms that our Board of Directors does not believe are in our shareholders’ best interest. The Rights Agreement is intended to protect our shareholders in the event of an unfair or coercive offer to acquire control of the Company and to provide our Board of Directors with adequate time to evaluate unsolicited offers. The Rights Agreement may prevent or make takeovers or unsolicited corporate transactions with respect to our Company more difficult, even if shareholders consider such transactions favorable, possibly including transactions in which shareholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. For more information, please see the Rights Agreement dated December 16, 2016 filed as an exhibit to our current report on Form 8-K filed with the Commission on December 16, 2016.

 

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.  

 

None.

 

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES.  

 

LPG carriers are our principal physical properties and are more fully described in "Our Fleet" in "Item 1. Business." We do not own any real estate. We lease office space at 27 Signal Road, Stamford, Connecticut, 06902, USA; River House, 143-145 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3AB, UK; and 24 Poseidonos Avenue, 17674, Kallithea, Greece.

 

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.  

 

We have not been involved in any legal proceedings that we believe may have a material effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or liquidity, and we are not aware of any proceedings that are pending or threatened that may have a material effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or liquidity. From time to time we are and expect to be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of our business, such as personal injury and property casualty claims. These claims, even if lacking merit, could result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources.

 

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

 

Not applicable.

46


 

PART II

 

ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

 

Our common shares have traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, since May 9, 2014, under the symbol "LPG." As of June 9, 2017, we had 67 registered holders of our common shares, including Cede & Co., the nominee for the Depository Trust Company. This number excludes shareholders whose stock is held in nominee or street name by brokers.

 

The following tables set forth the high and low prices for our common shares as reported on the NYSE for the calendar periods listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYSE

 

 

    

High

    

Low

 

For the Quarter Ended 

 

(US$)

 

(US$)

 

June 30, 2015

 

16.80

 

12.85

 

September 30, 2015

 

17.59

 

9.95

 

December 31, 2015

 

13.80

 

10.43

 

March 31, 2016

 

12.35

 

8.67

 

June 30, 2016

 

10.83

 

6.90

 

September 30, 2016

 

7.74

 

5.07

 

December 31, 2016

 

9.85

 

5.63

 

March 31, 2017

 

12.50

 

8.35

 

 

Stock Repurchase Program

 

See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements included herein for a discussion of our stock repurchase program that expired on December 31, 2016.

 

Equity Compensation Plans

 

Information about the securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plan is incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be filed with the Commission within 120 days of March 31, 2017.

 

Dividends

We have not paid any dividends since our inception in July 2013. In general, under the terms of our credit facilities, we are not permitted to pay dividends if there is a default or a breach of a loan covenant. Further, under the Amendment to the 2015 Debt Facility, we are temporarily restricted from paying dividends and repurchasing shares of our common stock until the earlier of (i) when we complete a common stock offering with net proceeds of at least $50.0 million and (ii) May 31, 2019.

In the future, we will evaluate the potential level and timing of dividends as soon as profits and capital expenditure requirements allow. In addition, since we are a holding company with no material assets other than the shares of our subsidiaries through which we conduct our operations, our ability to pay dividends will depend on our subsidiaries' distributing to us their earnings and cash flows. The timing and amount of any dividend payments will always be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, earnings, potential future capital expenditure commitments, market prospects, current capital expenditure programs, investment opportunities, the provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to shareholders, and the terms and restrictions of our existing and future credit facilities. Marshall Islands law generally prohibits the payment of dividends other than from operating surplus or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent upon the payment of such dividend.

47


 

Taxation

 

Please see “Item 1. Business—Taxation” for a discussion of certain tax considerations related to holders of our common shares.

 

Stock Performance Graph

 

The performance graph below shows the cumulative total return to shareholders of our common stock relative to the cumulative total returns of the Russell 2000 Index and the Dorian Peer Group Index (defined below). The graph tracks the performance of a $100 investment in our common stock and in each of the indices (with the reinvestment of dividends) from May 7, 2014 (the date our common stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange) to March 31, 2017. The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

 

The Dorian Peer Group Index is a self-constructed peer group that consists of the following direct competitors on a line-of-business basis: BWLPG, NVGS and Avance. NVGS’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange, while the common stock of Avance and BWLPG trade on the Oslo Stock Exchange. For the purposes of the below comparison, the cumulative total returns for Avance and BWLPG were converted into U.S. dollars based on the relevant NOK to one USD exchange rate prevailing on the dates listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/7/14

 

9/30/14

 

3/31/15

 

9/30/15

 

3/31/16

 

9/30/16

 

3/31/17

Dorian LPG Ltd. ("LPG")

 

100.00

 

93.79

 

68.58

 

54.26

 

49.47

 

31.58

 

55.42

Russell 2000 Index ("RTY Index")

 

100.00

 

99.95

 

114.41

 

101.20

 

103.24

 

116.84

 

130.27

Peer Index

 

100.00

 

106.57

 

73.33

 

59.45

 

62.47

 

28.34

 

53.12

NOK to USD exchange conversion rate

 

5.9098

 

6.4261

 

8.0608

 

8.5155

 

8.2685

 

7.9846

 

8.5985

 

This performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Commission for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of the Company under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.

 

48


 

ITEM 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.  

 

The following table presents selected historical financial and other data of Dorian LPG Ltd. and its subsidiaries and the Predecessor Businesses of Dorian LPG Ltd. for the periods indicated. The selected historical financial data of Dorian LPG Ltd. as of March 31, 2017 and 2016, and for the years ended March 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015 has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, all included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this annual report. The selected historical financial data of Dorian LPG Ltd. and its subsidiaries as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, and for the period July 1, 2013 (inception) to March 31, 2014, and the selected historical financial data of the Predecessor as of March 31, 2013 and for the period April 1, 2013 to July 28, 2013 and for the year ended March 31, 2013, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and the Predecessor Businesses' audited combined financial statements not appearing in this Form 10-K. The following table should be read together with and are qualified in its entirety by reference to such financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles, or U.S. GAAP, and with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorian LPG Ltd.

 

 

Predecessor Businesses of
 Dorian LPG Ltd.

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period July 1, 2013

 

    

Period April 1,

    

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended

 

Year ended

 

Year ended

 

(inception) to

 

 

2013 to 

 

Year ended

 

(in U.S. dollars, except fleet data)

 

March 31, 2017

 

March 31, 2016

 

March 31, 2015

 

March 31, 2014

 

 

July 28, 2013

 

March 31, 2013

 

Statement of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

167,447,171

 

$

289,207,829

 

$

104,129,149

 

$

29,633,700

 

 

$

15,383,116

 

$

38,661,846

 

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voyage expenses

 

 

2,965,978

 

 

12,064,682

 

 

22,081,856

 

 

6,670,971

 

 

 

3,623,872

 

 

8,751,257

 

Voyage expenses—related party

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 

198,360

 

 

505,926

 

Vessel operating expenses

 

 

66,108,062

 

 

47,119,990

 

 

21,256,165

 

 

8,394,959

 

 

 

4,638,725

 

 

12,038,926

 

Management fees—related party

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

1,125,000

 

 

3,122,356

 

 

 

601,202

 

 

1,824,000

 

Impairment

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

1,431,818

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

65,057,487

 

 

42,591,942

 

 

14,093,744

 

 

6,620,372

 

 

 

3,955,309

 

 

12,024,829

 

General and administrative expenses

 

 

21,732,864

 

 

29,836,029

 

 

14,145,086

 

 

433,674

 

 

 

28,204

 

 

157,039

 

Loss on disposal of assets

 

 

 —

 

 

1,125,395

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Total expenses

 

 

155,864,391

 

 

132,738,038

 

 

74,133,669

 

 

25,242,332

 

 

 

13,045,672

 

 

35,301,977

 

Other income—related parties

 

 

2,410,542

 

 

1,945,396

 

 

93,929