Wilbur Ross Announces Major Position in Navigator, Exit of Callidus Software

Wilbur Ross ( Trades , Portfolio ) has grown his fortune primarily by investing in distressed companies and restructuring them into profitable entities. His private equity firm, WL Ross & Co., holds just 10 stocks, which are valued at $1.5 billion. In the fourth quarter, Ross announced the existence of a major stake in a company called Navigator Holdings Ltd. ( NVGS ) worth 41.8% of the portfolio.

Besides the sizable new holding, Ross sold more than one-third of his BankUnited Inc. ( BKU ) holding, and sold the entirety of his Callidus Software Inc. ( CALD ) shares. Otherwise, the positioning was largely unchanged.

New Position

Navigator Holdings Ltd. ( NVGS )

Ross reported owning 23,270,508 shares of Navigator Holdings Ltd. as of the fourth quarter. Navigator is a marine transportation company serving the liquefied natural gas industry. Its fleet of nine carriers accounts for approximately 10% of the industry's capacity.


Ross' dealings with the company, however, go back to November 2011, when he first began to invest in the company. His initial agreements was to acquire up to 19.4% of the company for $62.5 million to help finance the company's growth program. At that time, he and two of his designees joined the company's board of directors.

In the announcement, Ross said:

"We see very substantial opportunities in the global transportation industry, particularly rail and marine shipping," said Mr. Ross. "Navigator is a leader in the handy-sized shipping segment, which has excellent fundamentals and a positive outlook as global shifts in demand for liquefied petroleum gas and other petrochemicals increase opportunities for efficient, flexible marine transportation providers."

In September 2012, he won the right to purchase a $110.2 million stake in the company from Lehman Brothers Holdings during its bankruptcy proceedings. This gave Ross a 56% stake in the company.

Navigator then held its IPO in November of last year, pricing 13.8 million shares at $19 per share. It raised $156.4 million upon completion of the sale. The price has since increased to around $24.97 on Thursday, valuing the company at $1.42 billion.


BankUnited Inc. ( BKU )

Ross also elected to reduce his cut his position in BankUnited Inc. by 32.09%, to 5,561,692 shares. He started the position in the first quarter 2011 when the price averaged $29, and reduced the position in the first and fourth quarters of 2013, when the prices averaged $26 and $32, respectively.


BankUnited Inc. is a savings and loan holding company with two wholly owned subsidiaries: BankUnited, which is an independent depository institution headquartered in Florida by assets, and BankUnited Investment Services Inc. BankUnited Inc. has a market cap of $3.18 billion; its shares were traded at around $31.56 with a P/E ratio of 14.50 and P/S ratio of 4.40. The dividend yield of BankUnited Inc. stocks is 2.70%.


Callidus Software Inc. ( CALD )

Ross sold out his final 1,136,406 shares of Callidus Software Inc., after reducing the position over the years since late 2010. The average fourth quarter price was $11 a share.


Callidus Software Inc. is a provider of cloud software. Callidus Software Inc. has a market cap of $496.200 million; its shares were traded at around $12.32 with and P/S ratio of 4.30. Callidus Software Inc. had an annual average earnings growth of 5.50% over the past five years.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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