UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

SCHEDULE TO

 

 

Tender Offer Statement Under Section 14(d)(1) or 13(e)(1)

of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

 

STEALTHGAS INC.

(Name of Subject Company (Issuer) and Name of Filing Person (Offeror))

Common Stock, par value of $0.01 per share

(Title of Class of Securities)

Y81669 10 6

(CUSIP Number of Class of Securities)

Harry N. Vafias

331 Kifissias Avenue, Erithrea 14561, Athens, Greece

Telephone: (011) (30) (210) 625 0001

(Name, address and telephone number of person authorized to receive notices

and communication on behalf of Filing Persons)

Copy to:

Finn Murphy, Esq.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

101 Park Avenue

New York, New York 10178

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

Transaction Valuation*   Amount of Filing Fee**
$10,000,000.00   $1,298.00

 

*

Estimated for purposes of calculating the amount of the filing fee only, this amount is based on the purchase of 4,761,904 shares of common stock at the tender offer price of $2.10 per share.

**

The Amount of Filing Fee, calculated in accordance with Rule 0-11(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, equals $129.80 for each $1,000,000.00 of the value of the transaction.

 

Check the box if any part of the filing fee is offset as provided by Rule 0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing with which the offsetting fee was previously paid. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.

 

Amount Previously Paid: N/A    Filing Party: N/A
Form or Registration No.: N/A    Date Filed: N/A

 

Check the box if the filing relates solely to preliminary communications made before the commencement of a tender offer.

Check the appropriate boxes below to designate any transaction to which the statement relates:

 

 

third party tender offer subject to Rule 14d-1.

 

issuer tender offer subject to Rule 13e-4.

 

private transaction subject to Rule 13e-3.

 

amendment to Schedule 13D under Rule 13d-2.

Check the folloing box if the filing is a final amendment reporting the results of the tender offer:  ☐

If applicable, check the appropriate box(es) below to designate the appropriate rule provision(s) relied upon:

 

 

Rule 13e-4(i) (Cross-Border Issuer Tender Offer)

 

Rule 14d-1(d) (Cross-Border Third-Party Tender Offer)

 

 

 


SCHEDULE TO

This Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO relates to the offer by StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (“StealthGas” or the “Company”), to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares of its common stock, par value of $0.01 per share (the “common stock”), at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit (a)(1)(A), and in the related Letter of Transmittal (the “Letter of Transmittal”), a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit (a)(1)(B). This Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO is intended to satisfy the reporting requirements of Rule 13e-4(c)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The information contained in the Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal is incorporated herein by reference in response to all of the items of this Schedule TO, and as more particularly described below.

Item 1. Summary Term Sheet.

The information set forth under “Summary Term Sheet” in the Offer to Purchase is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 2. Subject Company Information.

(a) The name of the issuer is StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation, and the address of its principal executive office is 331 Kifissias Avenue, Erithrea 14561, Athens, Greece. The telephone number of its principal executive office is +30-210-625-0001.

(b) The information set forth under “Introduction” in the Offer to Purchase is incorporated herein by reference.

(c) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 7 (“Price Range of the Shares”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 3. Identity and Background of Filing Person.

(a) The Company is the filing person. The Company’s address and telephone number are set forth in Item 2 above. The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 9 (“Information About StealthGas Inc.”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 4. Terms of the Transaction.

(a) The following sections of the Offer to Purchase contain a description of the material terms of the transaction and are incorporated herein by reference:

“Summary Term Sheet;”

“Introduction;”

Section 1 (“Terms of the Offer”);

Section 2 (“Purpose of the Offer; Certain Effects of the Offer; Other Plans”);

Section 3 (“Procedures for Tendering Shares”);

Section 4 (“Withdrawal Rights”);

Section 5 (“Purchase of Shares and Payment of Purchase Price”);

 

1


Section 6 (“Conditions of the Offer”);

Section 10 (“Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares”);

Section 13 (“Certain Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Offer to U.S. Holders”); and

Section 14 (“Extension of the Offer; Termination; Amendment”).

(b) The information in the “Introduction” to the Offer to Purchase and in Section 10 of the Offer to Purchase (“Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 5. Past Contacts, Transactions, Negotiations and Agreements.

(a) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 10 (“Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 6. Purposes of the Transaction and Plans or Proposals.

(a), (b) and (c) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 2 (“Purpose of the Offer; Certain Effects of the Offer; Other Plans”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 7. Source and Amount of Funds or Other Consideration.

(a) information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 8 (“Source and Amount of Funds”) is incorporated herein by reference.

(b) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 6 (“Conditions of the Offer”) is incorporated herein by reference.

(d) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 8 (“Source and Amount of Funds”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 8. Interest in Securities of the Subject Company.

(a) and (b) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 10 (“Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 9. Persons/Assets, Retained, Employed, Compensated or Used.

(a) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 15 (“Fees and Expenses”) is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 10. Financial Statements.

Not applicable.

 

2


Item 11. Additional Information.

(a) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase under Section 10 (“Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares”), Section 9 (“Information about StealthGas Inc.”), Section 11 (“Effects of the Offer on the Market for Shares; Registration under the Exchange Act”) and Section 12 (“Legal Matters; Regulatory Approvals”) is incorporated herein by reference. To the knowledge of the Company, no material legal proceedings relating to the tender offer are pending.

(c) The information set forth in the Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal, copies of which are filed as Exhibits (a)(1)(A) and (a)(1)(B) hereto, respectively, as each may be amended or supplemented from time to time, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 12. Exhibits.

 

(a)(1)(A)*    Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(B)*    Letter of Transmittal.
(a)(1)(C)*    Notice of Guaranteed Delivery.
(a)(1)(D)*    Letter to Brokers, Dealers, Commercial Banks, Trust Companies and Other Nominees dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(E)*    Letter to Clients for use by Brokers, Dealers, Commercial Banks, Trust Companies and Other Nominees dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(F)*    Press Release dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(2)    Not Applicable.
(a)(3)    Not Applicable.
(a)(4)    Not Applicable.
(a)(5)    Not Applicable.
(b)    Not Applicable.
(d)(1)    Amended and Restated Management Agreement between the Company and Stealth Maritime S.A., as amended (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006 filed with the SEC on June 5, 2007)
(d)(2)    Form of Right of First Refusal among the Company, Harry Vafias and Stealth Maritime S.A. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333-127905) filed with the SEC and hereby incorporated by reference to such Registration Statement.)
(g)    Not Applicable.
(h)    Not Applicable.

 

* Filed herewith.

Item 13. Information Required by Schedule 13E-3.

Not Applicable.

 

3


SIGNATURE

After due inquiry and to the best of my knowledge and belief, I certify that the information set forth in this statement is true, complete and correct.

Date: March 31, 2020

 

STEALTHGAS INC.
By:   /s/ Harry N. Vafias
Name:   Harry N. Vafias
Title:   President and Chief Executive Officer


EXHIBIT INDEX

 

(a)(1)(A)*    Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(B)*    Letter of Transmittal.
(a)(1)(C)*    Notice of Guaranteed Delivery.
(a)(1)(D)*    Letter to Brokers, Dealers, Commercial Banks, Trust Companies and Other Nominees dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(E)*    Letter to Clients for use by Brokers, Dealers, Commercial Banks, Trust Companies and Other Nominees dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(1)(F)*    Press Release dated March 31, 2020.
(a)(2)    Not Applicable.
(a)(3)    Not Applicable.
(a)(4)    Not Applicable.
(a)(5)    Not Applicable.
(b)    Not Applicable.
(d)(1)    Amended and Restated Management Agreement between the Company and Stealth Maritime S.A., as amended (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006 filed with the SEC on June 5, 2007)
(d)(2)    Form of Right of First Refusal among the Company, Harry Vafias and Stealth Maritime S.A. (Incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333-127905) filed with the SEC and hereby incorporated by reference to such Registration Statement.)
(g)    Not Applicable.
(h)    Not Applicable.

 

*

Filed herewith.

EX-99.(a)(1)(A)
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Exhibit (a)(1)(A)

 

LOGO

Offer to Purchase for Cash

by

STEALTHGAS INC.

of

Up to 4,761,904 Shares of its Common Stock

at a Purchase Price of $2.10

THE OFFER, PRORATION PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS WILL EXPIRE

AT 5:00 P.M., NEW YORK CITY TIME, ON APRIL 28, 2020

UNLESS THE OFFER IS EXTENDED.

StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company,” “we,” or “us”), is offering to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares of its common stock, par value of $0.01 per share (the “common stock”), at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, upon the terms and subject to the conditions described in this Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal (which together, as they may be amended and supplemented from time to time, constitute the “Offer”). Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to shares refer to the common stock of the Company.

The Offer is not conditioned upon the receipt of financing or any minimum number of shares being tendered. The Offer is, however, subject to certain other conditions. See Section 6.

The shares are listed and traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “GASS.” On March 30, 2020, the reported closing price of the shares on the Nasdaq was $1.90 per share. Shareholders are urged to obtain current market quotations for the shares. See Section 7.

Our Board of Directors has approved the Offer. However, neither the Company, nor its Board of Directors, the Depositary or the Information Agent is making any recommendation to you as to whether to tender or refrain from tendering your shares. You must make your own decision as to whether to tender your shares and, if so, how many shares to tender. In doing so, you should read carefully the information in this Offer to Purchase and in the related Letter of Transmittal, including our reasons for making the Offer. See Section 2.

Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to, do so. See Section 10.

If the Offer is oversubscribed, we will purchase shares on a pro rata basis from all shareholders who properly tender shares. See Section 1. Therefore, if you wish to maximize the chance that your shares will be purchased and wish to maximize the number of your shares accepted for payment, you should tender as many shares as you own and are willing to sell in the Offer.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of this transaction or passed upon the merits or fairness of such transaction or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of the information contained in this Offer to Purchase. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

If you have questions or need assistance, you should contact the Information Agent at its address and telephone number set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase. If you require additional copies of this Offer to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal, the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery or other related materials, you should contact the Information Agent.

Offer to Purchase, dated March 31, 2020


Table of Contents

IMPORTANT

If you desire to tender all or any portion of your shares, you must either:

(1) (a) if you hold certificates in your own name, complete and sign the Letter of Transmittal in accordance with the instructions to the Letter of Transmittal, have your signature on the Letter of Transmittal guaranteed if Instruction 1 to the Letter of Transmittal so requires, and mail or deliver the Letter of Transmittal, together with any other required documents, including the share certificates, to the Depositary (as defined herein), at one of its addresses shown on the Letter of Transmittal, or

(b) if you are an institution participating in The Depository Trust Company, tender the shares in accordance with the procedure for book-entry transfer set forth in Section 3; or

(2) if you have shares registered in the name of a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee, you must contact the nominee if you desire to tender those shares and request that your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee effect the transaction for you.

If you desire to tender shares and your certificates for those shares are not immediately available or the procedure for book-entry transfer cannot be completed on a timely basis, or time will not permit all required documents to reach the Depositary prior to the Expiration Time (as defined herein), your tender may be effected by following the procedure for guaranteed delivery set forth in Section 3.

To properly tender shares, you must validly complete the Letter of Transmittal, including the section relating to the price at which you are tendering shares.

Questions and requests for assistance may be directed to Okapi Partners LLC, the Information Agent for the Offer, at its address and telephone number set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase. Requests for additional copies of this Offer to Purchase, the related Letter of Transmittal or the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery may be directed to the Information Agent.

The Offer does not constitute an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell shares in any circumstance or jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful.

We have not authorized any person to make any recommendation on our behalf as to whether you should tender or refrain from tendering your shares. You should rely only on the information contained in this Offer to Purchase or to which we have referred you. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information or to make any representation in connection with the Offer other than those contained in this Offer to Purchase or in the related Letter of Transmittal. If anyone makes any recommendation or gives any information or representation, you must not rely upon that recommendation, information or representation as having been authorized by us, the Depositary or the Information Agent.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

          Page  

SUMMARY TERM SHEET

     ii  

CAUTIONARY NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     vii  

INTRODUCTION

     1  

THE OFFER

     2  

1.

   TERMS OF THE OFFER      2  

2.

   PURPOSE OF THE OFFER; CERTAIN EFFECTS OF THE OFFER; OTHER PLANS      3  

3.

   PROCEDURES FOR TENDERING SHARES      5  

4.

   WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS      8  

5.

   PURCHASE OF SHARES AND PAYMENT OF PURCHASE PRICE      9  

6.

   CONDITIONS OF THE OFFER      10  

7.

   PRICE RANGE OF THE SHARES      12  

8.

   SOURCE AND AMOUNT OF FUNDS      13  

9.

   INFORMATION ABOUT STEALTHGAS INC.      13  

10.

   INTEREST OF DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS; TRANSACTIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS CONCERNING THE SHARES      17  

11.

   EFFECTS OF THE OFFER ON THE MARKET FOR SHARES; REGISTRATION UNDER THE EXCHANGE ACT      20  

12.

   LEGAL MATTERS; REGULATORY APPROVALS      20  

13.

   CERTAIN MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE OFFER      21  

14.

   EXTENSION OF THE OFFER; TERMINATION; AMENDMENT      27  

15.

   FEES AND EXPENSES      28  

16.

   MISCELLANEOUS      28  


Table of Contents

SUMMARY TERM SHEET

We are providing this summary term sheet for your convenience. This summary term sheet highlights certain material information in this Offer to Purchase, but you should realize that it does not describe all of the details of the Offer to the same extent as described elsewhere in this Offer to Purchase. We urge you to read the entire Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal because they contain the full details of the Offer. We have included references in this summary to the sections of this Offer to Purchase where you will find a more complete discussion where helpful.

The Company is at times referred to as “we,” “our” or “us.” We refer to the shares of our common stock as the “shares.”

Who is offering to purchase my shares?

The issuer of the shares, StealthGas Inc. See Section 1.

What is the Company offering to purchase?

We are offering to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares of our common stock, par value of $0.01 per share (the “common stock”). See Section 1.

What will the purchase price for the shares be and what will be the form of payment?

We are offering to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares of the common stock, at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest.

If your shares are purchased in the Offer, we will pay you the purchase price in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, promptly after the Offer expires. See Sections 1 and 5. Under no circumstances will we pay interest on the purchase price, even if there is a delay in making payment.

What happens if fewer than 4,761,904 shares are tendered?

The Offer is not conditioned on any minimum number of shares being tendered. If fewer than 4,761,904 shares are properly tendered, subject to the conditions of the Offer, we will purchase all shares that are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn.

What happens if more than 4,761,904 shares are tendered?

If more than 4,761,904 shares are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn prior to the Expiration Time (as defined herein), we will purchase shares, subject to the terms of the Offer, from all shareholders who properly tender shares, on a pro rata basis from among all shares tendered. Because of the proration provision described above, we may not purchase all of the shares that you tender. See Section 1.

You may tender all or any portion of the shares you own, even if the number of shares you own exceeds the number of shares we may accept for purchase in the Offer. If more than 4,761,904 shares are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn prior to the Expiration Time, we will purchase shares, subject to the terms of the Offer, from all shareholders who properly tender shares, on a pro rata basis. Therefore, if you wish to maximize the number of your shares accepted for payment, you should tender as many shares as you own and are willing to sell.

How will the Company pay for the shares?

Assuming that the maximum of 4,761,904 shares are tendered in the Offer at the purchase price of $2.10 per share, the aggregate purchase price will be approximately $10 million. We anticipate that we will pay for the shares tendered in the Offer from funds available from cash and cash equivalents.

 

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How long do I have to tender my shares? Can the Offer be extended, amended or terminated?

You may tender your shares until the Offer expires. The Offer will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020 (the “Expiration Time”), unless we extend it. See Section 1. If a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee holds your shares, it is likely the nominee has established an earlier deadline for you to act to instruct the nominee to accept the Offer on your behalf. We urge you to contact the broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to find out the nominee’s deadline.

We may choose to extend the Offer at any time and for any reason, subject to applicable laws. See Section 14. We cannot assure you that we will extend the Offer or indicate the length of any extension that we may provide. If we extend the Offer, we will delay the acceptance of any shares that have been tendered. We can amend the Offer in our sole discretion at any time prior to the Expiration Time (as defined herein). We can also terminate the Offer prior to the Expiration Time if the conditions set forth in Section 6 are not met. See Sections 6 and 14.

How will I be notified if the Company extends the Offer or amends the terms of the Offer?

If we extend the Offer, we will issue a press release announcing the extension and the new Expiration Time by 9:00 a.m., New York City Time, on the next business day after the previously scheduled Expiration Time. We will announce any amendment to the Offer by making a public announcement of the amendment. See Section 14.

What is the purpose of the Offer?

On March 30, 2020, our Board of Directors approved a tender offer for 4,761,904 shares of our common stock, which we may accept for payment in the Offer, subject to certain limitations and legal requirements. Our Board of Directors has determined that the Offer is a prudent use of our available cash from operations and other financial resources and delivers value to our shareholders. Our Board of Directors has also determined that a cash tender offer is an appropriate mechanism to return capital to shareholders that seek liquidity under current market conditions while, at the same time, allowing shareholders who do not participate in the offer to share in a higher portion of our future potential.

The Offer provides shareholders (particularly those who, because of the size of their shareholdings, might not be able to sell their shares without potential disruption to the share price) with an opportunity to obtain liquidity with respect to all or a portion of their shares, without potential disruption to the share price and the usual transaction costs associated with market sales. In addition, if we complete the Offer, shareholders who do not participate in the Offer will automatically increase their relative percentage ownership interest in us and our future operations at no additional cost to them.

The Offer also provides our shareholders with an efficient way to sell their shares without incurring broker’s fees or commissions associated with open market sales.

What are the significant conditions to the Offer?

Our obligation to accept and pay for your tendered shares depends upon a number of conditions that must be satisfied or waived, including, but not limited to:

 

   

The closing price of our common stock on the Nasdaq shall not on any business day prior to (and including the date of) the Expiration Time be more than 10% below the closing price of our common stock on March 30, 2020.

 

   

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the New York Stock Exchange Composite Index, the Nasdaq Composite Index or the S&P 500 Composite Index shall not close on any business day prior to (and

 

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including the date of) the Expiration Time more than 10% below its respective close on March 30, 2020.

 

   

No legal action shall have been instituted, threatened, or been pending that challenges the Offer or seeks to impose limitations on our ability (or that of any affiliate of ours) to acquire or hold or to exercise full rights of ownership of the shares.

 

   

No commencement or escalation of war, armed hostilities or other similar national or international calamity, shall have occurred during the Offer.

 

   

No one shall have proposed, announced or made a tender or exchange offer (other than this Offer), merger, business combination or other similar transaction involving us or any of our subsidiaries.

 

   

No one (including certain groups) shall have acquired or proposed to acquire beneficial ownership of more than 5% of our shares, other than any person who was a holder of more than 5% of our shares as of the date of this Offer to Purchase.

 

   

No material adverse change in our business, condition (financial or otherwise), assets, income, operations, prospects or stock ownership shall have occurred.

 

   

We shall have determined that there is not a reasonable likelihood that the consummation of the Offer and the purchase of shares pursuant to the Offer will cause our common stock to be subject to delisting from the Nasdaq (this determination shall be made by us).

The Offer is subject to a number of other conditions described in greater detail in Section 6.

Following the Offer, will the Company continue as a public company?

Yes. The completion of the Offer in accordance with its terms and conditions will not cause the Company to be delisted from the Nasdaq or to stop being subject to the reporting requirements of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). It is a condition of our obligation to purchase shares pursuant to the Offer that we determine that there is not a reasonable likelihood that such purchase will cause the shares to be subject to delisting from the Nasdaq. See Section 6. Our common stock is registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act, and therefore we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. Our common stock will continue to be registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act following the completion of the Offer in accordance with its terms and conditions. See Section 11.

How do I tender my shares?

If you want to tender all or part of your shares, you must do one of the following before the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, or any later time and date to which the Offer may be extended:

 

   

If your shares are registered in the name of a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee, you must contact the nominee and request that the nominee tender your shares for you.

 

   

If you hold certificates in your own name, you must complete and sign a Letter of Transmittal according to its instructions, and deliver it, together with any required signature guarantees, the certificates for your shares and any other documents required by the Letter of Transmittal, to American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, the Depositary for the Offer.

 

   

If you are an institution participating in the book-entry transfer facility (as defined herein), you must tender your shares according to the procedure for book-entry transfer described in Section 3.

 

   

If you are unable to deliver the certificates for the shares or the other required documents to the Depositary or you cannot comply with the procedure for book-entry transfer within the required time, you must comply with the guaranteed delivery procedure outlined in Section 3.

 

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You may contact the Information Agent for assistance. The contact information for the Information Agent appears on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase. See Section 3 and the Instructions to the Letter of Transmittal.

Once I have tendered shares in the Offer, can I withdraw my tender?

Yes. You may withdraw any shares you have tendered at any time before the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless we extend the Offer, in which case you can withdraw your shares until the expiration of the Offer as extended. If we have not accepted for payment the shares you have tendered to us, you may also withdraw your shares at any time after the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020. See Section 4.

How do I withdraw shares I previously tendered?

To withdraw shares, your written notice of withdrawal with the required information must be received by the Depositary while you still have the right to withdraw the shares. Your notice of withdrawal must specify your name, the number of shares to be withdrawn and the name of the registered holder of these shares. Some additional requirements apply if the share certificates to be withdrawn have been delivered to the Depositary or if your shares have been tendered under the procedure for book-entry transfer set forth in Section 3. See Section 4. If you have tendered your shares by giving instructions to a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee, you must instruct the nominee to arrange for the withdrawal of your shares.

Has the Company or its Board of Directors adopted a position on the Offer?

Our Board of Directors has approved the Offer. Neither the Company nor its Board of Directors, the Depositary or the Information Agent is making any recommendation to you as to whether you should tender or refrain from tendering your shares. You must make your own decision as to whether to tender your shares and, if so, how many shares to tender. In so doing, you should read carefully the information in this Offer to Purchase and in the related Letter of Transmittal, including our reasons for making the Offer. See Section 2.

Do the directors or executive officers of the Company intend to tender their shares in the Offer?

Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to do so. The proportional holdings of any director or executive officer that does not participate in the Offer will increase following the consummation of the Offer. After termination of the Offer, our directors and executive officers may, in compliance with applicable law, sell their shares in open market transactions after the Offer at prices that may or may not be more favorable than the purchase price to be paid to our shareholders in the Offer. See Section 10.

If I decide not to tender, how will the Offer affect my shares?

Shareholders who choose not to tender their shares will own a greater percentage interest in our outstanding common stock following the consummation of the Offer. See Section 2.

What is the recent market price of my shares?

On March 30, 2020, the reported closing price of the shares listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market was $1.90 per share. You are urged to obtain current market quotations for the shares before deciding whether to tender your shares. See Section 7

 

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When will the Company pay for the shares I tender?

We will announce the results of proration and will pay the purchase price, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding tax and without interest, for the shares we purchase promptly after the expiration of the Offer. See Section 5.

Will I have to pay brokerage commissions if I tender my shares?

If you are the record owner of your shares and you tender your shares directly to the Depositary, you will not have to pay brokerage fees or similar expenses. If you own your shares through a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee and the nominee tenders your shares on your behalf, the nominee may charge you a fee for doing so. You should consult with your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to determine whether any charges will apply. See Section 3.

What are the U.S. federal income tax consequences if I tender my shares?

Generally, if you are a U.S. Holder (as defined in Section 13), you will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation when you receive cash from us in exchange for the shares you tender in the Offer. The receipt of cash for your tendered shares will generally be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes either as (1) a sale or exchange eligible for capital gain or loss treatment or (2) a distribution in respect of stock from the Company. See Section 13. If you are not a U.S. Holder, you will not be subject to U.S. income or withholding taxes on payments received pursuant to the Offer, unless such gross proceeds are effectively connected with the conduct by you of a trade or business within the United States. Along with your Letter of Transmittal, you are asked to submit the IRS Form W-9 or applicable version of IRS Form W-8 included with the Letter of Transmittal. Any tendering shareholder or other payee who fails to complete, sign and return to the Depositary the IRS Form W-9 included with the Letter of Transmittal (or such other IRS form as may be applicable) may be subject to United States backup withholding at a rate equal to 24% of the gross proceeds paid to the shareholder or other payee pursuant to the Offer, unless such shareholder establishes that such shareholder is within the class of persons that is exempt from backup withholding (including certain corporations and certain foreign individuals and entities). All shareholders should review the discussion in Sections 13 regarding tax issues and consult their tax advisor with respect to the tax effects of a tender of shares.

Does the Company intend to repurchase any shares other than pursuant to the Offer during or after the Offer?

On March 30, 2020, our Board of Directors approved the Offer. Rule 13e-4(f) under the Exchange Act prohibits us from purchasing any shares, other than in the Offer, until at least 10 business days after the Expiration Time. Accordingly, any repurchases outside of the Offer may not be consummated until at least 10 business days after the Offer expires. See Section 9.

To whom can I talk if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the Offer, please contact Okapi Partners LLC, the Information Agent for the Offer, at its address and telephone number set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase.

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Offer to Purchase, including any documents incorporated by reference or deemed to be incorporated by reference, contains “forward-looking statements,” which are statements relating to future events, future financial performance, strategies, expectations, and competitive environment. Words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates” and similar expressions, as well as statements in future tense, identify forward-looking statements.

You should not read forward-looking statements as a guarantee of future performance or results. They will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or at what time such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief at that time with respect to future events. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Report on Form 6-K filed on March 30, 2020, as well as the factors relating to the transactions discussed in this Offer to Purchase and the following: the strength of world economies and currencies, ongoing developments relating to the spread and containment of coronavirus (COVID-19), general market conditions, including changes in charter hire rates and vessel values, charter counterparty performance, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydockings, shipyard performance, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in our financing arrangements, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and the Nasdaq.

You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as to the date of this Offer to Purchase or the date of documents incorporated by reference. Except as may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to make any revision to the forward-looking statements contained in this Offer to Purchase, the accompanying Letter of Transmittal or in any document incorporated by reference into this Offer to Purchase or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this Offer to Purchase.

In addition, please refer to the documents incorporated by reference into this Offer to Purchase (see Section 9) for additional information on risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements or that may otherwise impact our Company and business. Any statement contained in a document incorporated herein by reference into this Offer to Purchase shall be deemed to be modified or superseded to the extent such statement is modified or superseded in this Offer to Purchase. Any statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this Offer to Purchase.

Notwithstanding anything in this Offer to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal or any document incorporated by reference into this Offer to Purchase, the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 do not apply to statements made in connection with a tender offer.

 

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INTRODUCTION

To the Holders of our Common Stock:

We invite our shareholders to tender shares of our common stock, par value of $0.01 per share (the “common stock”). Upon the terms and subject to the conditions of this Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal, we are offering to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, less applicable withholding taxes and without interest.

The Offer will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M. New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless extended.

Because of the proration provision described in this Offer to Purchase, we may not purchase all of the shares tendered if more than the number of shares we seek are properly tendered. We will return shares that we do not purchase because of proration to the tendering shareholders at our expense promptly following the Expiration Time. See Section 1.

Tendering shareholders whose shares are registered in their own names and who tender directly to American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC, the Depositary for the Offer, will not be obligated to pay brokerage fees or commissions or, except as set forth in Instruction 6 to the Letter of Transmittal, stock transfer taxes on the purchase of shares by us under the Offer. If you own your shares through a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee and the nominee tenders your shares on your behalf, the nominee may charge you a fee for doing so. You should consult your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to determine whether any charges will apply.

The Offer is not conditioned upon any minimum number of shares being tendered. Our obligation to accept, and pay for, shares validly tendered pursuant to the Offer is conditioned upon satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set forth in Section 6 of this Offer to Purchase.

Our Board of Directors has approved the Offer. However, neither the Company, nor its Board of Directors, the Depositary, or the Information Agent is making any recommendation whether you should tender or refrain from tendering your shares. You must decide whether to tender your shares and, if so, how many shares to tender. You should discuss whether to tender your shares with your broker or other financial or tax advisor. In so doing, you should read carefully the information in this Offer to Purchase and in the related Letter of Transmittal, including our reasons for making the Offer. See Section 2.

Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to, do so. The proportional holdings of any director or executive officer that does not participate in the Offer will increase following the consummation of the Offer. After termination of the Offer, our directors and executive officers may, in compliance with applicable law, sell their shares in open market transactions after the Offer at prices that may or may not be more favorable than the purchase price to be paid to our shareholders in the Offer. See Section 10.

As of March 30, 2020, there were 39,234,682 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding. The 4,761,904 shares that we are offering to purchase hereunder represent approximately 12.1% of the total number of issued shares of our common stock as of March 30, 2020. The shares are listed and traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “GASS.” On March 30, 2020, the closing price of the shares as quoted on the Nasdaq was $1.90 per share.

Shareholders are urged to obtain current market quotations for the shares before deciding whether to tender their shares. See Section 7.

 

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THE OFFER

1. Terms of the Offer

General. Upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, we will purchase up to 4,761,904 shares of our common stock, or if fewer than 4,761,904 shares are properly tendered, all shares that are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn in accordance with Section 4, at a purchase price of $2.10 per share (the “Purchase Price”), net to the sellers in cash for a total maximum Purchase Price of up to $10,000,000 as further described below under the heading “Purchase Price.”

The term “Expiration Time” means the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless we, in our sole discretion, shall have extended the period of time during which the Offer will remain open, in which event the term “Expiration Time” shall refer to the latest time and date at which the Offer, as so extended by us, shall expire. See Section 14 for a description of our right to extend, delay, terminate or amend the Offer.

In the event of an over-subscription of the Offer as described below, shares tendered will be subject to proration based on the number of shares tendered prior to the Expiration Time.

Except as described herein, withdrawal rights expire at the Expiration Time.

If we:

 

   

increase the price to be paid for shares above $2.10 per share or decrease the price to be paid for shares below $2.10 per share;

 

   

increase the number of shares being sought in the Offer to exceed a total of 4,761,904 shares; or

 

   

decrease the number of shares being sought in the Offer; and

 

   

the Offer is scheduled to expire at any time earlier than the expiration of a period ending at the end of the day, 12:00 Midnight, New York City Time, on the tenth business day (as defined below) from, and including, the date that notice of any such increase or decrease is first published, sent or given in the manner specified in Section 14, then the Offer will be extended until the expiration of such period of ten business days. For the purposes of the Offer, a “business day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or United States federal holiday and consists of the time period from 12:01 A.M. to approximately 12:00 Midnight, New York City Time.

Purchase Price

The Purchase Price is $2.10 per common share. The Purchase Price has been calculated based on a premium of approximately 10.5% to the closing price of the common stock on the Nasdaq as of March 30, 2020.

The Offer is not conditioned on any minimum number of shares being tendered. The Offer is, however, subject to certain other conditions. See Section 6.

All shares we acquire in the Offer will be acquired at the same purchase price. However, because of the proration provision described in this Offer to Purchase, we may not purchase all of the shares tendered if more than the number of shares we seek are properly tendered. We will return shares that we do not purchase because of proration to the tendering shareholders at our expense promptly after the Offer expires.

If the number of shares properly tendered and not properly withdrawn prior to the Expiration Time is less than or equal to 4,761,904 shares, we will, upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, purchase all shares so tendered.

 

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Upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, if more than 4,761,904 shares have been properly tendered and not properly withdrawn prior to the Expiration Time, we will purchase all properly tendered shares on a pro rata basis with appropriate adjustments to avoid purchases of fractional shares, as described below. Due to this proration provision, it is possible that all of the shares that a shareholder tenders in the Offer may not be purchased.

Proration. If proration of tendered shares is required, we will determine the proration factor promptly following the Expiration Time. Subject to adjustment to avoid the purchase of fractional shares, proration for each shareholder tendering shares will be based on the ratio of the number of shares properly tendered and not properly withdrawn by the shareholder to the total number of shares properly tendered and not properly withdrawn by all shareholders. We will announce the final proration factor and commence payment for any shares purchased pursuant to the Offer promptly after the Expiration Time. After the Expiration Time, shareholders may obtain preliminary proration information from the Information Agent and also may be able to obtain the information from their brokers.

As described in Section 13, the number of shares that we will purchase from a shareholder under the Offer may affect the U.S. federal income tax consequences to that shareholder and, therefore, may be relevant to a shareholder’s decision whether or not to tender shares and whether to condition any tender upon our purchase of a stated number of Shares held by such shareholder.

This Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal will be mailed to record holders of shares and will be furnished to brokers, dealers, commercial banks and trust companies whose names, or the names of whose nominees, appear on our shareholder list or, if applicable, who are listed as participants in a clearing agency’s security position listing for subsequent transmittal to beneficial owners of shares.

2. Purpose of the Offer; Certain Effects of the Offer; Other Plans

Purpose of the Offer. On March 30, 2020, our Board of Directors approved a tender offer for up to 4,761,904 shares of our common stock, representing an aggregate purchase price of approximately $10 million at the offer price of $2.10, which we may accept for payment in the Offer in accordance with the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or the “SEC”). Our Board of Directors has determined that the Offer is a prudent use of our available cash from operations and other financial resources and delivers value to our shareholders. Our Board of Directors has also determined that a cash tender offer is an appropriate mechanism to return capital to shareholders that seek liquidity under current market conditions while, at the same time, allowing shareholders to share in a higher portion of our future potential.

The Offer provides shareholders (particularly those who, because of the size of their shareholdings, might not be able to sell their shares without potential disruption to the share price) with an opportunity to obtain liquidity with respect to all or a portion of their shares, without potential disruption to the share price and the usual transaction costs associated with market sales. In addition, if we complete the Offer, shareholders who do not participate in the Offer will automatically increase their relative percentage ownership interest in us and our future operations at no additional cost to them.

The Offer also provides our shareholders with an efficient way to sell their shares without incurring broker’s fees or commissions associated with open market sales.

On May 23, 2019, we publicly announced that our Board of Directors had authorized the repurchase of up to $10,000,000 of shares of our common stock. As of March 30, 2020, 900,702 shares of common stock had been repurchased for an aggregate of $2,849,852.54, with the average purchase price of $3.16 per share. No further repurchases will be conducted prior to the expiration of 10 business days following the expiration of the Offer.

Whether or to what extent we choose to make additional purchases will depend upon, among other things, market conditions, our capital needs, our business and financial condition, and alternative investment

 

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opportunities available to us. These purchases may be made from time to time at the discretion of our management on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, and may be on the same terms or on terms and prices that are more or less favorable to shareholders than the terms of this Offer. From time to time our Board of Directors may authorize programs to repurchase securities of the Company. As of the date of this Offer to Purchase, the Company does not have any specific plans or proposals nor is it engaged in any negotiations regarding any other program to repurchase the Company’s securities.

Neither the Company nor its Board of Directors, the Depositary or the Information Agent is making any recommendation to any shareholder as to whether to tender or refrain from tendering any shares. We have not authorized any person to make any such recommendation. Shareholders should carefully evaluate all information in the Offer. Shareholders are also urged to consult with their tax advisors to determine the consequences to them of participating or not participating in the Offer, and should make their own decisions about whether to tender shares and, if so, how many shares to tender. In doing so, you should read carefully the information in this Offer to Purchase and in the related Letter of Transmittal.

Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to, do so.

If the Offer is oversubscribed, we will purchase shares on a pro rata basis from all shareholders who properly tender shares. See Section 1. Therefore, if you wish to maximize the chance that your shares will be purchased and wish to maximize the number of your shares accepted for payment, you should tender as many shares as you own and are willing to sell in the Offer.

Certain Effects of the Offer. Shareholders who do not tender their shares pursuant to the Offer and shareholders who otherwise retain an equity interest in the Company as a result of a partial tender of shares or proration will continue to be owners of the Company. As a result, those shareholders will realize a proportionate increase in their relative equity interest in the Company and, thus, in our future earnings and assets, if any, and will bear the attendant risks associated with owning our equity securities, including risks resulting from our purchase of shares. However, we may not be able to issue additional shares or equity interests in the future. Shareholders may be able to sell non-tendered shares in the future on the Nasdaq or otherwise, at a net price significantly higher or lower than the purchase price in the Offer. We can give no assurance, however, as to the price at which a shareholder may be able to sell his or her shares in the future.

Shares we acquire pursuant to the Offer will be cancelled and will be available for us to issue without further shareholder action (except as required by applicable law or the rules of the Nasdaq) for purposes including, without limitation, acquisitions, raising additional capital and the satisfaction of obligations under existing or future employee benefit or compensation programs or stock plans or compensation programs for directors.

The Offer will reduce our “public float” (the number of shares owned by non-affiliate shareholders and available for trading in the securities markets), and is likely to reduce the number of our shareholders. These reductions may result in lower or higher stock prices and/or reduced liquidity in the trading market for our common stock following completion of the Offer.

Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to, do so. The proportional holdings of any director or executive officer that does not participate in the Offer will increase following the consummation of the Offer. After termination of the Offer, our directors and executive officers may, in compliance with applicable law, sell their shares in open market transactions after the Offer at prices that may or may not be more favorable than the purchase price to be paid to our shareholders in the Offer. See Section 10.

 

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Except for the foregoing and as otherwise disclosed in this Offer to Purchase or the documents incorporated by reference herein, we currently have no plans, proposals or negotiations underway that relate to or would result in:

 

   

any extraordinary transaction, such as a merger, reorganization or liquidation, involving us or any of our subsidiaries;

 

   

any purchase, sale or transfer of an amount of our assets or any of our subsidiaries’ assets which is material to us and our subsidiaries, taken as a whole;

 

   

any change in our present board of directors or management or any plans or proposals to change the number or the term of directors (except that we may fill any existing vacancies on the board and vacancies arising on the board in the future);

 

   

any material change in our indebtedness or capitalization, our corporate structure or our business;

 

   

any class of our equity securities ceasing to be authorized to be listed on the Nasdaq;

 

   

the termination of registration under Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act of any class of our equity securities;

 

   

the suspension of our obligation to file reports under the Exchange Act; or

 

   

the acquisition or disposition by any person of our securities.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, as part of our long-term corporate goal of increasing shareholder value, we have regularly considered alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including open market repurchases of our shares, modifications of our dividend policy, strategic acquisitions and business combinations, and we intend to continue to consider alternatives to enhance shareholder value. Except as otherwise disclosed in this Offer to Purchase, as of the date hereof, no agreements, understandings or decisions have been reached and there can be no assurance that we will decide to undertake any such alternatives.

3. Procedures for Tendering Shares

Valid Tender. For a shareholder to make a valid tender of shares under the Offer:

(i) the Depositary must receive, at one of its addresses set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase and prior to the Expiration Time:

 

   

a Letter of Transmittal, properly completed and duly executed, together with any required signature guarantees, or, in the case of a book-entry transfer, an “agent’s message” (see “—Book-Entry Transfer” below), and any other required documents; and

 

   

either certificates representing the tendered shares or, in the case of tendered shares delivered in accordance with the procedures for book-entry transfer we describe below, a book-entry confirmation of that delivery (see “Book-Entry Transfer” below); or

(ii) the tendering shareholder must, before the Expiration Time, comply with the guaranteed delivery procedures we describe below.

If a broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee holds your shares, it is likely the nominee has established an earlier deadline for you to act to instruct the nominee to accept the Offer on your behalf. We urge you to contact your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to find out the nominee’s applicable deadline.

The valid tender of shares by you by one of the procedures described in this Section 3 will constitute a binding agreement between you and us on the terms of, and subject to the conditions to, the Offer.

 

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We urge shareholders who hold shares through brokers or banks to consult the brokers or banks to determine whether transaction costs are applicable if they tender shares through the brokers or banks and not directly to the Depositary.

Book-Entry Transfer. For purposes of the Offer, the Depositary will establish an account for the shares at The Depository Trust Company (the “book-entry transfer facility”) within two business days after the date of this Offer to Purchase. Any financial institution that is a participant in the book-entry transfer facility’s system may make book-entry delivery of shares by causing the book-entry transfer facility to transfer those shares into the Depositary’s account in accordance with the book-entry transfer facility’s procedures for that transfer. Although delivery of shares may be effected through book-entry transfer into the Depositary’s account at the book-entry transfer facility, the Letter of Transmittal, properly completed and duly executed, with any required signature guarantees, or an agent’s message, and any other required documents must, in any case, be transmitted to, and received by, the Depositary at one of its addresses set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase prior to the Expiration Time, or the tendering shareholder must comply with the guaranteed delivery procedures we describe below.

The confirmation of a book-entry transfer of shares into the Depositary’s account at the book-entry transfer facility as we describe above is referred to herein as a “book-entry confirmation.” Delivery of documents to the book-entry transfer facility in accordance with the book-entry transfer facility’s procedures will not constitute delivery to the Depositary.

The term “agent’s message” means a message transmitted by the book-entry transfer facility to, and received by, the Depositary and forming a part of a book-entry confirmation, stating that the book-entry transfer facility has received an express acknowledgment from the participant tendering shares through the book-entry transfer facility that the participant has received and agrees to be bound by the terms of the Letter of Transmittal and that we may enforce that agreement against that participant.

Method of Delivery. The method of delivery of shares, the Letter of Transmittal and all other required documents, including delivery through the book-entry transfer facility, is at the election and risk of the tendering shareholder. Shares will be deemed delivered only when actually received by the Depositary (including, in the case of a book-entry transfer, by book-entry confirmation). If you plan to make delivery by mail, we recommend that you deliver by registered mail with return receipt requested and obtain proper insurance. In all cases, sufficient time should be allowed to ensure timely delivery.

Signature Guarantees. No signature guarantee will be required on a Letter of Transmittal for shares tendered thereby if:

 

   

the “registered holder(s)” of those shares signs the Letter of Transmittal and has not completed either the box entitled “Special Delivery Instructions” or the box entitled “Special Payment Instructions” in the Letter of Transmittal; or

 

   

those shares are tendered for the account of an “eligible institution.”

For purposes hereof, a “registered holder” of tendered shares will include any participant in the book-entry transfer facility’s system whose name appears on a security position listing as the owner of those shares, and an “eligible institution” is a “financial institution,” which term includes most commercial banks, savings and loan associations and brokerage houses, that is a participant in any of the following: (i) the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program; (ii) the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Medallion Signature Program; or (iii) the Stock Exchange Medallion Program.

Except as we describe above, all signatures on any Letter of Transmittal for shares tendered thereby must be guaranteed by an eligible institution. See Instructions 1 and 6 to the Letter of Transmittal. If the certificates for shares are registered in the name of a person other than the signer of the Letter of Transmittal, or if payment is to

 

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be made or certificates for shares not tendered or not accepted for payment are to be returned to a person other than the registered holder of the certificates surrendered, then the tendered certificates must be endorsed or accompanied by appropriate stock powers, in either case signed exactly as the name or names of the registered holders or owners appear on the certificates, with the signatures on the certificates or stock powers guaranteed as aforesaid. See Instructions 1 and 6 to the Letter of Transmittal.

Guaranteed Delivery. If you wish to tender shares under the Offer and your certificates for shares are not immediately available or the procedures for book-entry transfer cannot be completed on a timely basis or time will not permit all required documents to reach the Depositary prior to the Expiration Time, your tender may be effected if all the following conditions are met:

 

   

your tender is made by or through an eligible institution;

 

   

a properly completed and duly executed Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, in the form we have provided, is received by the Depositary, as provided below, prior to the Expiration Time; and

 

   

the Depositary receives, at one of its addresses set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase and within the period of two business days after the date of execution of that Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, either: (i) the certificates representing the shares being tendered, in the proper form for transfer, together with (1) a Letter of Transmittal, which has been properly completed and duly executed and includes all signature guarantees required thereon and (2) all other required documents; or (ii) confirmation of book-entry transfer of the shares into the Depositary’s account at the book-entry transfer facility, together with (1) either a Letter of Transmittal, which has been properly completed and duly executed and includes all signature guarantees required thereon or an agent’s message, and (2) all other required documents.

A Notice of Guaranteed Delivery must be delivered to the Depositary by overnight courier, facsimile transmission or mail before the Expiration Time and must include a guarantee by an eligible institution in the form set forth in the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery.

Return of Unpurchased Shares. The Depositary will return certificates for unpurchased shares promptly after the expiration or termination of the Offer or the proper withdrawal of the shares, as applicable, or, in the case of shares tendered by book-entry transfer at the book-entry transfer facility, the Depositary will credit the shares to the appropriate account maintained by the tendering shareholder at the book-entry transfer facility, in each case without expense to the shareholder.

Tendering Shareholders’ Representation and Warranty; Our Acceptance Constitutes an Agreement. It is a violation of Rule 14e-4 promulgated under the Exchange Act for a person acting alone or in concert with others, directly or indirectly, to tender shares for such person’s own account unless at the time of tender and at the Expiration Time such person has a “net long position” in (a) the shares that is equal to or greater than the amount tendered and will deliver or cause to be delivered such shares for the purpose of tendering to us within the period specified in the Offer or (b) other securities immediately convertible into, exercisable for or exchangeable into shares (“Equivalent Securities”) that is equal to or greater than the amount tendered and, upon the acceptance of such tender, will acquire such shares by conversion, exchange or exercise of such Equivalent Securities to the extent required by the terms of the Offer and will deliver or cause to be delivered such shares so acquired for the purpose of tender to us within the period specified in the Offer. Rule 14e-4 also provides a similar restriction applicable to the tender or guarantee of a tender on behalf of another person. A tender of shares made pursuant to any method of delivery set forth herein will constitute the tendering shareholder’s acceptance of the terms and conditions of the Offer, as well as the tendering shareholder’s representation and warranty to us that (a) such shareholder has a “net long position” in shares or Equivalent Securities at least equal to the shares being tendered within the meaning of Rule 14e-4, and (b) such tender of shares complies with Rule 14e-4. Our acceptance for payment of shares tendered pursuant to the Offer will constitute a binding agreement between the tendering shareholder and us upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer.

 

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Determination of Validity; Rejection of Shares; Waiver of Defects; No Obligation to Give Notice of Defects. All questions as to the number of shares to be accepted, the price to be paid for shares to be accepted and the validity, form, eligibility (including time of receipt) and acceptance for payment of any tender of shares will be determined by us, in our sole discretion, and our determination will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such Offer participant’s disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction. We reserve the absolute right prior to the expiration of the Offer to reject any or all tenders we determine not to be in proper form or the acceptance for payment of or payment for which may, in the opinion of our counsel, be unlawful. We also reserve the absolute right to waive any conditions of the Offer with respect to all shareholders or any defect or irregularity in any tender with respect to any particular shares or any particular shareholder whether or not we waive similar defects or irregularities in the case of other shareholders. No tender of shares will be deemed to have been validly made until all defects or irregularities relating thereto have been cured or waived. None of us, the Depositary, the Information Agent or any other person will be under any duty to give notification of any defects or irregularities in tenders or incur any liability for failure to give any such notification. Our reasonable interpretation of the terms of and conditions to the Offer, including the Letter of Transmittal and the instructions thereto, will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such Offer participant’s disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction. By tendering shares to us, you agree to accept all decisions we make concerning these matters and waive any right you might otherwise have to challenge those decisions; provided, however, tendering shareholders may challenge our determinations in a court of competent jurisdiction and tendering shareholders shall not be deemed to have waived any right if such waiver would be impermissible under Section 29(a) of the Exchange Act.

Lost Certificates. If the share certificates which a registered holder wants to surrender have been lost, destroyed or stolen, the shareholder should promptly notify the Depositary at (800) 937-5449. The Depositary will instruct the shareholder as to the steps that must be taken in order to replace the certificates.

4. Withdrawal Rights

Except as this Section 4 otherwise provides, tenders of shares are irrevocable. You may withdraw shares that you have previously tendered under the Offer according to the procedures we describe below at any time prior to the Expiration Time, unless we extend the Offer, for all shares. You may also withdraw your previously tendered shares at any time after the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless such shares have been accepted for payment as provided in the Offer.

For a withdrawal to be effective, a written notice of withdrawal must:

 

   

be received in a timely manner by the Depositary at one of its addresses set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase; and

 

   

specify the name of the person having tendered the shares to be withdrawn, the number of shares to be withdrawn and the name of the registered holder of the shares to be withdrawn, if different from the name of the person who tendered the shares.

If certificates for shares have been delivered or otherwise identified to the Depositary, then, prior to the physical release of those certificates, the serial numbers shown on those certificates must be submitted to the Depositary and, unless an eligible institution has tendered those shares, an eligible institution must guarantee the signatures on the notice of withdrawal.

If a shareholder has used more than one Letter of Transmittal or has otherwise tendered shares in more than one group of shares, the shareholder may withdraw shares using either separate notices of withdrawal or a combined notice of withdrawal, so long as the information specified above is included.

If shares have been delivered in accordance with the procedures for book-entry transfer described in Section 3, any notice of withdrawal must also specify the name and number of the account at the book-entry

 

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transfer facility to be credited with the withdrawn shares and otherwise comply with the book-entry transfer facility’s procedures.

Withdrawals of tenders of shares may not be rescinded, and any shares properly withdrawn will thereafter be deemed not validly tendered for purposes of the Offer. Withdrawn shares may be retendered at any time prior to the Expiration Time by again following one of the procedures described in Section 3.

We will decide, in our sole discretion, all questions as to the form and validity, including time of receipt, of notices of withdrawal, and each such decision will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such other participants disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction. We also reserve the absolute right to waive any defect or irregularity in the withdrawal of shares by any shareholder, whether or not we waive similar defects or irregularities in the case of any other shareholder. None of us, the Depositary, the Information Agent or any other person will be under any duty to give notification of any defects or irregularities in any notice of withdrawal or incur any liability for failure to give any such notification.

If we extend the Offer, are delayed in our purchase of shares, or are unable to purchase shares under the Offer as a result of a failure of a condition disclosed in Section 6, then, without prejudice to our rights under the Offer, the Depositary may, subject to applicable law, retain tendered shares on our behalf, and such shares may not be withdrawn except to the extent tendering shareholders are entitled to withdrawal rights as described in this Section 4. Our reservation of the right to delay payment for shares which we have accepted for payment is limited by Rule 13e-4(f)(5) promulgated under the Exchange Act, which requires that we must pay the consideration offered or return the shares tendered promptly after termination or withdrawal of a tender offer.

5. Purchase of Shares and Payment of Purchase Price

For purposes of the Offer, we will be deemed to have accepted for payment (and therefore purchased), subject to the proration provisions of this Offer, shares that are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn only when, as and if we give oral or written notice to the Depositary of our acceptance of the shares for payment pursuant to the Offer.

Upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, we will accept for payment and pay the per-share purchase price for all of the shares accepted for payment pursuant to the Offer promptly after the Expiration Time. In all cases, payment for shares tendered and accepted for payment pursuant to the Offer will be made as promptly as practicable, subject to possible delay in the event of proration, but only after timely receipt by the Depositary of:

 

   

certificates for shares, or a timely book-entry confirmation of the deposit of shares into the Depositary’s account at the book-entry transfer facility,

 

   

a properly completed and duly executed Letter of Transmittal, or, in the case of a book-entry transfer, an agent’s message, and

 

   

any other required documents.

We will pay for shares purchased pursuant to the Offer by depositing the aggregate purchase price for the shares with the Depositary, which will act as agent for tendering shareholders for the purpose of receiving payment from us and transmitting payment to the tendering shareholders.

In the event of proration, we will determine the proration factor and pay for those tendered shares accepted for payment promptly after the Expiration Time. Certificates for all shares tendered and not purchased, including shares not purchased due to proration will be returned or, in the case of shares tendered by book-entry transfer, will be credited to the account maintained with the book-entry transfer facility by the participant who delivered the shares to the tendering shareholder at our expense promptly after the Expiration Time or termination of the Offer.

 

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Under no circumstances will we pay interest on the purchase price, including but not limited to, by reason of any delay in making payment. In addition, if certain events occur, we may not be obligated to purchase shares pursuant to the Offer. See Section 6.

We will pay all stock transfer taxes, if any, payable on the transfer to us of shares purchased pursuant to the Offer. If, however, payment of the purchase price is to be made to, or (in the circumstances permitted by the Offer) if unpurchased shares are to be registered in the name of, any person other than the registered holder, or if tendered certificates are registered in the name of any person other than the person signing the Letter of Transmittal, the amount of all stock transfer taxes, if any (whether imposed on the registered holder or the other person), payable on account of the transfer to the person will be deducted from the purchase price unless satisfactory evidence of the payment of the stock transfer taxes, or exemption from payment of the stock transfer taxes, is submitted. See Instruction 6 of the Letter of Transmittal.

6. Conditions of the Offer

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Offer, we will not be required to accept for payment, purchase or pay for any shares tendered, and may terminate or amend the Offer or may postpone the acceptance for payment of, or the purchase of and the payment for shares tendered, subject to Rule 13e-4(f)(5) under the Exchange Act (which requires that the issuer making the tender offer shall either pay the consideration offered or return tendered securities promptly after the termination or withdrawal of the tender offer), if prior to the Expiration Time any of the following events has occurred (or shall have been reasonably determined by us to have occurred) that, in our reasonable judgment and regardless of the circumstances giving rise to the event or events (other than any such event or events that are proximately caused by our action or failure to act), make it inadvisable to proceed with the Offer or with acceptance for payment:

 

   

any general suspension of trading in, or the imposition of any general trading curb or general minimum or maximum price limits on prices for, trading in securities on any U.S. national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter market;

 

   

the commencement of any war, armed hostilities or other international calamity, including any act of terrorism, on or after the date of this Offer to Purchase, in or involving the United States, or the material escalation of any such armed hostilities which had commenced before the date of this Offer to Purchase, in each case which is reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on the Company or on the Company’s ability to complete the Offer;

 

   

the closing price of our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market is, on any business day prior to (and including the date of) the Expiration Time, more than 10% below the closing price of our common stock on March 30, 2020;

 

   

the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the New York Stock Exchange Composite Index, the Nasdaq Composite Index or the S&P 500 Composite Index closes, on any business day prior to (including the date of) the Expiration Time more than 10% below its respective close on March 30, 2020;

 

   

in the case of any of the foregoing existing at the time of the commencement of the Offer, in our reasonable judgment, a material acceleration or worsening thereof;

 

   

any change (or condition, event or development involving a prospective change) has occurred in the business, properties, assets, liabilities, capitalization, shareholders’ equity, financial condition, operations, licenses, results of operations or prospects of us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates, taken as a whole, that, in our reasonable judgment, does or is reasonably likely to have a materially adverse effect on us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates, taken as a whole, or we have become aware of any fact that, in our reasonable judgment, does or is reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on the value of the shares;

 

   

legislation amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), has been passed by either the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate or becomes pending before the U.S. House of

 

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Representatives or the Senate or any committee thereof, the effect of which, in our reasonable judgment, would be to change the tax consequences of the transaction contemplated by the Offer in any manner that would adversely affect us or any of our affiliates;

 

   

there has been threatened in writing, instituted, or pending any action, proceeding, application or counterclaim by or before any court or governmental, administrative or regulatory agency or authority, domestic or foreign, or any other person or tribunal, domestic or foreign, which:

 

  o

challenges or seeks to challenge, restrain, prohibit or delay the making of the Offer, the acquisition by us of the shares in the Offer, or any other matter relating to the Offer, or seeks to obtain any material damages or otherwise relating to the transactions contemplated by the Offer;

 

  o

seeks to make the purchase of, or payment for, some or all of the shares pursuant to the Offer illegal or results in a delay in our ability to accept for payment or pay for some or all of the shares;

 

  o

otherwise could reasonably be expected to materially adversely affect the business, properties, assets, liabilities, capitalization, shareholders’ equity, financial condition, operations, licenses, results of operations or prospects of us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates, taken as a whole, or the value of the shares;

 

   

any action has been taken or any statute, rule, regulation, judgment, decree, injunction or order (preliminary, permanent or otherwise) has been proposed, sought, enacted, entered, promulgated, enforced or deemed to be applicable to the Offer or us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates by any court, government or governmental agency or other regulatory or administrative authority, domestic or foreign, which, in our reasonable judgment;

 

  o

indicates that any approval or other action of any such court, agency or authority may be required in connection with the Offer or the purchase of shares thereunder;

 

  o

could reasonably be expected to prohibit, restrict or delay consummation of the Offer; or

 

  o

otherwise could reasonably be expected to materially adversely affect the business, properties, assets, liabilities, capitalization, shareholders’ equity, financial condition, operations, licenses or results of operations of us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates, taken as a whole;

we learn that:

 

  o

any entity, “group” (as that term is used in Section 13(d) (3) of the Exchange Act) or person has acquired or proposes to acquire beneficial ownership of more than 5% of our outstanding shares, whether through the acquisition of stock, the formation of a group, the grant of any option or right, or otherwise (other than as and to the extent disclosed in a Schedule 13D or Schedule 13G filed with the SEC on or before March 30, 2020);

 

  o

any entity, group or person who has filed a Schedule 13D or Schedule 13G with the SEC on or before March 30, 2020, has acquired or proposes to acquire, whether through the acquisition of stock, the formation of a group, the grant of any option or right, or otherwise, beneficial ownership of an additional 1% or more of our outstanding shares;

 

  o

any approval, permit, authorization, favorable review or consent of any governmental entity required to be obtained in connection with the Offer has not been obtained on terms satisfactory to us in our reasonable discretion; or

 

   

we determine that the consummation of the Offer and the purchase of the shares is reasonably likely to cause the shares to be subject to delisting from the Nasdaq.

The conditions referred to above are for our sole benefit and may be asserted by us regardless of the circumstances giving rise to any of these conditions (other than conditions that are proximately caused by our action or failure to act), and may be waived by us, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time in our

 

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reasonable discretion prior to the Expiration Time. As of the date of the Offer to Purchase, we are not aware that any approval, permit, authorization, favorable review or consent of any governmental entity required to be obtained in connection with the Offer has not been obtained on terms satisfactory to us in our reasonable discretion, as well as that any of the conditions in this Section 6 exist or are reasonably likely to exist on or before the Expiration Time of the Offering. To the extent that we become aware that any of the conditions set forth above exist or are incapable of being satisfied, the Company will advise the shareholders of such condition in the form of an amendment to the tender offer and advise whether the Company elects to waive such condition and if necessary, extend the Expiration Time of the Offer.

Our failure at any time to exercise any of the foregoing rights will not be deemed a waiver of any right, and each such right will be deemed an ongoing right that may be asserted at any time and from time to time prior to the Expiration Time. Any determination by us concerning the events described above will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such Offer participant’s disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction.

7. Price Range of the Shares

The shares are traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “GASS.” The following table sets forth, for each of the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices per share as reported by the Nasdaq, based on published financial sources.

 

Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2020

 
     High      Low  

First Quarter (through March 30, 2020)

   $ 3.55      $ 1.51  

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019

 
     High      Low  

First Quarter

   $ 3.56      $ 2.76  

Second Quarter

     3.66        3.10  

Third Quarter

     4.18        3.02  

Fourth Quarter

     3.80        2.93  

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018

 
     High      Low  

First Quarter

   $ 4.70      $ 3.88  

Second Quarter

     4.25        3.74  

Third Quarter

     4.18        3.38  

Fourth Quarter

     3.69        2.73  

On March 30, 2020, the reported closing price of the shares listed on the Nasdaq was $1.90 per share. We urge shareholders to obtain a current market price for the shares before deciding whether to tender their shares.

Dividends

We have not paid a dividend since March 2009. In the first quarter of 2009, our Board of Directors determined to suspend the payment of cash dividends as a result of weak market conditions in the international shipping industry and to preserve the Company’s liquid cash resources. Our board of directors will evaluate our dividend policy consistent with our cash flows and liquidity requirements.

Declaration and payment of any dividend is subject to the discretion of our Board of Directors. The timing and amount of dividend payments will be dependent upon our earnings, financial condition, cash requirements

 

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and availability, restrictions in our loan agreements, or other financing arrangements, the provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to stockholders and other factors. Because we are a holding company with no material assets other than the stock of our subsidiaries, our ability to pay dividends will depend on the earnings and cash flow of our subsidiaries and their ability to pay dividends to us. Marshall Islands law generally prohibits the payment of dividends other than from surplus or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent upon the payment thereof.

Under the terms of our existing credit facilities, we are generally permitted to declare or pay cash dividends in any twelve month period as long as the amount of the dividends and share repurchases do not exceed 50% of our free cash flow (as defined in our credit agreements) and provided we are not in default under the other covenants contained in these credit facilities

8. Source and Amount of Funds

Assuming that 4,761,904 shares are purchased in the Offer at the purchase price of $2.10 per share, the aggregate purchase price will be approximately $10 million. We anticipate that we will pay for the shares tendered in the Offer, as well as paying related fees and expenses, from our cash and cash equivalents.

9. Information About StealthGas Inc.

StealthGas Inc. was incorporated in December 2004 in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Our registered address in the Marshall Islands is Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Marshall Islands MH96960. The name of our registered agent at such address is The Trust Company of the Marshall Islands, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at 331 Kifissias Avenue, Erithrea 14561 Athens, Greece. Our telephone number for calls originating from the United States is (011) (30) (210) 625-0001.

In October 2005, we completed an initial public offering of our common stock in the United States and our common stock began trading on the Nasdaq National Market and now trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “GASS.”

Operations

We own a fleet of LPG carriers providing international seaborne transportation services to LPG producers and users, as well as crude oil and product carriers chartered to oil producers, refiners and commodities traders. Our LPG carriers carry various petroleum gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene and vinyl chloride monomer, which are all byproducts of the production of crude oil and natural gas. The three medium range product carriers in our fleet are capable of carrying refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel, as well as edible oils and chemicals, while our Aframax tanker is used for carrying crude oil. We believe that we have established a reputation as a safe, cost-efficient operator of modern and well-maintained LPG carriers. We also believe that these attributes, together with our strategic focus on meeting our customers’ chartering needs, has contributed to our ability to attract leading charterers as our customers and to our success in obtaining charter renewals. We are managed by Stealth Maritime, a privately owned company controlled by other members of the Vafias family, of which our Chief Executive Officer is a member.

As of March 30, 2020, our fleet consisted of 45 LPG carriers, including eight JV vessels in five of which we own a 50.1% interest while in three of which we own a 51% interest pursuant to joint venture arrangements, with an average age of 9.2 years, two 2008-built product carriers, one 2009-built product carrier and one 2010-built Aframax crude oil tanker. We also have an agreement to acquire one 11,000 LPG carrier newbuilding with expected delivery in the first quarter of 2021.

We, through Stealth Maritime, manage the employment of our fleet. We deploy our LPG carriers and tankers on period charters, including time and bareboat charters that can last up to several years, and spot market

 

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charters (through voyage charters and short-term time charters), which generally last from one to six months, subject to market conditions. Time and bareboat charters are for a fixed period of time. A voyage charter is generally a contract to carry a specific cargo from a loading port to a discharging port for an agreed-upon total charge. Under voyage charters we pay for voyage expenses such as port, canal and fuel costs. Under a time charter the charterer pays for voyage expenses while under a bareboat charter the charterer pays for voyage expenses and operating expenses such as crewing, supplies, maintenance and repairs including special survey and dry-docking costs.

Vessels operating in the spot market generate revenues that are less predictable but may enable us to capture increased profit margins during periods of improvements in LPG charter rates, although we are then exposed to the risk of declining LPG carrier charter rates. Typically spot market charters can last from a few days up to two months. If we commit vessels to period charters, future spot market rates may be higher or lower than those rates at which we have period chartered our vessels.

In formulating our chartering strategy we evaluate past, present and future performance of the freight markets and balance the mix of our chartering arrangements in order to achieve optimal results for the fleet. While the majority of our fleet is operating in the Far East, we deploy vessels globally. Some of the areas where we usually operate are the Middle East, the Mediterranean, North West Europe, Africa and Latin America. According to industry reports, the United States is currently expected to continue to increase its exports of LPG products. In the event this creates more demand for vessels like ours, we would expect to deploy more vessels in the United States and the Caribbean. As freight rates usually vary between these areas as well as voyage and operating expenses, we evaluate such parameters when positioning our vessels for new employment.

Harry Vafias, our president, chief executive officer and one of our directors, is an officer, director and the sole shareholder of Flawless Management Inc., our largest stockholder. He is also the son of the principal and founder of Brave Maritime, an affiliate of Stealth Maritime, which is our management company. We have a management agreement with Stealth Maritime, pursuant to which Stealth Maritime provides us with technical, administrative, commercial and certain other services. Stealth Maritime subcontracts the technical management of a small number of our LPG carriers to Brave Maritime the fees for which technical management services are paid by Stealth Maritime out of the fees we pay to it.

Under the November 2006 agreement, which was amended effective January 1, 2007, as approved by our Board of Directors, including all of our independent directors, we pay Stealth Maritime a fixed management fee of $440 per vessel operating under a voyage or time charter per day on a monthly basis in advance, pro-rated for the calendar days we own the vessels. We pay a fixed fee of $125 per vessel per day for each of our vessels operating on bareboat charter. We are also obligated to pay Stealth Maritime a fee equal to 1.25% of the gross freight, demurrage and charter hire collected from the employment of our vessels. Stealth Maritime will also earn a fee equal to 1.0% of the contract price of any vessel bought or sold by them on our behalf. In addition, as long as Stealth Maritime (or an entity with respect to which Harry N. Vafias is an executive officer, director or the principal shareholder) is our fleet manager or Harry N. Vafias is an executive officer or director of the Company, Stealth Maritime has granted us a right of first refusal to acquire any LPG carrier which Stealth Maritime may acquire in the future. In addition, Stealth Maritime has agreed that it will not charter-in any LPG carrier without first offering the opportunity to charter-in such vessels to us. This right of first refusal does not prohibit Stealth Maritime from managing vessels owned by unaffiliated third parties in competition with us, nor does it cover product carriers or crude oil tankers. The initial term of our management agreement with Stealth Maritime expired in June 2010; however, unless six months’ notice of non-renewal is given by either party prior to the end of the then current term, this agreement automatically extends for additional 12 month periods. No such notice has been given, and accordingly, this agreement will extend to June 2021.

See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC on April 24, 2019.

 

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Directors and Senior Management

Set forth below are the names, ages and positions of our directors and executive officers. Our Board of Directors consists of four members and is elected annually on a staggered basis, and each director elected holds office for a three-year term and until his or her successor is elected and has qualified, except in the event of such director’s death, resignation, removal or the earlier termination of his or her term of office. Officers are appointed from time to time by our board of directors and hold office until a successor is appointed or their employment is terminated. Our current board composition is as follows:

 

Name

   Age     

Positions

   Year
Became
Director
  

Year
Director’s
Current Term
Expires

Harry N. Vafias

     42     

Chief Executive, President, Chief Financial Officer and Class III Director

   2004    2021

Michael G. Jolliffe

     70     

Chairman of the Board, Class II Director

   2004    2022

Markos Drakos

     60     

Class I Director

   2006    2020

John Kostoyannis

     54     

Class II Director

   2010    2022

The business address of each officer and director is the address of our principal executive offices, which are located at 331 Kifissias Avenue, Erithrea 14561, Athens, Greece.

Certain biographical information about each of these individuals is set forth below.

Harry N. Vafias has been our President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of our Board of Directors since our inception in December 2004 and our Chief Financial Officer since January 2014. Mr. Vafias has been actively involved in the tanker and gas shipping industry since 1999. Mr. Vafias worked at Seascope, a leading ship brokering firm specializing in sale and purchase of vessels and chartering of oil tankers. Mr. Vafias also worked at Braemar, a leading ship brokering firm, where he gained extensive experience in tanker and dry cargo chartering. Seascope and Braemar merged in 2001 to form Braemar Seascope Group plc, a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange and one of the world’s largest ship brokering and shipping service groups. From 2000 until 2004, he worked at Brave Maritime and Stealth Maritime, companies providing comprehensive ship management services, where Mr. Vafias headed the operations and chartering departments of Stealth Maritime and served as manager for the sale and purchase departments of both Brave Maritime and Stealth Maritime. Mr. Vafias graduated from City University Business School in the City of London in 1999 with a B.A. in Management Science and from Metropolitan University in 2000 with a Master’s degree in Shipping, Trade and Transport.

Michael G. Jolliffe has been Chairman of our Board of directors since 2004. He is a Director of a number of companies in shipping, agency representation, shipbroking and capital services. Mr. Jolliffe is Co-Founder of Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd, a crude oil and product carrier and LNG shipping company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He is CEO of Tsakos Containers Navigation Ltd. He is also Chairman of the Wighams Group of companies, owning companies involved in shipbroking, agency representation and capital market businesses. Mr. Jolliffe is a Director of ColdHarbour Marine, a company manufacturing equipment for the marine industry. Mr. Jolliffe is also a Trustee of The Honeypot children’s charity.

Markos Drakos has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2006 and Chairman of our Audit Committee. In 1988, Mr. Drakos co-founded Touche Ross & Co (Cyprus), later renamed Deloitte & Touche, Nicosia and served as co-managing partner of the company’s Nicosia office in Cyprus until 2002. Following the December 2002 reorganization of Deloitte & Touche, Nicosia, Mr. Drakos founded Markos Drakos Consultants Group, a consulting company, which served as successor to the consulting, special services and international business division of Deloitte & Touche, Nicosia. From 2000 until 2003, Mr. Drakos also served as Vice Chairman of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the leading telecommunications company in Cyprus. Mr. Drakos has also served as a member of the Offshore, Shipping & Foreign Investment Committee of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus. Mr. Drakos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus.

 

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John Kostoyannis joined our Board of Directors in 2010. Mr. Kostoyannis is a Managing Director at Allied Shipbroking Inc., a leading shipbroking house in Greece, providing Sale and Purchase and Chartering services in the shipping industry. Before joining Allied Shipbroking, from 1991 until September 2001, Mr. Kostoyannis worked in several prominent shipbroking houses in London and Piraeus. He is a member of the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association. Mr. Kostoyannis graduated from the City of London Polytechnic in 1988 where he studied Shipping and Economics.

Crewing and Employees

Stealth Maritime ensures that all seamen have the qualifications and licenses required to comply with international regulations and shipping conventions, and that our vessels employ experienced and competent personnel., Navis Maritime Services Inc. and Jebsens Maritime Inc. which is based in Manila, are responsible for providing the crewing of our LPG fleet, to the extent that these vessels were not deployed on bareboat charters. These responsibilities include training, compensation, transportation and additional insurance of the crew.

Where You Can Find More Information

We are subject to certain of the informational filing requirements of the Exchange Act. Since we are a “foreign private issuer,” we are exempt from the rules and regulations under the Exchange Act prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and “short-swing” profit recovery provisions contained in Section 16 of the Exchange Act, with respect to their purchase and sale of our shares. In addition, we are not required to file reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as U.S. companies whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act. However, we are required to file with the SEC an Annual Report on Form 20-F containing financial statements audited by an independent accounting firm. We also have filed, pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c)(2), an Issuer Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO as may be amended from time to time (the “Schedule TO”) with the SEC that includes additional information relating to the Offer. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports and other information that we file with or furnish electronically with the SEC, including the Schedule TO. You may also request a copy of the Schedule TO and related exhibits, at no cost, by writing or calling the Information Agent for the Offer at the telephone numbers set forth on the back cover of this Offer to Purchase.

We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information that differs from that contained in this Offer to Purchase. You should not assume that the information contained in this Offer to Purchase is accurate as of any date other than the date of this Offer to Purchase, and neither the mailing of this Offer to Purchase to our shareholders nor the decision to tender, or not to tender, common shares, shall create any implication to the contrary.

This Offer to Purchase does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities, or the solicitation of a proxy, in any jurisdiction to or from any person to whom it is not lawful to make any such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction.

 

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Incorporation by Reference

The rules of the SEC allow us to “incorporate by reference” information into this Offer to Purchase, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The Offer incorporates by reference the documents (or portions thereof) listed below, including the financial statements and the notes related thereto contained in those documents that have been previously filed with the SEC. These documents contain important information about us.

(a) Our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2018, filed with the SEC on April 24, 2019; and

(b) Our Report on Form 6-K filed with the SEC on March 30, 2020 (other than the information in Exhibit 99.1 under the heading “Board Chairman Michael Jolliffe Commented”).

Any statement contained in a document incorporated by reference into this Offer to Purchase shall be deemed to be modified or superseded to the extent such statement is modified or superseded in this Offer to Purchase. Any statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this Offer to Purchase.

You can obtain any of the documents incorporated by reference in this Offer to Purchase from us or from the SEC’s web site at the address described above. Documents incorporated by reference are available from us without charge, excluding any exhibits to those documents. You may request a copy of these filings at no cost, by writing or calling us at:

StealthGas Inc.

Attention: Harry N. Vafias

331 Kifissias Avenue, Erithrea 14561, Athens, Greece

Telephone: (011) (30) (210) 625 0001

Facsimile: (011) (30) (210) 625 0018

Please be sure to include your complete name and address in your request. If you request any incorporated documents, we will mail them to you by first class mail, or another equally prompt means, within one business day after we receive your request. You can find additional information by visiting our website at: http://www.stealthgas.com. Information contained on our website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, this Offer to Purchase.

10. Interest of Directors and Executive Officers; Transactions and Arrangements Concerning the Shares

As of March 30, 2020, there were 39,234,682 shares of common stock issued and outstanding. The 4,761,904 shares we are offering to purchase under the Offer represent approximately 12.1% of the total number of issued and outstanding shares as of March 30, 2020.

The following table sets forth information regarding ownership of our common stock of which we are aware as of March 30, 2020, for (i) beneficial owners of five percent or more of our common stock and (ii) our officers and directors, individually and as a group. All of our shareholders, including the shareholders listed in this table, are entitled to one vote for each share of common stock held.

 

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Our directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation to, do so. To the extent that one or more of the persons listed in the table below tender some or all of its shares in the Offer, their beneficial ownership reported below may change following the completion of the Offer.

 

     Shares of Common Stock
Beneficially Owned
 

Name of Beneficial Owner

   Number     Percentage  

Principal Stockholders

    

Flawless Management Inc.(1)

     7,105,453       18.1

Glendon Capital Management L.P.(2)

     6,498,794       16.6

MSDC Management, L.P.(3)

     3,708,819       9.4

Russell Investments Group, Ltd.(4)

     2,780,001       7.1

Redwood Capital Management, LLC(5)

     2,415,287       6.1

Renaissance Technologies LLC(6)

     2,225,130       5.7

Executive Officers and Directors

    

Harry N. Vafias(1)

     7,774,243       19.8

Michael G. Jolliffe

     32,430  

Markos Drakos

     18,214  

John Kostoyannis

     7,296  

All executive officers and directors as a group (four persons)

     7,832,183       20.0

 

*

Less than 1%.

(1) 

The shares beneficially owned by Harry N. Vafias consist of, according to Amendment No. 1 to Schedule 13D jointly filed with the SEC on March 27, 2020 by Flawless Management Inc. and Harry N. Vafias, 7,774,243 shares of common stock beneficially owned by Harry N. Vafias, of which 7,105,453 shares of common stock are owned by Flawless Management Inc. and Harry N. Vafias and 668,790 shares beneficially owned by Harry N. Vafias. Harry N. Vafias has sole voting power and sole dispositive power with respect to all such shares.

(2) 

Based on filings made by Glendon Capital Management L.P. with the SEC. According to these filings, these shares are directly owned by Glendon Opportunities Fund, L.P. (the “Fund”), Altair Global Credit Opportunities Fund LLC (the “Sub-Advised Fund”) and a separately managed account. According to these filings, (i) the Fund is beneficial owner of over 10% of the issuer’s securities on an individual basis, (ii) the Sub-Advised Fund and the separately managed account do not own 10% of the issuer’s securities on an individual basis and (iii) Glendon Capital Management LP is the investment manager to the Fund and the separately managed account and the investment sub-adviser to the Sub-Advised Fund, and may be deemed to beneficially own these securities under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

(3) 

According to Amendment No. 2 to a Schedule 13G jointly filed by and on behalf of each of MSDC Management, L.P. (“MSDC”) and MSD Credit Opportunity Master Fund, L.P. with the SEC on February 16, 2016, MSDC is the investment manager of, and may be deemed to beneficially own 3,708,819 shares of common stock beneficially owned by, MSD Credit Opportunity Master Fund, L.P. and has sole voting power and joint dispositive power with respect to all such shares.

(4) 

According to a Schedule 13G filed by Russell Investments Group, Ltd. on February 12, 2020.

(5) 

According to Amendment No. 2 to a Schedule 13G jointly filed by and on behalf of each Redwood Capital Management, LLC, Redwood Master Fund, Ltd. and Jonathan Kolatch, which may each be deemed to have shared voting power and joint dispositive power with respect to all such shares, on February 11, 2016.

(6) 

According to a Schedule 13G jointly filed by and on behalf of Renaissance Technologies LLC and Renaissance Technologies Holdings Corporation on February 12, 2020.

Assuming that we purchase an aggregate of 4,761,904 shares in this offering and that none of our directors or officers sell any shares in the Offer, the beneficial ownership of our directors and executive officers named in the table above will change to 22.7% of our total issued and outstanding shares from 20.0% of our total issued

 

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and outstanding shares as of March 30, 2020, the date prior to our commencement of the Offer, reflecting an aggregate increase in beneficial share ownership by all directors and officers of 2.7 percentage points.

Recent Securities Transactions

Based on our records and information provided to us, neither we nor any of our subsidiaries or any of the our or our subsidiaries’ executive officers or directors, have effected any transactions in our common stock during the 60 days before the date hereof, except as set forth below:

On May 23, 2019, we publicly announced that our Board of Directors had authorized the repurchase of up to $10,000,000 of shares of our common stock. As of March 30, 2020, 900,702 shares of common stock had been repurchased for an aggregate of $2,849,852.54, with the average purchase price of $3.16 per share. The following repurchases of our common stock have been effected by the Company under this share repurchase program in the past 60 days:

 

Purchaser

  

Date of
Purchase

  

Number of
Shares

    

Average
Price per
Share

    

Type of
Transaction

StealthGas Inc.

   1/31/2020      4,627        3.0330      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/21/2020      6,828        2.8996      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/24/2020      4,468        2.9062      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/25/2020      3,894        2.8847      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/26/2020      7,300        2.8594      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/27/2020      3,400        2.7871      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   2/28/2020      8,000        2.7549      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/2/2020      7,420        2.7570      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/3/2020      5,900        2.7018      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/4/2020      7,900        2.5972      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/5/2020      1,200        2.6017      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/6/2020      6,702        2.4011      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/9/2020      4,874        2.0720      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/10/2020      6,153        2.1582      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/11/2020      5,940        2.4206      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/12/2020      4,559        2.2509      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/13/2020      500        2.1620      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/16/2020      4,620        1.9543      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/17/2020      484        1.9100      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/18/2020      10,400        1.7281      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/19/2020      8,920        1.8407      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/20/2020      10,150        1.9158      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/23/2020      14,500        1.9842      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/24/2020      3,501        1.9424      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/25/2020      6,100        2.0366      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/26/2020      15,000        2.0199      Open Market

StealthGas Inc.

   3/27/2020      10,200        1.8829      Open Market

No further repurchases will be conducted under the share repurchase program prior to the expiration of 10 business days following the expiration of the Offer. Rule 14e-5 under the Exchange Act prohibits us and our affiliates from purchasing common stock outside of the Offer from the time that the Offer is first announced until the expiration of the Offer, subject to certain exceptions. In addition, Rule 13e-4 under the Exchange Act prohibits us and our affiliates from purchasing any common stock other than pursuant to the Offer until ten business days after the date of expiration of the Offer, subject to certain exceptions.

 

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Whether or to what extent we choose to make additional purchases will depend upon, among other things, market conditions, our capital needs, our business and financial condition, and alternative investment opportunities available to us. These purchases may be made from time to time at the discretion of our management on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, and may be on the same terms or on terms and prices that are more or less favorable to shareholders than the terms of this Offer. From time to time our Board of Directors may authorize programs to repurchase securities of the Company. As of the date of this Offer to Purchase, the Company does not have any specific plans or proposals nor is it engaged in any negotiations regarding any other program to repurchase the Company’s securities.

From March 25 to 27, 2020, 882,277 shares of common stock were transferred to Flawless Management Inc. without consideration from an entity affiliated with other members of the Vafias family, including Mr. Vafias’s mother.

General. Except as otherwise described herein, neither the Company nor, to the best of the Company’s knowledge, any of its affiliates, directors or executive officers, is a party to any agreement, arrangement or understanding with any other person relating, directly or indirectly, to the Offer or with respect to any securities of the Company, including, but not limited to, any agreement, arrangement or understanding concerning the transfer or the voting of the securities of the Company, joint ventures, loan or option arrangements, puts or calls, guarantees of loans, guarantees against loss, or the giving or withholding of proxies, consents or authorizations.

11. Effects of the Offer on the Market for Shares; Registration under the Exchange Act

The purchase by us of shares under the Offer will reduce the number of shares that might otherwise be traded publicly and is likely to reduce the number of shareholders. As a result, trading of a relatively small volume of the shares after consummation of the Offer may have a greater impact on trading prices than would be the case prior to consummation of the Offer.

We believe that there will be a sufficient number of shares outstanding and publicly traded following completion of the Offer to ensure a continued trading market for the shares. Based upon published guidelines of the Nasdaq, we do not believe that our purchase of shares under the Offer will cause the remaining outstanding shares to be delisted from the Nasdaq. The Offer is conditioned upon there not being any reasonable likelihood, in our reasonable judgment, that the consummation of the Offer and the purchase of shares will cause the shares to be subject to delisting from the Nasdaq. See Section 6.

The shares are registered under the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that we furnish certain information to our shareholders and the Commission and comply with the Commission’s proxy rules in connection with meetings of our shareholders.

12. Legal Matters; Regulatory Approvals

We are not aware of any license or regulatory permit that is material to our business that might be adversely affected by our acquisition of shares as contemplated by the Offer or of any approval or other action by any domestic, foreign or supranational government or governmental, administrative or regulatory authority or agency that would be required for the acquisition or ownership of shares by us as contemplated by the Offer that is material to the success of the Offer. Should any such approval or other action be required, we presently contemplate that we will seek that approval or other action if practicable within the time period contemplated by the Offer. We are unable to predict whether we will be required to delay the acceptance of or payment for shares tendered under the Offer pending the outcome of any such matter. There can be no assurance that any such approval or other action, if needed, would be obtained or would be obtained without substantial cost or conditions or that the failure to obtain the approval or other action might not result in adverse consequences to our business and financial condition. Our obligations under the Offer to accept for payment and pay for shares is subject to conditions. See Section 6.

 

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13. Certain Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Offer.

The following summary describes certain material U.S. federal income tax consequences relevant to the Offer for U.S. Holders and non-U.S. Holders (each as defined below). This discussion is based upon the Code, existing and proposed Treasury Regulations, administrative pronouncements and judicial decisions, changes to which could materially affect the tax consequences described herein and could be made on a retroactive basis.

This discussion deals only with shares held as capital assets and does not deal with all tax consequences that may be relevant to all categories of holders (such as financial institutions or “financial services entities”; broker- dealers; taxpayers who have elected mark-to-market accounting; tax-exempt entities; governments or agencies or instrumentalities thereof; insurance companies; regulated investment companies; real estate investment trusts; certain expatriates or former long-term residents of the United States; persons that actually or constructively own 10% or more of our voting shares; persons that hold our common stock as part of a straddle, constructive sale, hedging, conversion or other integrated transaction; persons required to recognize income no later than when such income is included on an “applicable financial statement”; or persons whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar.). This discussion does not address the application of the alternative minimum tax or the state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences of participating in the Offer. Holders of shares should consult their tax advisors as to the particular consequences to them of participation in the Offer.

As used herein, a “U.S. Holder” means a beneficial holder of shares that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes: (a) an individual citizen or resident of the United States, (b) a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia, (c) an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source, or (d) a trust if (i) a court within the United States can exercise primary supervision of the trust’s administration and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (ii) it has a valid election in effect under applicable regulations to be treated as a U.S. person.

If a partnership (including for this purpose any entity or arrangement, domestic or foreign, treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) beneficially owns shares, the tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Beneficial owners that are partnerships, and partners in such partnership, should consult their own tax advisors.

Holders of shares that are not U.S. Holders are referred to as “non-U.S. Holders.”

Material Considerations of U.S. Holders

Exchange of Shares Pursuant to the Offer. An exchange of shares for cash pursuant to the Offer will be a taxable transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A U.S. Holder that participates in the Offer will be treated, depending on such U.S. Holder’s particular circumstances, either as recognizing gain or loss from the disposition of the shares or as receiving a dividend distribution from us.

Under Section 302 of the Code, a U.S. Holder will recognize gain or loss on an exchange of shares for cash if the exchange (a) results in a “complete termination” of all such U.S. Holder’s equity interest in us, (b) results in a “substantially disproportionate” redemption with respect to such U.S. Holder, or (c) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the U.S. Holder (the “Section 302 tests”). In applying the Section 302 tests, a U.S. Holder must take into account shares that such U.S. Holder constructively owns under certain attribution rules, pursuant to which the U.S. Holder will be treated as owning shares owned by certain family members (except that in the case of a “complete termination” a U.S. Holder may waive, under certain circumstances, attribution from family members) and related entities and shares that the U.S. Holder has the right to acquire by exercise of an option. An exchange of shares for cash will be a substantially disproportionate redemption with respect to a U.S. Holder if the percentage of the then-outstanding shares owned by such U.S.

 

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Holder in us immediately after the exchange is less than 80% of the percentage of the shares owned by such U.S. Holder in us immediately before the exchange. If an exchange of shares for cash fails to satisfy the “substantially disproportionate” test, the U.S. Holder nonetheless may satisfy the “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” test. An exchange of shares for cash will satisfy the “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” test if it results in a “meaningful reduction” of the U.S. Holder’s equity interest in us. An exchange of shares for cash that results in any reduction of the proportionate equity interest in us of a U.S. Holder with a relative equity interest in us that is minimal and that does not exercise any control over or participate in the management of our corporate affairs should be treated as “not essentially equivalent to a dividend.” U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application of the rules of Section 302 in their particular circumstances.

If a U.S. Holder is treated as recognizing gain or loss from the disposition of the shares for cash, such gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the amount of cash received and such U.S. Holder’s tax basis in the shares exchanged therefor. Assuming we do not constitute a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for any taxable year, any such gain or loss will be capital gain or loss and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the holding period of the shares exceeds one year as of the date of the exchange. Long-term capital gains of non-corporate U.S. Holders are taxed at preferential rates. Capital losses are subject to limitations on their use.

If a U.S. Holder is not treated under the Section 302 tests as recognizing gain or loss on an exchange of shares for cash, the entire amount of cash received by such U.S. Holder pursuant to the exchange will be treated as a distribution. Subject to the PFIC rules discussed below, any distributions made by us with respect to common shares to a U.S. Holder will generally constitute dividends, which may be taxable as ordinary income or “qualified dividend income” as described in more detail below, to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined under U.S. federal income tax principles. Distributions in excess of our earnings and profits will be treated first as a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of the U.S. Holder’s tax basis in his common shares on a dollar-for-dollar basis and thereafter as capital gain. Because we are not a U.S. corporation, U.S. Holders that are corporations will generally not be entitled to claim a dividends-received deduction with respect to any distributions they receive from us.

Dividends paid on common shares to a U.S. Holder which is an individual, trust, or estate (a “U.S. Non-Corporate Holder”) will generally be treated as “qualified dividend income” that is taxable to such shareholders at preferential U.S. federal income tax rates provided that (1) the common shares are readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States (such as Nasdaq Global Select Market on which the common shares are currently listed); (2) we are not a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for the taxable year during which the dividend is paid or the immediately preceding taxable year (which we do not believe we are, have been or will be); (3) the U.S. Non-Corporate Holder has owned the common shares for more than 60 days in the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the date on which the common shares become ex-dividend; and (4) certain other conditions are met.

Any dividends paid by us which are not eligible for these preferential rates will be taxed as ordinary income to a U.S. 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 basis in a common share—paid by us. If we pay an “extraordinary dividend” on our common stock that is treated as “qualified dividend income,” then any loss derived by a U.S. Non-Corporate Holder from the sale or exchange of such common stock will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of such dividend.

Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules

Special United States federal income tax rules apply to a United States Holder that holds stock in a foreign corporation classified as a PFIC for United States federal income tax purposes. In general, we will be treated as a

 

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PFIC with respect to a United States Holder if, for any taxable year in which such holder held our common stock, 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 subsidiary corporations 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 will not constitute passive income. By contrast, rental income will generally constitute “passive income” unless we are treated under specific rules as deriving our rental income in the active conduct of a trade or business.

We may hold, directly or indirectly, interests in other entities that are PFICs (“Subsidiary PFICs”). If we are a PFIC, each United States Holder will be treated as owning its pro rata share by value of the stock of any such Subsidiary PFICs.

In connection with determining our PFIC status we treat and intend to continue to treat the gross income that we derive or are deemed to derive from our time chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income. We believe that our income from time chartering activities does not constitute “passive income” and that the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of that income do not constitute assets held for the production of passive income. We treat and intend to continue to treat, for purposes of the PFIC rules, the income that we derive from bareboat charters as passive income and the assets giving rise to such income as assets held for the production of passive income. We believe there is substantial authority supporting our position consisting of case law and IRS pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters and voyage charters as services income for other tax purposes. There is, however, no legal authority specifically under the PFIC rules regarding our current and proposed method of operation and it is possible that the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, may not accept our positions and that a court may uphold such challenge, in which case we and certain of our subsidiaries could be treated as PFICs. In this regard we note that a federal court decision, Tidewater Inc. and Subsidiaries v. United States, 565 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2009), held that income derived from certain time chartering activities should be treated as rental income rather than services income for purposes of the “foreign sales corporation” rules under the Code. The IRS has stated that it disagrees with and will not acquiesce to the Tidewater decision, and in its discussion stated that the time charters at issue in Tidewater would be treated as producing services income for PFIC purposes. However, the IRS’s statement with respect to the Tidewater decision was an administrative action that cannot be relied upon or otherwise cited as precedent by taxpayers. Consequently, in the absence of any binding legal authority specifically relating to the statutory provisions governing PFICs, there can be no assurance that the IRS or a court would agree with the Tidewater decision. In addition, in making the determination as to whether we are a PFIC, we intend to treat the deposits that we make on our newbuilding contracts and that are with respect to vessels we do not expect to bareboat charter as assets which are not held for the production of passive income for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC. We note that there is no direct authority on this point and it is possible that the IRS may disagree with our position. However, if the principles of the Tidewater decision were applicable to our time charters, or our new build deposits were treated as assets producing passive income, we would likely be treated as a PFIC. Moreover, although we intend to conduct our affairs in a manner to avoid being classified as a PFIC, we cannot assure you that the nature of our assets, income and operations will not change, or that we can avoid being treated as a PFIC for any taxable year.

We do not believe that we were a PFIC for 2019. This belief is based in part upon our beliefs regarding the value of the assets that we hold for the production of or in connection with the production of passive income relative to the value of our other assets. Should these beliefs turn out to be incorrect, then we and certain of our

 

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subsidiaries could be treated as PFICs for 2019. There can be no assurance that the IRS or a court will not determine values for our assets that would cause us to be treated as a PFIC for 2019 or a subsequent year. In addition, although we do not believe that we were a PFIC for 2019, we may choose to operate our business in the current or in future taxable years in a manner that could cause us to become a PFIC for those years. Because our status as a PFIC for any taxable year will not be determinable until after the end of the taxable year, and depends upon our assets, income and operations in that taxable year, there can be no assurance that we will not be considered a PFIC for 2019 or any future taxable year.

As discussed more fully below, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, 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 “mark-to-market” election with respect to our common stock, as discussed below. Regardless of whether a United States Holder makes a QEF election or a mark-to-market election, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year ending on or after December 31, 2019, the United States Holder generally would be required to file an IRS Form 8621 reporting his ownership of shares in a PFIC.

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 each year for United States federal income tax purposes his pro-rata share of our ordinary earnings and our net capital gain, if any, for our taxable year that ends with or within the taxable year of the Electing Holder, regardless of whether or not distributions were received from us by the Electing Holder. Generally, a QEF election should be made on or before the due date for filing the electing United States Holder’s U.S. federal income tax return for the first taxable year in which our common stock is held by such United States Holder and we are classified as a PFIC. The Electing Holder’s adjusted tax basis in the common stock will be increased to reflect taxed but undistributed earnings and profits. Distributions of earnings and profits that had been previously taxed will result in a corresponding reduction in the adjusted tax basis in the common stock and will not be taxed again once distributed. An Electing Holder would generally recognize capital gain or loss on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common stock. A United States Holder would make a QEF election with respect to any year that our company and any PFIC Subsidiary is a PFIC by filing one copy of IRS Form 8621 with his United States federal income tax return and a second copy in accordance with the instructions to such form. If we were aware that we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, we would provide each United States Holder with all necessary information in order to make the QEF election described above with respect to our common stock and the stock of any Subsidiary PFIC.

Taxation of United States Holders Making a “Mark-to-Market” Election

Alternatively, if we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year and, as we anticipate, our common stock is treated as “marketable stock,” a United States Holder would be allowed to make a “mark-to-market” election with respect to our common stock, 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 stock at the end of the taxable year over such holder’s adjusted tax basis in the common stock. 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 stock 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 mark-to-market election. A United States Holder’s tax basis in his common stock would be adjusted to reflect any such income or loss amount. Gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common stock would be treated as ordinary income, and any loss realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of the common stock would be treated as ordinary loss to the extent that such loss does not exceed the net mark-to-market gains previously included by the United States Holder. A mark-to-market election under the

 

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PFIC rules with respect to our common stock would not apply to a Subsidiary PFIC, and a United States Holder would not be able to make such a mark-to-market election in respect of its indirect ownership interest in that Subsidiary PFIC. Consequently, United States Holders of our common stock could be subject to the PFIC rules with respect to income of the Subsidiary PFIC, the value of which already had been taken into account indirectly via mark-to-market adjustments.

Taxation of United States Holders Not Making a Timely QEF or Mark-to-Market Election

If we were to be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, a United States Holder who does not make either a QEF election or a “mark-to-market” election for that year, whom we refer to as a “Non-Electing Holder,” would be subject to special rules with respect to (1) any excess distribution (i.e., the portion of any distributions received by the Non-Electing Holder on our common stock in a taxable year in excess of 125 percent of the average annual distributions received by the Non-Electing Holder in the three preceding taxable years, or, if shorter, the Non-Electing Holder’s holding period for the common stock), and (2) any gain realized on the sale, exchange or other disposition of our common stock. Under these special rules:

 

   

the excess distribution or gain would be allocated ratably over the Non-Electing Holder’s aggregate holding period for the common stock;

 

   

the amount allocated to the current taxable year or to any portion of the United States Holder’s holding period prior to the first taxable year for which we were a PFIC would be taxed as ordinary 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 deferral benefit would be imposed with respect to the resulting tax attributable to each such other taxable year.

These penalties would not apply to a pension or profit sharing trust or other tax-exempt organization that did not borrow funds or otherwise utilize leverage in connection with its acquisition of our common stock.

Other PFIC Elections.

If a United States Holder held our stock during a period when we were treated as a PFIC but the United States Holder did not have a QEF election in effect with respect to us, then in the event that we were not treated as a PFIC for a subsequent taxable year, the United States Holder could elect to cease to be subject to the rules described above with respect to those shares by making a “deemed sale” or, in certain circumstances, a “deemed dividend” election with respect to our stock. If the United States Holder makes a deemed sale election, the United States Holder will be treated, for purposes of applying the rules described above under the heading “Taxation of United States Holders Not Making a Timely QEF or Mark-to-Market Election,” as having disposed of our stock for its fair market value on the last day of the last taxable year for which we qualified as a PFIC (the “termination date”). The United States Holder would increase his, her or its basis in such common stock by the amount of the gain on the deemed sale described in the preceding sentence. Following a deemed sale election, the United States Holder would not be treated, for purposes of the PFIC rules, as having owned the common stock during a period prior to the termination date when we qualified as a PFIC.

If we were treated as a “controlled foreign corporation” for United States federal income tax purposes for the taxable year that included the termination date, then a United States Holder could make a “deemed dividend” election with respect to our common stock. If a deemed dividend election is made, the United States Holder is required to include in income as a dividend his, her or its pro rata share (based on all of our stock held by the United States Holder, directly or under applicable attribution rules, on the termination date) of our post-1986 earnings and profits as of the close of the taxable year that includes the termination date (taking only earnings and profits accumulated in taxable years in which we were a PFIC into account). The deemed dividend described in the preceding sentence is treated as an excess distribution for purposes of the rules described above under the

 

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heading “Taxation of United States Holders Not making a Timely QEF or Mark-to-Market Election.” The United States Holder would increase his, her or its basis in our stock by the amount of the deemed dividend. Following a deemed dividend election, the United States Holder would not be treated, for purposes of the PFIC rules, as having owned the stock during a period prior to the termination date when we qualified as a PFIC. For purposes of determining whether the deemed dividend election is available, we generally will be treated as a controlled foreign corporation for a taxable year when, at any time during that year, United States persons, each of whom owns, directly or under applicable attribution rules, shares having 10% or more of the total voting power of our stock, in the aggregate own, directly or under applicable attribution rules, shares representing more than 50% of the voting power or value of our stock.

A deemed sale or deemed dividend election must be made on the United States Holder’s original or amended return for the shareholder’s taxable year that includes the termination date and, if made on an amended return, such amended return must be filed not later than the date that is three years after the due date of the original return for such taxable year. Special rules apply where a person is treated, for purposes of the PFIC rules, as indirectly owning our common stock.

Material Considerations of Non-U.S. Holders.

Tendering Non-U.S. Holders of shares generally should not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless the proceeds from the Offer are effectively connected with the Non-U.S. Holder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States (and, if required by an applicable income tax treaty, are attributable to a permanent establishment or fixed base that such holder maintains in the United States).

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

In general, information reporting for U.S. federal income tax purposes should apply to distributions made on our common stock within the United States to a non-corporate U.S. Holder and to the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of our common stock to or through a U.S. office of a broker by a non-corporate U.S. Holder. Payments made (and sales and other dispositions effected at an office) outside the United States will be subject to information reporting in limited circumstances.

In addition, backup withholding of U.S. federal income tax, currently at a rate of 24%, generally should apply to distributions paid on our common stock to a non-corporate U.S. Holder and the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of our common stock by a non-corporate U.S. Holder, who:

 

   

fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number;

 

   

is notified by the IRS that backup withholding is required; or

 

   

fails in certain circumstances to comply with applicable certification requirements.

A Non-U.S. Holder generally may eliminate the requirement for information reporting and backup withholding by providing certification of its foreign status, under penalties of perjury, on a duly executed applicable IRS Form W-8 or by otherwise establishing an exemption.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Rather, the amount of any backup withholding generally should be allowed as a credit against a U.S. Holder’s or a Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability and may entitle such holder to a refund, provided that certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS.

Individuals who are U.S. Holders (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury regulations, certain individuals who are Non-U.S. Holders and certain U.S. 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

 

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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, the common shares, unless the shares held through an account maintained with a U.S. 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 U.S. Holder (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury regulations, an individual Non-U.S. Holder or a U.S. entity) that is required to file IRS Form 8938 does not file such form, the statute of limitations on the assessment and collection of U.S. 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. U.S. Holders (including U.S. entities) and Non-U.S. Holders are encouraged consult their own tax advisors regarding their reporting obligations under this legislation.

THE U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX DISCUSSION SET FORTH ABOVE MAY NOT BE APPLICABLE DEPENDING UPON A HOLDER’S PARTICULAR SITUATION. HOLDERS SHOULD CONSULT THEIR OWN TAX ADVISORS CONCERNING THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF THE OFFER UNDER APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LAWS.

14. Extension of the Offer; Termination; Amendment

We expressly reserve the right, in our sole discretion, at any time prior to the Expiration Time and from time to time, and regardless of whether or not any of the events set forth in Section 6 shall have occurred or shall be deemed by us to have occurred, to extend the period of time during which the Offer is open and thereby delay acceptance of, and payment for, any shares by giving oral or written notice of such extension to the Depositary and making a public announcement of such extension. We also expressly reserve the right, in our sole discretion, if any of the conditions set forth in Section 6 has occurred or is deemed by us to have occurred, to terminate the Offer and reject for payment and not pay for any shares not theretofore accepted for payment or paid for or, subject to applicable law, to postpone payment for shares by giving oral or written notice of such termination or postponement to the Depositary and making a public announcement of such termination or postponement. Our reservation of the right to delay payment for shares which we have accepted for payment is limited by Rule 13e-4(f)(5) promulgated under the Exchange Act, which requires that we must pay the consideration offered or return the shares tendered promptly after termination or withdrawal of a tender offer. Subject to compliance with applicable law, we further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, and regardless of whether any of the events set forth in Section 6 shall have occurred or shall be deemed by us to have occurred, to amend the Offer in any respect, including, without limitation, by decreasing or increasing the consideration offered in the Offer to holders of shares or by decreasing or increasing the number of shares being sought in the Offer. Amendments to the Offer may be made at any time and from time to time effected by public announcement, such announcement, in the case of an extension, to be issued no later than 9:00 a.m., New York City Time, on the next business day after the last previously scheduled or announced Expiration Time. Any public announcement made under the Offer will be disseminated promptly to shareholders in a manner reasonably designed to inform shareholders of such change. Without limiting the manner in which we may choose to make a public announcement, except as required by applicable law, we shall have no obligation to publish, advertise or otherwise communicate any such public announcement other than by making a release through the Company’s investor relations firm. In addition, we would file such press release as an exhibit to the Schedule TO.

If we materially change the terms of the Offer or the information concerning the Offer, we will extend the Offer to the extent required by Rules 13e-4(d)(2), 13e-4(e)(3) and 13e-4(f)(1) promulgated under the Exchange Act. These rules and certain related releases and interpretations of the Commission provide that the minimum period during which a tender offer must remain open following material changes in the terms of the Offer or information concerning the Offer (other than a change in price or a change in percentage of securities sought) will depend on the facts and circumstances, including the relative materiality of such terms or information; however, in no event will the Offer remain open for fewer than five business days following such a material change in the terms of, or information concerning, the Offer. If (1)(a) we increase or decrease the price to be paid for shares, (b) decrease the number of shares being sought in the Offer, or (c) increase the number of shares being

 

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sought in the Offer, and (2) the Offer is scheduled to expire at any time earlier than the expiration of a period ending on the tenth business day from, and including, the date that such notice of an increase or decrease is first published, sent or given to shareholders in the manner specified in this Section 14, the Offer will be extended until the expiration of such period of ten business days.

15. Fees and Expenses

We have retained Okapi Partners LLC to act as Information Agent and American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC to act as Depositary in connection with the Offer. The Information Agent may contact holders of shares by mail, facsimile and personal interviews and may request brokers, dealers and other nominee shareholders to forward materials relating to the Offer to beneficial owners. The Information Agent and the Depositary will each receive reasonable and customary compensation for their respective services, will be reimbursed by us for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses and will be indemnified against certain liabilities in connection with the Offer, including certain liabilities under the federal securities laws.

We will not pay any fees or commissions to brokers, dealers or other persons (other than fees to the Information Agent as described above) for soliciting tenders of shares pursuant to the Offer. Shareholders holding shares through brokers or banks are urged to consult the brokers or banks to determine whether transaction costs may apply if shareholders tender shares through the brokers or banks and not directly to the Depositary. We will, however, upon request, reimburse brokers, dealers and commercial banks for customary mailing and handling expenses incurred by them in forwarding the Offer and related materials to the beneficial owners of shares held by them as a nominee or in a fiduciary capacity. No broker, dealer, commercial bank or trust company has been authorized to act as our agent or the agent of the Information Agent or the Depositary for purposes of the Offer. We will pay or cause to be paid all stock transfer taxes, if any, on our purchase of shares, except as otherwise provided in Instruction 6 in the Letter of Transmittal.

16. Miscellaneous

Pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c)(2) under the Exchange Act, we have filed with the Commission an Issuer Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO, which contains additional information with respect to the Offer. The Schedule TO, including the exhibits and any amendments and supplements thereto, may be examined, and copies may be obtained, at the same places and in the same manner as is set forth in Section 9 with respect to information concerning us.

The Offer does not constitute an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell shares in any circumstance or jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. If we become aware of any jurisdiction where the making of the Offer or the acceptance of shares pursuant thereto is not in compliance with applicable law, we will make a good faith effort to comply with the applicable law where practicable.

You should only rely on the information contained in this Offer to Purchase or to which we have referred to you. We have not authorized any person to make any recommendation on behalf of us as to whether you should tender or refrain from tendering your shares. We have not authorized any person to give any information or to make any representation in connection with the Offer other than those contained in this Offer to the Purchase or in the related Letter of Transmittal. If given or made, any recommendation or any such information or representation must not be relied upon as having been authorized by us, the Depositary or the Information Agent.

March 31, 2020

 

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The Letter of Transmittal, certificates for shares and any other required documents should be sent or delivered by each shareholder of the Company or his or her broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to the Depositary as follows:

The Depositary for the Offer is:

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC

 

If delivering by hand, express mail, courier,

or other expedited service:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

  

    

By mail:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

Delivery of the letter of transmittal to an address other than as set forth above will not constitute a valid delivery to the Depositary.

Questions and requests for assistance or for additional copies of this Offer to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal and the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery may be directed to the Information Agent at the telephone number and location listed below. You may also contact your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee for assistance concerning the Offer.

The Information Agent for the Offer is:

 

LOGO

Okapi Partners LLC

1212 Avenue of the Americas, 24th Floor

New York, New York 10036

Banks and Brokerage Firms, Please Call: (212) 297-0720

Stockholders and All Others Call Toll-Free: (888) 785-6709

Email: info@okapipartners.com

EX-99.(a)(1)(B)

Exhibit (a)(1)(B)

To Tender Shares of Common Stock

Pursuant to the Offer to Purchase for Cash

Dated March 31, 2020 by

STEALTHGAS INC.

of Up to 4,761,904 Shares of its Common Stock

at a Purchase Price of $2.10 per share

The undersigned represents that I (we) have full authority to surrender without restriction the certificate(s) listed below. You are hereby authorized and instructed to deliver to the address indicated below (unless otherwise instructed in the boxes in the following page) a check representing a cash payment for shares of common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, of StealthGas Inc. (the “Company”) (collectively, the “shares”) tendered pursuant to this Letter of Transmittal, at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase, dated March 31, 2020 (as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Offer to Purchase” and, together with this Letter of Transmittal, as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Offer”).

THE OFFER, PRORATION PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS WILL EXPIRE

AT 5:00 P.M., NEW YORK CITY TIME, ON APRIL 28, 2020,

UNLESS THE OFFER IS EXTENDED.

Method of delivery of the certificate(s) is at the option and risk of the owner thereof. See Instruction 2.

Mail or deliver this Letter of Transmittal, together with the certificate(s) representing your shares, to:

 

LOGO

 

If delivering by hand, express mail, courier,

or other expedited service:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

  

By mail:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

Pursuant to the Offer to Purchase, the undersigned encloses herewith and surrenders the following certificate(s) representing Shares of StealthGas Inc.:

 

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES SURRENDERED  

Name(s) and Address(es) of Registered Owner(s)

(If blank, please fill in exactly as name(s) appear(s) on share certificate(s))

 

Shares Surrendered

(attached additional list if necessary)

 
  Certificated Shares**         
  Certificate
Number(s)*
    Total Number
of Shares
Represented by
Certificate(s)*
    Number
of Shares
Surrendered**
    Book Entry
Shares
Surrendered
 
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
    Total Shares                          
*

Need not be completed by book-entry stockholders.

**

Unless otherwise indicated, it will be assumed that all shares of common stock represented by certificates described above are being surrendered hereby.


PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ACCOMPANYING THIS LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING THIS LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THIS LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL OR ANY OF THE OTHER OFFERING DOCUMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTACT THE INFORMATION AGENT, OKAPI PARTNERS LLC, TOLL FREE AT (888) 785-6709. BANKERS AND BROKERS MAY CALL (212) 297-0720.

You have received this Letter of Transmittal in connection with the offer of StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company”), to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, of the Company (collectively, the “shares”), at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, as described in the Offer to Purchase, dated March 31, 2020 (as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Offer to Purchase” and, together with this Letter of Transmittal, as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Offer”).

You should use this Letter of Transmittal to deliver to American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (the “Depositary”) shares represented by stock certificates, or held in book-entry form on the books of the Company, for tender. If you are delivering your shares by book-entry transfer to an account maintained by the Depositary at The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), you must use an agent’s message (as defined in Instruction 2 below). In this Letter of Transmittal, stockholders who deliver certificates representing their Shares are referred to as “Certificate Stockholders,” and stockholders who deliver their Shares through book-entry transfer are referred to as “Book-Entry Stockholders.”

If certificates for your Shares are not immediately available or you cannot deliver your certificates and all other required documents to the Depositary prior to the Expiration Date or you cannot complete the book-entry transfer procedures prior to the Expiration Date, you may nevertheless tender your Shares according to the guaranteed delivery procedures set forth in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. See Instruction 2 below. Delivery of documents to DTC will not constitute delivery to the Depositary.

 

  CHECK HERE IF TENDERED SHARES ARE BEING DELIVERED BY BOOK-ENTRY TRANSFER TO THE ACCOUNT MAINTAINED BY THE DEPOSITARY WITH DTC AND COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING (ONLY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE PARTICIPANTS IN DTC MAY DELIVER SHARES BY BOOK-ENTRY TRANSFER):
  Name of Tendering Institution:    
  DTC Participant Number:    
  Transaction Code Number:    
  CHECK HERE IF TENDERED SHARES ARE BEING DELIVERED PURSUANT TO A NOTICE OF GUARANTEED DELIVERY PREVIOUSLY SENT TO THE DEPOSITARY AND COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING (PLEASE ENCLOSE A PHOTOCOPY OF SUCH NOTICE OF GUARANTEED DELIVERY):
  Name(s) of Registered Owner(s):    
  Window Ticket Number (if any) or DTC Participant Number:     
  Date of Execution of Notice of Guaranteed Delivery:     
  Name of Institution which Guaranteed Delivery:     

 

2


NOTE: SIGNATURES MUST BE PROVIDED BELOW.

PLEASE READ THE ACCOMPANYING INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

 

3


Ladies and Gentlemen:

The undersigned hereby tenders to StealthGas Inc. (the “Company”) the above-described shares of common stock, par value of $0.01 per share (the “shares”), of the Company, at the price per share indicated in this Letter of Transmittal, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Company’s Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”), and this Letter of Transmittal (which, together with any amendments or supplements thereto or hereto, collectively constitute the “Offer”), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

Subject to and effective on acceptance for payment of, and payment for, the shares tendered with this Letter of Transmittal in accordance with the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, the undersigned hereby sells, assigns and transfers to, or upon the order of, the Company, all right, title and interest in and to all the shares that are being tendered hereby and irrevocably constitutes and appoints American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC (the “Depositary”), the true and lawful agent and attorney-in-fact of the undersigned, with full power of substitution (such power of attorney being deemed to be an irrevocable power coupled with an interest), to the full extent of the undersigned’s rights with respect to such shares, to (a) deliver certificates for such shares or transfer ownership of such shares on the account books maintained by the book-entry transfer facility, together, in any such case, with all accompanying evidences of transfer and authenticity to, or upon the order of the Company, (b) present such shares for cancellation and transfer on the Company’s books and (c) receive all benefits and otherwise exercise all rights of beneficial ownership of such shares, all in accordance with the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer.

The undersigned hereby represents and warrants that the undersigned has full power and authority to tender, sell, assign and transfer the shares tendered hereby and that, when the same are accepted for purchase by the Company, the Company will acquire good title thereto, free and clear of all security interests, liens, restrictions, claims and encumbrances, and the same will not be subject to any adverse claim or right. The undersigned will, on request by the Depositary or the Company, execute and deliver any additional documents deemed by the Depositary or the Company to be necessary or desirable to complete the sale, assignment and transfer of the shares tendered hereby, all in accordance with the terms of the Offer.

All authority conferred or agreed to be conferred pursuant to this Letter of Transmittal shall be binding on the successors, assigns, heirs, personal representatives, executors, administrators and other legal representatives of the undersigned and shall not be affected by, and shall survive, the death or incapacity of the undersigned. Except as stated in the Offer to Purchase, this tender is irrevocable.

The undersigned understands that the valid tender of shares pursuant to any of the procedures described in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase and in the instructions to this Letter of Transmittal will constitute a binding agreement between the undersigned and the Company on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer.

It is a violation of Rule 14e-4 promulgated under the Exchange Act (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) for a person acting alone or in concert with others, directly or indirectly, to tender shares for such person’s own account unless at the time of tender and at the Expiration Time such person has a “net long position” in (a) the shares that is equal to or greater than the amount tendered and will deliver or cause to be delivered such shares for the purpose of tender to the Company within the period specified in the Offer, or (b) other securities immediately convertible into, exercisable for or exchangeable into shares (“Equivalent Securities”) that is equal to or greater than the amount tendered and, upon the acceptance of such tender, will acquire such shares by conversion, exchange or exercise of such Equivalent Securities to the extent required by the terms of the Offer and will deliver or cause to be delivered such shares so acquired for the purpose of tender to the Company within the period specified in the Offer. Rule 14e-4 also provides a similar restriction applicable to the tender or guarantee of a tender on behalf of another person. A tender of shares made pursuant to any method of delivery set forth in this Letter of Transmittal will constitute the undersigned’s representation and warranty to the Company

 

4


that (a) the undersigned has a “net long position” in shares or Equivalent Securities at least equal to the shares being tendered within the meaning of Rule 14e-4, and (b) such tender of shares complies with Rule 14e-4.

The undersigned understands that all shares properly tendered and not properly withdrawn will be purchased at the purchase price, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, including its proration provisions, and that the Company will return at its expense all other shares, including shares not purchased because of proration, promptly following the Expiration Time.

In participating in the Offer to purchase for cash, the undersigned acknowledges that: (1) the Offer is established voluntarily by the Company, it is discretionary in nature and it may be extended, modified, suspended or terminated by the Company as provided in the Offer; (2) the undersigned is voluntarily participating in the Offer; (3) the future value of the Company’s common stock is unknown and cannot be predicted with certainty; (4) any foreign exchange obligations triggered by the undersigned’s tender of shares or the recipient of proceeds are solely his or her responsibility; and (5) regardless of any action that the Company takes with respect to any or all income/capital gains tax, social security or insurance, transfer tax or other tax-related items (“Tax Items”) related to the Offer and the disposition of shares, the undersigned acknowledges that the ultimate liability for all Tax Items is and remains his or her sole responsibility. In that regard, the undersigned authorizes the Company to withhold all applicable Tax Items legally payable by the undersigned.

The undersigned consents to the collection, use and transfer, in electronic or other form, of the undersigned’s personal data as described in this document by and among, as applicable, the Company, its subsidiaries, and third party administrators for the exclusive purpose of implementing, administering and managing his or her participation in the Offer.

The undersigned understands that the Company holds certain personal information about him or her, including, as applicable, but not limited to, the undersigned’s name, home address and telephone number, date of birth, social security or insurance number or other identification number, nationality, any shares of stock held in the Company, details of all options or any other entitlement to shares outstanding in the undersigned’s favor, for the purpose of implementing, administering and managing his or her stock ownership (“Data”). The undersigned understands that Data may be transferred to any third parties assisting in the implementation, administration and management of the Offer, that these recipients may be located in his or her country or elsewhere, and that the recipient’s country may have different data privacy laws and protections than his or her country. The undersigned understands that he or she may request a list with the names and addresses of any potential recipients of the Data by contacting the Company. The undersigned authorizes the recipients to receive, possess, use, retain and transfer the Data, in electronic or other form, for the purposes of implementing, administering and managing his or her participation in the Offer, including any requisite transfer of such Data as may be required to a broker or other third party with whom held any shares of stock. The undersigned understands that Data will be held only as long as is necessary to implement, administer and manage his or her participation in the Offer. The undersigned understands that he or she may, at any time, view Data, request additional information about the storage and processing of Data, require any necessary amendments to Data or refuse or withdraw the consents herein, in any case without cost, by contacting in writing the Company. The undersigned understands, however, that refusing or withdrawing his or her consent may affect his or her ability to participate in the Offer. For more information on the consequences of his or her refusal to consent or withdrawal of consent, the undersigned understands that he or she may contact the Company.

Unless otherwise indicated herein under “Special Payment Instructions,” please issue the check for payment of the purchase price and/or return any certificates for shares not tendered or accepted for payment in the name(s) of the registered holder(s) appearing under “Description of Shares Tendered.” Similarly, unless otherwise indicated under “Special Delivery Instructions,” please mail the check for payment of the purchase price and/or return any certificate for shares not tendered or accepted for payment (and accompanying documents, as appropriate) to the address(es) of the registered holder(s) appearing under “Description of Shares Tendered.” In

 

5


the event that both the “Special Delivery Instructions” and the “Special Payment Instructions” are completed, please issue the check for payment of the purchase price and/or return any certificates for shares not tendered or accepted for payment (and any accompanying documents, as appropriate) in the name(s) of, and deliver such check and/or return such certificates (and any accompanying documents, as appropriate) to, the person or persons so indicated. Please credit any shares tendered herewith by book-entry transfer that are not accepted for payment by crediting the account at the book-entry transfer facility designated above. The undersigned recognizes that the Company has no obligation pursuant to the “Special Payment Instructions” to transfer any shares from the name of the registered holder(s) thereof if the Company does not accept for payment any of the shares so tendered.

NOTE: SIGNATURE MUST BE PROVIDED BELOW.

SPECIAL PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS

(See Instructions 1, 6, 7 and 8)

To be completed ONLY if certificates for shares not tendered or not accepted for payment and/or the check for payment of the purchase price of shares accepted for payment are to be issued in the name of someone other than the undersigned, or if shares tendered hereby and delivered by book-entry transfer which are not purchased are to be returned by crediting them to an account at the book-entry transfer facility other than the account designated above.

 

Issue:    ☐  Check                             ☐  Certificate(s) to:
Name     
   (Please Print)
Address     
   (Include Zip Code)
    
  

(Taxpayer Identification or Social Security Number)

(See IRS Form W-9 Included Herewith or attach applicable IRS Form W-8)

SPECIAL DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS

(See Instructions 1, 6, 7 and 8)

To be completed ONLY if certificates for shares not tendered or not accepted for payment and/or the check for payment of the purchase price of shares accepted for payment are to be sent to someone other than the undersigned or to the undersigned at an address other than that above.

 

Issue:    ☐  Check                             ☐  Certificate(s) to:
Name     
   (Please Print)
Address     
   (Include Zip Code)
    

 

6


IMPORTANT

SIGN HERE:

(Also Complete IRS Form W-9 Attached Hereto or Applicable IRS Form W-8)

(Signature(s) of Shareholder(s))

Dated:                    , 2020

(Must be signed by registered holder(s) exactly as name(s) appear(s) on stock certificate(s) for the shares or on a security position listing or by person(s) authorized to become registered holder(s) by certificates and documents transmitted herewith. If signature is by a trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, attorney-in-fact, officer of a corporation or other person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, please provide the following information and see Instruction 5.)

 

Name    
  (Please Print)

Capacity (full title)

   
Address    
  (Include Zip Code)

Daytime Area Code and Telephone Number:

   
Taxpayer Identification or Social Security Number:    

 

7


LOGO

 

FormW-9 (Rev. October 2018) Department Internal Revenue of the Service Treasury Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification a-P Go to www.irs.gov/FormW9 for instructions and the latest information. Give Form to the requester. Do not send to the IRS. 1 Name (as shown on your income tax return). Name is required on this line; do not leave this line blank. 2 Business name/disregarded entity name, if different from above 3 Check appropriate box for federal tax classification of the person whose name is entered on line 1. Check only one of the following seven boxes. Individual/sole proprietor or C Corporation S Corporation Partnership Trust/estate single-member LLC Limited liability company. Enter the tax classification (C=C corporation, S=S corporation, P=Partnership) a-P Note: Check the appropriate box in the line above for the tax classification of the single-member owner. Do not check LLC if the LLC is classified as a single-member LLC that is disregarded from the owner unless the owner of the LLC is another LLC that is not disregarded from the owner for U.S. federal tax purposes. Otherwise, a single-member LLC that is disregarded from the owner should check the appropriate box for the tax classification of its owner. Other (see instructions) a-P 4 Exemptions (codes apply only to certain entities, not individuals; see instructions on page 3): Exempt payee code (if any) Exemption from FATCA reporting code (if any) (Applies to accounts maintained outside the U.S.) 5 Address (number, street, and apt. or suite no.) See instructions. 6 City, state, and ZIP code 7 List account number(s) here (optional) Requester's name and address (optional) Part I Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Enter your TIN in the appropriate box. The TIN provided must match the name given on line 1 to avoid backup withholding. For individuals, this is generally your social security number (SSN). However, for a resident alien, sole proprietor, or disregarded entity, see the instructions for Part I, later. For other entities, it is your employer identification number (EIN). If you do not have a number, see How to get a TIN, later. Note: If the account is in more than one name, see the instructions for line 1. Also see What Name and Number To Give the Requester for guidelines on whose number to enter. Social security number or Employer identification number Part II Certification Under penalties of perjury, I certify that: 1. The number shown on this form is my correct taxpayer identification number (or I am waiting for a number to be issued to me); and 2. I am not subject to backup withholding because: (a) I am exempt from backup withholding, or (b) I have not been notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that I am subject to backup withholding as a result of a failure to report all interest or dividends, or (c) the IRS has notified me that I am no longer subject to backup withholding; and 3. I am a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person (defined below); and 4. The FATCA code(s) entered on this form (if any) indicating that I am exempt from FATCA reporting is correct. Certification instructions. You must cross out item 2 above if you have been notified by the IRS that you are currently subject to backup withholding because you have failed to report all interest and dividends on your tax return. For real estate transactions, item 2 does not apply. For mortgage interest paid, acquisition or abandonment of secured property, cancellation of debt, contributions to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), and generally, payments other than interest and dividends, you are not required to sign the certification, but you must provide your correct TIN. See the instructions for Part II, later. Sign Signature of Here U.S. person a- Date a- General Instructions Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted. Future developments. For the latest information about developments related to Form W-9 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/FormW9. Purpose of Form An individual or entity (Form W-9 requester) who is required to file an information return with the IRS must obtain your correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) which may be your social security number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), or employer identification number (EIN), to report on an information return the amount paid to you, or other amount reportable on an information return. Examples of information returns include, but are not limited to, the following. " Form 1099-INT (interest earned or paid) " Form 1099-DIV (dividends, including those from stocks or mutual funds) " Form 1099-MISC (various types of income, prizes, awards, or gross proceeds) " Form 1099-B (stock or mutual fund sales and certain other transactions by brokers) " Form 1099-S (proceeds from real estate transactions) " Form 1099-K (merchant card and third party network transactions) " Form 1098 (home mortgage interest), 1098-E (student loan interest), 1098-T (tuition) " Form 1099-C (canceled debt) " Form 1099-A (acquisition or abandonment of secured property) Use Form W-9 only if you are a U.S. person (including a resident alien), to provide your correct TIN. If you do not return Form W-9 to the requester with a TIN, you might be subject to backup withholding. See What is backup withholding, later. Cat. No. 10231X Form W-9 (Rev.10-2018)

 

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Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) Page 2 Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) By signing the filled-out form, you: 1. Certify that the TIN you are giving is correct (or you are waiting for a number to be issued), 2. Certify that you are not subject to backup withholding, or 3. Claim exemption from backup withholding if you are a U.S. exempt payee. If applicable, you are also certifying that as a U.S. person, your allocable share of any partnership income from a U.S. trade or business is not subject to the withholding tax on foreign partners' share of effectively connected income, and 4. Certify that FATCA code(s) entered on this form (if any) indicating that you are exempt from the FATCA reporting, is correct. See What is FATCA reporting, later, for further information. Note: If you are a U.S. person and a requester gives you a form other than Form W-9 to request your TIN, you must use the requester's form if it is substantially similar to this Form W-9. Definition of a U.S. person. For federal tax purposes, you are considered a U.S. person if you are: " An individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien; " A partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States; " An estate (other than a foreign estate); or " A domestic trust (as defined in Regulations section 301.7701-7). Special rules for partnerships. Partnerships that conduct a trade or business in the United States are generally required to pay a withholding tax under section 1446 on any foreign partners' share of effectively connected taxable income from such business. Further, in certain cases where a Form W-9 has not been received, the rules under section 1446 require a partnership to presume that a partner is a foreign person, and pay the section 1446 withholding tax. Therefore, if you are a U.S. person that is a partner in a partnership conducting a trade or business in the United States, provide Form W-9 to the partnership to establish your U.S. status and avoid section 1446 withholding on your share of partnership income. In the cases below, the following person must give Form W-9 to the partnership for purposes of establishing its U.S. status and avoiding withholding on its allocable share of net income from the partnership conducting a trade or business in the United States. " In the case of a disregarded entity with a U.S. owner, the U.S. owner of the disregarded entity and not the entity; " In the case of a grantor trust with a U.S. grantor or other U.S. owner, generally, the U.S. grantor or other U.S. owner of the grantor trust and not the trust; and " In the case of a U.S. trust (other than a grantor trust), the U.S. trust (other than a grantor trust) and not the beneficiaries of the trust. Foreign person. If you are a foreign person or the U.S. branch of a foreign bank that has elected to be treated as a U.S. person, do not use Form W-9. Instead, use the appropriate Form W-8 or Form 8233 (see Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities). Nonresident alien who becomes a resident alien. Generally, only a nonresident alien individual may use the terms of a tax treaty to reduce or eliminate U.S. tax on certain types of income. However, most tax treaties contain a provision known as a "saving clause." Exceptions specified in the saving clause may permit an exemption from tax to continue for certain types of income even after the payee has otherwise become a U.S. resident alien for tax purposes. contained If you are in a the U. S. saving resident clause alien of who a tax is treaty relying to on claim an exception an exemptionfrom to Form U.S. W-9 tax that on certain specifies types the of following income, five you items. must attach a statement which 1. The you treaty claimed country. exemption Generally, from this tax must as a nonresident be the same alien. treaty under 2. The treaty article addressing the income. saving 3. The clause article and number its exceptions. (or location) in the tax treaty that contains the from 4. The tax. type and amount of income that qualifies for the exemption the 5. treaty Sufficient article. facts to justify the exemption from tax under the terms of Example. Article 20 of the U.S.-China income tax treaty allows an exemption from tax for scholarship income received by a Chinese student temporarily present in the United States. Under U.S. law, this student will become a resident alien for tax purposes if his or her stay in the United States exceeds 5 calendar years. However, paragraph 2 of the first Protocol to the U.S.-China treaty (dated April 30, 1984) allows the provisions of Article 20 to continue to apply even after the Chinese student becomes a resident alien of the United States. A Chinese student who qualifies for this exception (under paragraph 2 of the first protocol) and is relying on this exception to claim an exemption from tax on his or her scholarship or fellowship income would attach to Form W-9 a statement that includes the information described above to support that exemption. If you are a nonresident alien or a foreign entity, give the requester the appropriate completed Form W-8 or Form 8233. Backup Withholding What is backup withholding? Persons making certain payments to you must under certain conditions withhold and pay to the IRS 24% of such payments. This is called "backup withholding." Payments that may be subject to backup withholding include interest, tax-exempt interest, dividends, broker and barter exchange transactions, rents, royalties, nonemployee pay, payments made in settlement of payment card and third party network transactions, and certain payments from fishing boat operators. Real estate transactions are not subject to backup withholding. You will not be subject to backup withholding on payments you receive if you give the requester your correct TIN, make the proper certifications, and report all your taxable interest and dividends on your tax return. Payments you receive will be subject to backup withholding if: 1. You do not furnish your TIN to the requester, 2. You do not certify your TIN when required (see the instructions for Part II for details), 3. The IRS tells the requester that you furnished an incorrect TIN, 4. The IRS tells you that you are subject to backup withholding because you did not report all your interest and dividends on your tax return (for reportable interest and dividends only), or 5. You do not certify to the requester that you are not subject to backup withholding under 4 above (for reportable interest and dividend accounts opened after 1983 only). Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding. See Exempt payee code, later, and the separate Instructions for the Requester of Form W-9 for more information. Also see Special rules for partnerships, earlier. What is FATCA Reporting? The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires a participating foreign financial institution to report all United States account holders that are specified United States persons. Certain payees are exempt from FATCA reporting. See Exemption from FATCA reporting code, later, and the Instructions for the Requester of Form W-9 for more information. Updating Your Information You must provide updated information to any person to whom you claimed to be an exempt payee if you are no longer an exempt payee and anticipate receiving reportable payments in the future from this person. For example, you may need to provide updated information if you are a C corporation that elects to be an S corporation, or if you no longer are tax exempt. In addition, you must furnish a new Form W-9 if the name or TIN changes for the account; for example, if the grantor of a grantor trust dies. Penalties Failure to furnish TIN. If you fail to furnish your correct TIN to a requester, you are subject to a penalty of $50 for each such failure unless your failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. Civil penalty for false information with respect to withholding. If you make a false statement with no reasonable basis that results in no backup withholding, you are subject to a $500 penalty.

 

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Page 3 Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) Criminal penalty for falsifying information. Willfully falsifying certifications or affirmations may subject you to criminal penalties including fines and/or imprisonment. Misuse of TINs. If the requester discloses or uses TINs in violation of federal law, the requester may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Specific Instructions Line 1 You must enter one of the following on this line; do not leave this line blank. The name should match the name on your tax return. If this Form W-9 is for a joint account (other than an account maintained by a foreign financial institution (FFI)), list first, and then circle, the name of the person or entity whose number you entered in Part I of Form W-9. If you are providing Form W-9 to an FFI to document a joint account, each holder of the account that is a U.S. person must provide a Form W-9. a. Individual . Generally, enter the name shown on your tax return. If you have changed your last name without informing the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the name change, enter your first name, the last name as shown on your social security card, and your new last name. Note: ITIN applicant: Enter your individual name as it was entered on your Form W-7 application, line 1a. This should also be the same as the name you entered on the Form 1040/1040A/1040EZ you filed with your application. b. Sole proprietor or single-member LLC. Enter your individual name as shown on your 1040/1040A/1040EZ on line 1. You may enter your business, trade, or "doing business as" (DBA) name on line 2. c. Partnership , LLC that is not a single-member LLC, C corporation, or S corporation. Enter the entity's name as shown on the entity's tax return on line 1 and any business, trade, or DBA name on line 2. d. Other entities. Enter your name as shown on required U.S. federal tax documents on line 1. This name should match the name shown on the charter or other legal document creating the entity. You may enter any business, trade, or DBA name on line 2. e. Disregarded entity. For U.S. federal tax purposes, an entity that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner is treated as a "disregarded entity." See Regulations section 301.7701-2(c )( 2)(iii). Enter the owner's name on line 1. The name of the entity entered on line 1 should never be a disregarded entity. The name on line 1 should be the name shown on the income tax return on which the income should be reported. For example, if a foreign LLC that is treated as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal tax purposes has a single owner that is a U.S. person, the U.S. owner's name is required to be provided on line 1. If the direct owner of the entity is also a disregarded entity, enter the first owner that is not disregarded for federal tax purposes. Enter the disregarded entity's name on line 2, "Business name/disregarded entity name." If the owner of the disregarded entity is a foreign person, the owner must complete an appropriate Form W-8 instead of a Form W-9. This is the case even if the foreign person has a U.S. TIN. Line 2 If you have a business name, trade name, DBA name, or disregarded entity name, you may enter it on line 2. Line 3 Check the appropriate box on line 3 for the U.S. federal tax classification of the person whose name is entered on line 1. Check only one box on line 3. IF the entity/person on line 1 is THEN check the box for . . . a(n) . . . " Corporation Corporation " Individual Individual/sole proprietor or single" Sole proprietorship, or member LLC " Single-member limited liability company (LLC) owned by an individual and disregarded for U.S. federal tax purposes. " LLC treated as a partnership for Limited liability company and enter U.S. federal tax purposes, the appropriate tax classification. " LLC that has filed Form 8832 or (P= Partnership; C= C corporation; 2553 to be taxed as a corporation, or S= S corporation) or " LLC that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner but the owner is another LLC that is not disregarded for U.S. federal tax purposes. " Partnership Partnership " Trust/estate Trust/estate Line 4, Exemptions If you are exempt from backup withholding and/or FATCA reporting, enter in the appropriate space on line 4 any code(s) that may apply to you. Exempt payee code. " Generally, individuals (including sole proprietors) are not exempt from backup withholding. " Except as provided below, corporations are exempt from backup withholding for certain payments, including interest and dividends. " Corporations are not exempt from backup withholding for payments made in settlement of payment card or third party network transactions. " Corporations are not exempt from backup withholding with respect to attorneys' fees or gross proceeds paid to attorneys, and corporations that provide medical or health care services are not exempt with respect to payments reportable on Form 1099-MISC. The following codes identify payees that are exempt from backup withholding. Enter the appropriate code in the space in line 4. 1-An organization exempt from tax under section 501(a), any IRA, or a custodial account under section 403(b)(7) if the account satisfies the requirements of section 401(f)(2) 2-The United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities 3-A state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. commonwealth or possession, or any of their political subdivisions or instrumentalities 4-A foreign government or any of its political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities 5-A corporation 6-A dealer in securities or commodities required to register in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. commonwealth or possession 7-A futures commission merchant registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission 8-A real estate investment trust 9-An entity registered at all times during the tax year under the Investment Company Act of 1940 10-A common trust fund operated by a bank under section 584(a) 11-A financial institution 12-A middleman known in the investment community as a nominee or custodian 13-A trust exempt from tax under section 664 or described in section 4947

 

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Page 4 Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) The following chart shows types of payments that may be exempt from backup withholding. The chart applies to the exempt payees listed above, 1 through 13. IF the payment is for . . . Interest and dividend payments Broker transactions Barter exchange transactions and patronage dividends Payments over $600 required to be reported and direct sales over $5,0001 Payments made in settlement of payment card or third party network transactions THEN the payment is exempt for . . . All exempt payees except for 7 Exempt payees 1 through 4 and 6 through 11 and all C corporations. S corporations must not enter an exempt payee code because they are exempt only for sales of noncovered securities acquired prior to 2012. Exempt payees 1 through 4 Generally, exempt payees 1 through 52 Exempt payees 1 through 4 1 See Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and its instructions. 2 However, the following payments made to a corporation andreportable on Form 1099-MISC are not exempt from backupwithholding: medical and health care payments, attorneys' fees, gross proceeds paid to an attorney reportable under section 6045(f), and payments for services paid by a federal executive agency. Exemption from FATCA reporting code. The following codes identify payees that are exempt from reporting under FATCA. These codes apply to persons submitting this form for accounts maintained outside of the United States by certain foreign financial institutions. Therefore, if you are only submitting this form for an account you hold in the United States, you may leave this field blank. Consult with the person requesting this form if you are uncertain if the financial institution is subject to these requirements. A requester may indicate that a code is not required by providing you with a Form W-9 with "Not Applicable" (or any similar indication) written or printed on the line for a FATCA exemption code. A-An organization exempt from tax under section 501(a) or any individual retirement plan as defined in section 7701(a)(37) B-The United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities C-A state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. commonwealth or possession, or any of their political subdivisions or instrumentalities D-A corporation the stock of which is regularly traded on one or more established securities markets, as described in Regulations section 1.1472-1(c)(1)( i ) E-A corporation that is a member of the same expanded affiliated group as a corporation described in Regulations section 1.1472-1(c)(1)( i ) F-A dealer in securities, commodities, or derivative financial instruments (including notional principal contracts, futures, forwards, and options) that is registered as such under the laws of the United States or any state G-A real estate investment trust H-A regulated investment company as defined in section 851 or an entity registered at all times during the tax year under the Investment Company Act of 1940 I-A common trust fund as defined in section 584(a) J-A bank as defined in section 581 K-A broker L-A trust exempt from tax under section 664 or described in section 4947(a)(1) M-A tax exempt trust under a section 403(b) plan or section 457(g) plan Note: You may wish to consult with the financial institution requesting this form to determine whether the FATCA code and/or exempt payee code should be completed. Line 5 Enter your address (number, street, and apartment or suite number). This is where the requester of this Form W-9 will mail your information returns. If this address differs from the one the requester already has on file, write NEW at the top. If a new address is provided, there is still a chance the old address will be used until the payor changes your address in their records. Line 6 Enter your city, state, and ZIP code. Part I. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Enter your TIN in the appropriate box. If you are a resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN, your TIN is your IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Enter it in the social security number box. If you do not have an ITIN, see How to get a TIN below. If you are a sole proprietor and you have an EIN, you may enter either your SSN or EIN. If you are a single-member LLC that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner, enter the owner's SSN (or EIN, if the owner has one). Do not enter the disregarded entity's EIN. If the LLC is classified as a corporation or partnership, enter the entity's EIN. Note: See What Name and Number To Give the Requester, later, for further clarification of name and TIN combinations. How to get a TIN. If you do not have a TIN, apply for one immediately. To apply for an SSN, get Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, from your local SSA office or get this form online at www.SSA.gov. You may also get this form by calling 1-800-772-1213. Use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to apply for an ITIN, or Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to apply for an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online by accessing the IRS website at www.irs.gov/Businesses and clicking on Employer Identification Number (EIN) under Starting a Business. Go to www.irs.gov/Forms to view, download, or print Form W-7 and/or Form SS-4. Or, you can go to www.irs.gov/OrderForms to place an order and have Form W-7 and/or SS-4 mailed to you within 10 business days. If you are asked to complete Form W-9 but do not have a TIN, apply for a TIN and write "Applied For" in the space for the TIN, sign and date the form, and give it to the requester. For interest and dividend payments, and certain payments made with respect to readily tradable instruments, generally you will have 60 days to get a TIN and give it to the requester before you are subject to backup withholding on payments. The 60-day rule does not apply to other types of payments. You will be subject to backup withholding on all such payments until you provide your TIN to the requester. Note: Entering "Applied For" means that you have already applied for a TIN or that you intend to apply for one soon. Caution: A disregarded U.S. entity that has a foreign owner must use the appropriate Form W-8. Part II. Certification To establish to the withholding agent that you are a U.S. person, or resident alien, sign Form W-9. You may be requested to sign by the withholding agent even if item 1, 4, or 5 below indicates otherwise. For a joint account, only the person whose TIN is shown in Part I should sign (when required). In the case of a disregarded entity, the person identified on line 1 must sign. Exempt payees, see Exempt payee code, earlier. Signature requirements. Complete the certification as indicated in items 1 through 5 below.

 

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Page 5 Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) 1. Interest, dividend, and barter exchange accounts opened before 1984 and broker accounts considered active during 1983. You must give your correct TIN, but you do not have to sign the certification. 2. Interest, dividend, broker, and barter exchange accounts opened after 1983 and broker accounts considered inactive during 1983. You must sign the certification or backup withholding will apply. If you are subject to backup withholding and you are merely providing your correct TIN to the requester, you must cross out item 2 in the certification before signing the form. 3. Real estate transactions. You must sign the certification. You may cross out item 2 of the certification. 4. Other payments. You must give your correct TIN, but you do not have to sign the certification unless you have been notified that you have previously given an incorrect TIN. "Other payments" include payments made in the course of the requester's trade or business for rents, royalties, goods (other than bills for merchandise), medical and health care services (including payments to corporations), payments to a nonemployee for services, payments made in settlement of payment card and third party network transactions, payments to certain fishing boat crew members and fishermen, and gross proceeds paid to attorneys (including payments to corporations). 5. Mortgage interest paid by you, acquisition or abandonment of secured property, cancellation of debt, qualified tuition program payments (under section 529), ABLE accounts (under section 529A), IRA, Coverdell ESA, Archer MSA or HSA contributions or distributions, and pension distributions. You must give your correct TIN, but you do not have to sign the certification. What Name and Number To Give the Requester 1. Individual 2. Two or more individuals (joint account) other than an account maintained by an FFI 3. Two or more U.S. persons (joint account maintained by an FFI) 4. Custodial account of a minor (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) 5. a. The usual revocable savings trust (grantor is also trustee) b. So-called trust account that is not a legal or valid trust under state law 6. Sole proprietorship or disregarded entity owned by an individual 7. Grantor trust filing under Optional Form 1099 Filing Method 1 (see Regulations section 1.671-4(b)(2)(i) (A)) For this type of account: 8. Disregarded entity not owned by an individual 9. A valid trust, estate, or pension trust 10. Corporation or LLC electing corporate status on Form 8832 or Form 2553 11. Association, club, religious, charitable, educational, or other tax- exempt organization 12. Partnership or multi-member LLC 13. A broker or registered nominee The individual The actual owner of the account or, combined funds, the first individual the account1 Each holder of the account The minor2 The grantor-trustee1 The actual owner1 The owner3 The grantor* Give name and EIN of: The owner Legal entity4 The corporation The organization The partnership The broker or nominee For this type of account: 14. Account with the Department of Agriculture in the name of a public entity (such as a state or local government, school district, or prison) that receives agricultural program payments 15. Grantor trust filing under the Form 1041 Filing Method or the Optional Form 1099 Filing Method 2 (see Regulations section 1.671-4(b)(2)(i)(B)) Give name and EIN of: The public entity The trust 1 List first and circle the name of the person whose number you furnish. If only one person on a joint account has an SSN, that person's number must be furnished. 2 Circle the minor's name and furnish the minor's SSN. 3 You must show your individual name and you may also enter your business or DBA name on the "Business name/disregarded entity" name line. You may use either your SSN or EIN (if you have one), but the IRS encourages you to use your SSN. 4 List first and circle the name of the trust, estate, or pension trust. (Do not furnish the TIN of the personal representative or trustee unless the legal entity itself is not designated in the account title.) Also see Special rules for partnerships, earlier. *Note: The grantor also must provide a Form W-9 to trustee of trust. Note: If no name is circled when more than one name is listed, the number will be considered to be that of the first name listed. Secure Your Tax Records From Identity Theft Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, SSN, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may use your SSN to get a job or may file a tax return using your SSN to receive a refund. To reduce your risk: " Protect your SSN, " Ensure your employer is protecting your SSN, and " Be careful when choosing a tax preparer. If your tax records are affected by identity theft and you receive a notice from the IRS, respond right away to the name and phone number printed on the IRS notice or letter. If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft but you think you are at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 1-800-908-4490 or submit Form 14039. For more information, see Pub. 5027, Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers. Victims of identity theft who are experiencing economic harm or a systemic problem, or are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, may be eligible for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) assistance. You can reach TAS by calling the TAS toll-free case intake line at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059. Protect yourself from suspicious emails or phishing schemes. Phishing is the creation and use of email and websites designed to mimic legitimate business emails and websites. The most common act is sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

 

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Page 6 Form W-9 (Rev. 10-2018) The IRS does not initiate contacts with taxpayers via emails. Also, the IRS does not request personal detailed information through email or ask taxpayers for the PIN numbers, passwords, or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank, or other financial accounts. If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, forward this message to phishing@irs.gov. You may also report misuse of the IRS name, logo, or other IRS property to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484. You can forward suspicious emails to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov or report them at www.ftc.gov/complaint. You can contact the FTC at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 877-IDTHEFT (877-438-4338). If you have been the victim of identity theft, see www.IdentityTheft.gov and Pub. 5027. Visit www.irs.gov/IdentityTheft to learn more about identity theft and how to reduce your risk. Privacy Act Notice Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code requires you to provide your correct TIN to persons (including federal agencies) who are required to file information returns with the IRS to report interest, dividends, or certain other income paid to you; mortgage interest you paid; the acquisition or abandonment of secured property; the cancellation of debt; or contributions you made to an IRA, Archer MSA, or HSA. The person collecting this form uses the information on the form to file information returns with the IRS, reporting the above information. Routine uses of this information include giving it to the Department of Justice for civil and criminal litigation and to cities, states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and possessions for use in administering their laws. The information also may be disclosed to other countries under a treaty, to federal and state agencies to enforce civil and criminal laws, or to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism. You must provide your TIN whether or not you are required to file a tax return. Under section 3406, payers must generally withhold a percentage of taxable interest, dividend, and certain other payments to a payee who does not give a TIN to the payer. Certain penalties may also apply for providing false or fraudulent information.

 

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GUARANTEE OF SIGNATURE(S)

(If Required—See Instructions 1 and 6)

 

Authorized Signature:    

Name(s):

   
  (Please Print)

Name of Firm:

   

Title:

   
Address    
  (Include Zip Code)

Daytime Area Code and Telephone Number:

   

Dated:                    , 2020

 

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INSTRUCTIONS

Forming Part of the Terms and Conditions of the Offer

1.    Guarantee of Signatures. No signature guarantee is required on this Letter of Transmittal if either (a) this Letter of Transmittal is signed by the registered holder(s) (which term, for purposes of this Instruction 1, includes any participant in the book-entry transfer facility’s system whose name appears on a security position listing as the owner of the shares) of shares tendered herewith, unless such registered holder(s) has completed either the box entitled “Special Payment Instructions” or the box entitled “Special Delivery Instructions” on this Letter of Transmittal or (b) such shares are tendered for the account of a firm that is a member in good standing of a recognized Medallion Program approved by the Securities Transfer Association, Inc., including the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program, the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Medallion Signature Program or the Stock Exchange Medallion Program, or is otherwise an “eligible guarantor institution,” as that term is defined in Rule 17Ad-15 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (each, an “eligible institution”). In all other cases, all signatures on this Letter of Transmittal must be guaranteed by an eligible institution. Shareholders may also need to have any certificates they deliver endorsed or accompanied by a stock power, and the signatures on these documents also may need to be guaranteed. See Instruction 5.

2.    Requirements of Tender. This Letter of Transmittal is to be completed by shareholders either if certificates are to be forwarded herewith or, unless an agent’s message (as defined below) is utilized, if delivery of shares is to be made pursuant to the procedures for book-entry transfer set forth in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. For a shareholder validly to tender shares pursuant to the Offer, either (a) a Letter of Transmittal, properly completed and duly executed, together with any required signature guarantees, or, in the case of a book-entry transfer, an agent’s message, and any other required documents, must be received by the Depositary at one of its addresses set forth on the back of this Letter of Transmittal prior to the Expiration Time and either certificates for tendered shares must be received by the Depositary at one of such addresses or shares must be delivered pursuant to the procedures for book-entry transfer set forth herein (and a book-entry confirmation must be received by the Depositary), in each case prior to the Expiration Time, or (b) the tendering shareholder must comply with the guaranteed delivery procedures set forth below and in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase.

Shareholders whose certificates for shares are not immediately available or who cannot deliver their certificates and all other required documents to the Depositary or complete the procedures for book-entry transfer prior to the Expiration Time may tender their shares by properly completing and duly executing the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery pursuant to the guaranteed delivery procedures set forth in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. Pursuant to those procedures, (a) tender must be made by or through an eligible institution, (b) a properly completed and duly executed Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, in the form provided by the Company, must be received by the Depositary prior to the Expiration Time and (c) the certificates for all tendered shares in proper form for transfer (or a book-entry confirmation with respect to all such shares), together with a Letter of Transmittal, properly completed and duly executed, with any required signature guarantees, or, in the case of a book-entry transfer, an agent’s message, and any other required documents, must be received by the Depositary, in each case within two business days after the date of execution of the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery as provided in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. The term “agent’s message” means a message transmitted by the book-entry transfer facility to, and received by, the Depositary and forming a part of a book-entry confirmation, which states that such book-entry transfer facility has received an express acknowledgment from the participant in the book-entry transfer facility tendering the shares that such participant has received and agrees to be bound by the terms of the Letter of Transmittal and that the Company may enforce such agreement against such participant.

The method of delivery of shares, this Letter of Transmittal and all other required documents, including delivery through the book-entry transfer facility, is at the sole election and risk of the tendering shareholder. Shares will be deemed delivered only when actually received by the Depositary (including, in the case of a book-entry transfer, by book-entry confirmation). If delivery is by mail, registered mail with return receipt requested, properly insured, is recommended. In all cases, sufficient time should be allowed to ensure timely delivery.

 

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Except as specifically provided by the Offer to Purchase, no alternative, conditional or contingent tenders will be accepted. No fractional shares will be purchased. All tendering shareholders, by execution of this Letter of Transmittal, waive any right to receive any notice of the acceptance for payment of their shares.

3.    Inadequate Space. If the space provided in the box entitled “Description of Shares Tendered” in this Letter of Transmittal is inadequate, the certificate numbers and/or the number of shares of common stock should be listed on a separate signed schedule attached hereto.

4.    Partial Tenders (Not Applicable to Shareholders Who Tender by Book-Entry Transfer). If fewer than all the shares represented by any certificate submitted to the Depositary are to be tendered, fill in the number of shares that are to be tendered in the box entitled “Number of Shares Tendered.” In that case, if any tendered shares are purchased, new certificate(s) for the remainder of the shares that were evidenced by the old certificate(s) will be sent to the registered holder(s), unless otherwise provided in the appropriate box on this Letter of Transmittal, promptly after the acceptance for payment of, and payment for, the shares tendered herewith. All shares represented by certificates delivered to the Depositary will be deemed to have been tendered unless otherwise indicated.

5.    Signatures on Letter of Transmittal, Stock Powers and Endorsements. If this Letter of Transmittal is signed by the registered holder(s) of the shares tendered hereby, the signature(s) must correspond exactly with the name(s) as written on the face of the certificate(s) without any change whatsoever.

If any of the shares tendered hereby are owned of record by two or more joint owners, all such persons must sign this Letter of Transmittal.

If any shares tendered hereby are registered in different names on several certificates, it will be necessary to complete, sign and submit as many separate Letters of Transmittal as there are different registrations of certificates.

If this Letter of Transmittal or any certificate or stock power is signed by a trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, attorney-in-fact, officer of a corporation or other person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, he or she should so indicate when signing, and proper evidence satisfactory to the Company of his or her authority to so act must be submitted with this Letter of Transmittal. Signatures on any such certificates or stock powers must be guaranteed by an eligible institution.

If this Letter of Transmittal is signed by the registered owner(s) of the shares tendered hereby, no endorsements of certificates or separate stock powers are required unless payment of the purchase price is to be made, or certificates for shares not tendered or accepted for payment are to be issued, to a person other than the registered owner(s). Signatures on any such certificates or stock powers must be guaranteed by an eligible institution.

If this Letter of Transmittal is signed by a person other than the registered owner(s) of the shares tendered hereby, or if payment is to be made or certificate(s) for shares not tendered or not purchased are to be issued to a person other than the registered owner(s), the certificate(s) representing such shares must be properly endorsed for transfer or accompanied by appropriate stock powers, in either case signed exactly as the name(s) of the registered owner(s) appear(s) on the certificates(s). The signature(s) on any such certificate(s) or stock power(s) must be guaranteed by an eligible institution. See Instruction 1.

6.    Stock Transfer Taxes. The Company will pay any stock transfer taxes with respect to the transfer and sale of shares to it pursuant to the Offer. If, however, payment of the purchase price is to be made to, or if shares not tendered or accepted for payment are to be registered in the name of, any person(s) other than the registered owner(s), or if shares tendered hereby are registered in the name(s) of any person(s) other than the person(s) signing this Letter of Transmittal, the amount of any stock transfer taxes (whether imposed on the registered

 

16


owner(s) or such person(s)) payable on account of the transfer to such person(s) will be deducted from the purchase price unless satisfactory evidence of the payment of such taxes or exemption therefrom is submitted with this Letter of Transmittal.

Except as provided in this Instruction 6, it will not be necessary for transfer tax stamps to be affixed to the certificates listed in this Letter of Transmittal.

7.    Special Payment and Delivery Instructions. If a check for the purchase price of any shares accepted for payment is to be issued in the name of, and/or certificates for any shares not accepted for payment or not tendered are to be issued in the name of and/or returned to, a person other than the signer of this Letter of Transmittal or if a check is to be sent, and/or such certificates are to be returned, to a person other than the signer of this Letter of Transmittal or to an address other than that shown above, the appropriate boxes on this Letter of Transmittal should be completed and signatures must be guaranteed as described in Instructions 1 and 6.

8.    Irregularities. The Company will determine in its sole discretion all questions as to the number of shares to accept, and the validity, eligibility (including time of receipt), and acceptance for payment of any tender of shares. Any such determinations will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such participant’s disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction. The Company reserves the absolute right to reject any or all tenders of shares it determines not to be in proper form or the acceptance of which or payment for which may, in the Company’s counsel’s opinion, be unlawful. The Company also reserves the absolute right to waive any defect or irregularity in the tender of any particular shares, and the Company’s interpretation of the terms of the Offer, including these instructions, will be final and binding on all persons participating in the Offer, subject to such participant’s disputing such determination in a court of competent jurisdiction. No tender of shares will be deemed to be properly made until all defects and irregularities have been cured or waived. Unless waived, any defects or irregularities in connection with tenders must be cured within such time as the Company shall determine. None of the Company, the (as defined in the Offer to Purchase), the Depositary, the Information Agent (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) or any other person is or will be obligated to give notice of any defects or irregularities in tenders and none of them will incur any liability for failure to give any such notice.

9.    U.S. Federal Income Tax Withholding. In general, information reporting for U.S. federal income tax purposes should apply to distributions made on our common stock within the United States to a non-corporate U.S. Holder and to the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of our common stock to or through a U.S. office of a broker by a non-corporate U.S. Holder. Payments made (and sales and other dispositions effected at an office) outside the United States will be subject to information reporting in limited circumstances.

In addition, backup withholding of U.S. federal income tax, currently at a rate of 24%, generally should apply to distributions paid on our common stock to a non-corporate U.S. Holder and the proceeds from sales and other dispositions of our common stock by a non-corporate U.S. Holder, who:

 

   

fails to provide an accurate taxpayer identification number;

 

   

is notified by the IRS that backup withholding is required; or

 

   

fails in certain circumstances to comply with applicable certification requirements.

A Non-U.S. Holder generally may eliminate the requirement for information reporting and backup withholding by providing certification of its foreign status, under penalties of perjury, on a duly executed applicable IRS Form W-8 or by otherwise establishing an exemption.

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Rather, the amount of any backup withholding generally should be allowed as a credit against a U.S. Holder’s or a Non-U.S. Holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability and may entitle such holder to a refund, provided that certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS.

 

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Individuals who are U.S. Holders (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury regulations, certain individuals who are Non-U.S. Holders and certain U.S. 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, the common shares, unless the shares held through an account maintained with a U.S. 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 U.S. Holder (and to the extent specified in applicable Treasury regulations, an individual Non-U.S. Holder or a U.S. entity) that is required to file IRS Form 8938 does not file such form, the statute of limitations on the assessment and collection of U.S. 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. U.S. Holders (including U.S. entities) and Non-U.S. Holders are encouraged consult their own tax advisors regarding their reporting obligations under this legislation.

10.    Requests for Assistance or Additional Copies. Questions and requests for assistance may be directed to the Information Agent at the address set forth below. Additional copies of the Offer to Purchase, this Letter of Transmittal and the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery may be obtained from the Information Agent.

11.    Lost, Destroyed or Stolen Certificates. If your certificate(s) for part or all of your shares has been lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated, you should check the box for “Lost Certificates” in the box on page 1 and promptly send the completed Letter of Transmittal to the Depositary. Upon receipt of your Letter of Transmittal, the Depositary will provide you with instructions on how to obtain a replacement certificate. You may be asked to post a bond to secure against the risk that the certificate may be subsequently recirculated. There may be a fee and additional documents may be required to replace lost certificates. This Letter of Transmittal and related documents cannot be processed until the procedures for replacing lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated certificates have been followed. You are urged to send the properly completed Letter of Transmittal to the Depositary immediately to ensure timely processing of documentation. If you have questions, you may contact the Depositary at (800) 937-5449.

12.    Order of Purchase in Event of Proration. As described in Section 1 of the Offer to Purchase, shareholders may designate the order in which their shares are to be purchased in the event of proration. The order of purchase may have an effect on the U.S. federal income tax classification of any gain or loss on the shares purchased.

IMPORTANT. This Letter of Transmittal, together with any required signature guarantees, or, in the case of a book-entry transfer, an agent’s message, and any other required documents, must be received by the Depositary prior to the Expiration Time and either certificates for tendered shares must be received by the Depositary or shares must be delivered pursuant to the procedures for book-entry transfer, in each case prior to the Expiration Time, or the tendering shareholder must comply with the procedures for guaranteed delivery.

The Letter of Transmittal, certificates for shares and any other required documents should be sent or delivered by each shareholder of the Company or such shareholder’s broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee to the Depositary at one of its addresses set forth below.

 

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If delivering by hand, express mail, courier,

or other expedited service:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

  

By mail:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

Delivery of this Letter of Transmittal to an address other than as set forth above will not constitute a valid delivery to the Depositary.

Questions and requests for assistance may be directed to the Information Agent at the address set forth below. Additional copies of the Offer to Purchase, this Letter of Transmittal and the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery may be obtained from the Information Agent. You may also contact your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee for assistance concerning the Offer.

The Information Agent for the Offer is:

 

LOGO

Okapi Partners LLC

1212 Avenue of the Americas, 24th Floor

New York, New York 10036

Banks and Brokerage Firms, Please Call: (212) 297-0720

Stockholders and All Others Call Toll-Free: (888) 785-6709

Email: info@okapipartners.com

EX-99.(a)(1)(C)

Exhibit (a)(1)(C)

LOGO

Notice of Guaranteed Delivery

(Not to be used for Signature Guarantee)

for

Tender of Shares of Common Stock

of

STEALTHGAS INC.

THE OFFER PRORATION PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS WILL EXPIRE

AT 5:00 P.M., NEW YORK CITY TIME, ON APRIL 28, 2020,

UNLESS THE OFFER IS EXTENDED.

As set forth in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase (as defined below) this form must be used to accept the Offer (as defined below) if (1) certificates for your shares of common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, of StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation, are not immediately available, (2) the procedures for book-entry transfer cannot be completed on a timely basis or (3) time will not permit all required documents to reach the Depositary prior to the Expiration Time. This form may be delivered by hand or transmitted by facsimile transmission or mail to the Depositary. See Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

The Depositary for the Offer is:

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

 

If delivering by hand, express mail, courier,

or other expedited service:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

  

By mail:

 

American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC

Operations Center

Attn: Reorganization Department

6201 15th Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11219

Delivery of this Notice of Guaranteed Delivery to an address other than as set forth above will not constitute a valid delivery. Please be advised that submissions made outside of normal business hours may be subject to a fee by the Depositary.

This Notice of Guaranteed Delivery is not to be used to guarantee signatures. If a signature on a Letter of Transmittal is required to be guaranteed by an eligible institution under the instructions in the Letter of Transmittal, the signature guarantee must appear in the applicable space provided in the signature box on the Letter of Transmittal.


Ladies and Gentlemen:

The undersigned hereby tenders to StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company”), at the price per share indicated in this Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”), and the related Letter of Transmittal (which, together with any amendments or supplements thereto, collectively constitute the “Offer”), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the number of shares set forth below, all pursuant to the guaranteed delivery procedures set forth in Section 3 of the Offer to Purchase. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

Number of Shares to be tendered:                      shares.

THE GUARANTEE SET FORTH BELOW MUST BE COMPLETED.

GUARANTEE

(Not To Be Used For Signature Guarantee)

The undersigned, a firm that is a member in good standing of a recognized Medallion Program approved by the Securities Transfer Association, Inc., including the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program, the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Medallion Signature Program or the Stock Exchange Medallion Program, or is otherwise an “eligible guarantor institution,” as that term is defined in Rule 17Ad-15 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), hereby guarantees (1) that the above named person(s) “own(s)” the shares tendered hereby within the meaning of Rule 14e-4 under the Exchange Act, (2) that such tender of shares complies with Rule 14e-4 under the Exchange Act and (3) to deliver to the Depositary either the certificates representing the shares tendered hereby, in proper form for transfer, or a book-entry confirmation (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) with respect to such shares, in any such case together with a properly completed and duly executed Letter of Transmittal (or a facsimile thereof), with any required signature guarantees, or an agent’s message (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) in the case of a book-entry delivery, and any other required documents, within two business days (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) after the date hereof.

The eligible institution that completes this form must communicate the guarantee to the Depositary and must deliver the Letter of Transmittal and certificates for shares to the Depositary within the time period shown herein. Failure to do so could result in financial loss to such eligible institution.

 

Name of Firm:   

 

Authorized Signature:   

 

Name:   

 

   (Please Type or Print)
Title:   

 

Address:   

 

Zip Code:   

 

Area Code and Telephone Number:   

 

 
Dated:   

 

  , 2020

Note: Do not send certificates for shares with this Notice.

Certificates for Shares should be sent with your Letter of Transmittal.

 

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EX-99.(a)(1)(D)

Exhibit (a)(1)(D)

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Offer to Purchase for Cash

by

STEALTHGAS INC.

of

Up to 4,761,904 Shares of its Common Stock

at a Purchase Price of $2.10

THE OFFER, PRORATION PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS WILL EXPIRE

AT 5:00 P.M., NEW YORK CITY TIME, ON APRIL 28, 2020

UNLESS THE OFFER IS EXTENDED.

March 31, 2020

To Brokers, Dealers, Commercial Banks,

Trust Companies and Other Nominees:

We have been appointed by StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company”), to act as Information Agent in connection with its offer to purchase for cash up to 4,761,904 shares of its common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, at a price, net to the seller in cash of $2.10 per share, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”) and the related Letter of Transmittal (which, together with any supplements or amendments thereto, collectively constitute the “Offer”). Please furnish copies of the enclosed materials to those of your clients for whom you hold shares registered in your name or in the name of your nominee. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

Enclosed with this letter are copies of the following documents:

 

  1.

Offer to Purchase dated March 31, 2020;

 

  2.

Letter of Transmittal, for your use in accepting the Offer and tendering shares of and for the information of your clients;

 

  3.

Form of letter that may be sent to your clients for whose account you hold shares registered in your name or in the name of a nominee, with an Instruction Form provided for obtaining such client’s instructions with regard to the Offer; and

 

  4.

Notice of Guaranteed Delivery with respect to shares, to be used to accept the Offer in the event you are unable to deliver the share certificates, together with all other required documents, to the Depositary before the Expiration Time, or if the procedure for book-entry transfer cannot be completed before the Expiration Time.

The Offer is not conditioned on the receipt of financing or on any minimum number of shares being tendered. The Offer is, however, subject to certain other conditions set forth in Section 6 of the Offer to Purchase.

We urge you to contact your clients promptly. Please note that the Offer, proration period and withdrawal rights will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless the offer is extended.


Under no circumstances will interest be paid on the purchase price of the shares regardless of any extension of, or amendment to, the Offer or any delay in paying for such shares.

The Company will not pay any fees or commissions to any broker or dealer or other person (other than the Information Agent and the Depositary, as described in the Offer to Purchase) in connection with the solicitation of tenders of shares pursuant to the Offer. However, the Company will, on request, reimburse you for customary mailing and handling expenses incurred by you in forwarding copies of the enclosed Offer materials to your clients. The Company will pay or cause to be paid any stock transfer taxes applicable to its purchase of shares pursuant to the Offer, except as otherwise provided in the Offer to Purchase and Letter of Transmittal (see Instruction 6 of the Letter of Transmittal).

Questions and requests for additional copies of the enclosed material may be directed to us at our address and telephone number set forth on the back cover of the Offer to Purchase.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Okapi Partners LLC

Nothing contained in this letter or in the enclosed documents shall render you or any other person the agent of the Company, the Depositary, the Information Agent or any affiliate of any of them or authorize you or any other person to give any information or use any document or make any statement on behalf of any of them with respect to the Offer other than the enclosed documents and the statements contained therein.

 

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EX-99.(a)(1)(E)

Exhibit (a)(1)(E)

LOGO

Offer to Purchase for Cash

by

STEALTHGAS INC.

of

Up to 4,761,904 Shares of its Common Stock

at a Purchase Price of $2.10

THE OFFER, PRORATION PERIOD AND WITHDRAWAL RIGHTS WILL EXPIRE

AT 5:00 P.M., NEW YORK CITY TIME, ON APRIL 28, 2020

UNLESS THE OFFER IS EXTENDED.

To Our Clients:

Enclosed for your consideration are the Offer to Purchase, dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”), and the related Letter of Transmittal (which, together with any amendments or supplements thereto, collectively constitute the “Offer”), in connection with the Offer by StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company”), to purchase for cash up to 4,761,904 shares of its common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, at a price of $2.10 per share, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest, upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

The Company will purchase all shares properly tendered before the Expiration Time (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) and not properly withdrawn at the purchase price, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding tax and without interest, on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, including its proration provisions. All shares acquired in the Offer will be acquired at the same purchase price. The Company reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to purchase more than 4,761,904 shares in the Offer, subject to applicable law. The Company will return shares not purchased because of proration provisions to the tendering shareholders at the Company’s expense promptly after the Offer expires. See Sections 1 and 3 of the Offer to Purchase.

If the number of shares properly tendered is less than or equal to 4,761,904 shares, the Company will, on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, purchase at the purchase price all shares so tendered.

On the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer, if at the expiration of the Offer more than 4,761,904 shares are properly tendered, the Company will buy shares on a pro rata basis from all shareholders who properly tender shares. See Sections 1 and 3 of the Offer to Purchase.

We are the owner of record of shares held for your account. As such, we are the only ones who can tender your shares, and then only pursuant to your instructions. We are sending you the Letter of Transmittal for your information only; you cannot use it to tender shares we hold for your account.

Please instruct us as to whether you wish us to tender any or all of the shares we hold for your account on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer.

Please note the following:

1.    You may tender your shares at the purchase price of $2.10 per share, as indicated in the attached Instruction Form, net to you in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest.


2.    You should consult with your broker or other financial or tax advisor on the possibility of designating the priority in which your shares will be purchased in the event of proration.

3.    The Offer is not conditioned on the receipt of financing or on any minimum number of shares being tendered. The Offer is, however, subject to certain other conditions set forth in Section 6 of the Offer to Purchase.

4.    The Offer, withdrawal rights and proration period will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless the Company extends the Offer.

5.    The Offer is for 4,761,904 shares, constituting approximately 12.1% of the total number of shares of the Company’s common stock issued and outstanding as of March 30, 2020.

6.    Tendering shareholders who are registered shareholders or who tender their shares directly to American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC will not be obligated to pay any brokerage commissions or fees to the Company or, except as set forth in the Offer to Purchase and the Letter of Transmittal, stock transfer taxes on the Company’s purchase of shares under the Offer.

7.    If you wish to tender portions of your shares at different prices, you must complete a separate Instruction Form for each price at which you wish to tender each such portion of your shares. We must submit separate Letters of Transmittal on your behalf for each price you will accept for each portion tendered.

If you wish to have us tender any or all of your shares, please so instruct us by completing, executing, detaching and returning to us the attached Instruction Form. If you authorize us to tender your shares, we will tender all your shares unless you specify otherwise on the attached Instruction Form.

Your prompt action is requested. Your Instruction Form should be forwarded to us in ample time to permit us to submit a tender on your behalf before the Expiration Time of the Offer. Please note that the Offer, proration period and withdrawal rights will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless the Offer is extended.

The Offer is being made solely under the Offer to Purchase and the related Letter of Transmittal and is being made to all record holders of shares of the Company’s common stock. The Offer does not constitute an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell shares in any circumstance or jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. If we become aware of any jurisdiction where the making of the Offer or the acceptance of shares pursuant thereto is not in compliance with applicable law, we will make a good faith effort to comply with the applicable law where practicable.

The Company’s Board of Directors has approved the Offer. However, neither the Company, nor its Board of Directors, the Depositary or the Information Agent is making any recommendation to you as to whether to tender or refrain from tendering your shares. You must make your own decision as to whether to tender and, if so, how many shares to tender. In doing so, you should read carefully the information in the Offer to Purchase and in the related Letter of Transmittal, including the Company’s reasons for making the Offer. See Section 2 of the Offer to Purchase. You should discuss whether to tender your shares with your broker or other financial or tax advisor.

The Company’s directors and executive officers are entitled to participate in the Offer on the same basis as all other shareholders and one or more of such persons may, but are under no obligation, to do so.

If the Offer is oversubscribed, the Company will purchase shares on a pro rata basis from all shareholders who properly tender shares at the purchase price. Therefore, if you wish to maximize the chance that your shares will be purchased and wish to maximize the number of your shares accepted for payment, you should tender as many shares as you own and are willing to sell in the Offer.

 

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INSTRUCTION FORM WITH RESPECT TO

Offer to Purchase for Cash

by

STEALTHGAS INC.

of

Up to 4,761,904 Shares of its Common Stock

at a Purchase Price of $2.10

The undersigned acknowledge(s) receipt of your letter and the enclosed Offer to Purchase, dated March 31, 2020 (the “Offer to Purchase”), and the related Letter of Transmittal (which, together with any amendments or supplements thereto, collectively constitute the “Offer”), in connection with the Offer by StealthGas Inc., a Marshall Islands corporation (the “Company”), to purchase for cash up to 4,761,904 shares of its common stock, par value of $0.01 per share, at a price, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding tax and without interest, of $2.10 per share, specified by the undersigned, on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the shares shall refer to the common stock of the Company.

The undersigned hereby instruct(s) you to tender to the Company the number of shares indicated below or, if no number is indicated, all shares you hold for the account of the undersigned, at the price per share indicated below, on the terms and subject to the conditions of the Offer.

In participating in the Offer to purchase for cash, the undersigned acknowledges that: (1) the Offer is established voluntarily by the Company, it is discretionary in nature and it may be extended, modified, suspended or terminated by the Company as provided in the Offer; (2) the undersigned is voluntarily participating in the Offer; (3) the future value of the Company’s common stock is unknown and cannot be predicted with certainty; (4) any foreign exchange obligations triggered by the undersigned’s tender of shares or the recipient of proceeds are solely his or her responsibility; and (5) regardless of any action that the Company takes with respect to any or all income/capital gains tax, social security or insurance, transfer tax or other tax-related items (“Tax Items”) related to the Offer and the disposition of shares, the undersigned acknowledges that the ultimate liability for all Tax Items is and remains his or her sole responsibility. In that regard, the undersigned authorizes the Company to withhold all applicable Tax Items legally payable by the undersigned.

The undersigned consents to the collection, use and transfer, in electronic or other form, of the undersigned’s personal data as described in this document by and among, as applicable, the Company, its subsidiaries, and third party administrators for the exclusive purpose of implementing, administering and managing his or her participation in the Offer.

The undersigned understands that the Company holds certain personal information about him or her, including, as applicable, but not limited to, the undersigned’s name, home address and telephone number, date of birth, social security or insurance number or other identification number, nationality, any shares of stock held in the Company, details of all options or any other entitlement to shares outstanding in the undersigned’s favor, for the purpose of implementing, administering and managing his or her stock ownership (“Data”). The undersigned understands that Data may be transferred to any third parties assisting in the implementation, administration and management of the Offer, that these recipients may be located in his or her country or elsewhere, and that the recipient’s country may have different data privacy laws and protections than his or her country. The undersigned understands that he or she may request a list with the names and addresses of any potential recipients of the Data by contacting the Company. The undersigned authorizes the recipients to receive, possess, use, retain and transfer the Data, in electronic or other form, for the purposes of implementing, administering and managing his or her participation in the Offer, including any requisite transfer of such Data as may be required to a broker or other

 

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third party with whom held any shares of stock. The undersigned understands that Data will be held only as long as is necessary to implement, administer and manage his or her participation in the Offer. The undersigned understands that he or she may, at any time, view Data, request additional information about the storage and processing of Data, require any necessary amendments to Data or refuse or withdraw the consents herein, in any case without cost, by contacting in writing the Company. The undersigned understands, however, that refusing or withdrawing his or her consent may affect his or her ability to participate in the Offer. For more information on the consequences of his or her refusal to consent or withdrawal of consent, the undersigned understands that he or she may contact the Company.

Number of shares to be tendered by you for the account of the undersigned:                  shares*

 

*

Unless otherwise indicated, it will be assumed that all shares held by us for your account are to be tendered.

 

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EX-99.(a)(1)(F)

Exhibit (a)(1)(F)

LOGO

STEALTHGAS INC. COMMENCES SELF TENDER OFFER

TO PURCHASE UP TO 4,761,904 SHARES

ATHENS, GREECE, March 31, 2020. STEALTHGAS INC. (Nasdaq: GASS), a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, today announced the commencement of a tender offer to purchase up to 4,761,904 shares, or about 12.1%, of its outstanding common stock using funds available from cash and cash equivalents at a price of $2.10 per share. The tender offer will expire at the end of the day, 5:00 P.M., New York City Time, on April 28, 2020, unless extended or withdrawn. The Board of Directors determined that it is in the Company’s best interest to repurchase shares at this time given StealthGas’ cash position and stock price. The tender offer is not conditioned upon any minimum number of shares being tendered; however, the tender offer is subject to a number of other terms and conditions. Specific instructions and an explanation of the terms and conditions of the tender offer are contained in the Offer to Purchase and related materials that are being mailed to shareholders.

StealthGas has retained Okapi Partners LLC as the information agent for the tender offer and American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., LLC as the depositary.

Copies of the Offer to Purchase, the related Letter of Transmittal and the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery are being mailed to the Company’s shareholders. Requests for documents and questions regarding the tender offer may be directed to Okapi Partners LLC by telephone at (888) 785-6709 or banks and brokers may call (212) 297-0720, or by email at info@okapipartners.com.

About STEALTHGAS INC.

StealthGas Inc. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. StealthGas Inc. has a fleet of 50 vessels. The fleet is comprised of 46 LPG carriers, including eight Joint Venture vessels and an 11,000 cbm newbuilding pressurized LPG carrier with expected delivery in 2021. These LPG vessels have a total capacity of 432,141 cubic meters (cbm). The Company also owns three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). StealthGas Inc.’s shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and trade under the symbol “GASS.”

Certain Information Regarding the Tender Offer

The information in this press release describing StealthGas Inc.’s tender offer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell shares of StealthGas Inc.’s common stock in the tender offer. The tender offer is being made only pursuant to the Offer to Purchase and the related materials that StealthGas Inc. is distributing to its shareholders, as they may be amended or supplemented. Shareholders should read such Offer to Purchase and related materials carefully and in their entirety because they contain important information, including the various terms and conditions of the tender offer. Shareholders of StealthGas Inc. may obtain a free copy of the Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO, the Offer to Purchase and other documents that StealthGas Inc. is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov. Shareholders may also obtain a copy of these documents, without charge, from Okapi Partners LLC, the information agent for the tender offer, toll free at (888) 785-6709. Shareholders are urged to carefully read all of these materials prior to making any decision with respect to the tender offer. Shareholders and investors who have questions or need assistance may call Okapi Partners LLC, the information agent for the tender offer, toll free at (888) 785-6709. Parties outside the U.S. can reach the information agent at +1 (212) 297-0720.


Forward-Looking Statements

Matters discussed in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The forward-looking statements in this release 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 STEALTHGAS INC. believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, STEALTHGAS INC. cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the ability of STEALTHGAS INC. to complete the tender offer considering the various conditions to the tender offer, some of which are outside STEALTHGAS INC.’s control; the strength of world economies and currencies, ongoing developments relating to the spread and containment of coronavirus (COVID-19), general market conditions, including changes in charter hire rates and vessel values, charter counterparty performance, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydockings, shipyard performance, changes in STEALTHGAS INC.’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in our financing arrangements, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists.

Risks and uncertainties are further described in reports filed by STEALTHGAS INC. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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