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TheStreet Open House

Paragon's Box Ships IPO Sinks in Debut

Stocks in this article: PRGNTEUDSXDCIXDRYSZIP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The second containership company to begin selling shares to the public in New York this year sank below its offer price Thursday.

The company is called Box Ships (TEU), it's based in Athens, and it was founded by the founder of the small dry-bulk shipping concern, Paragon Shipping (PRGN), which is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The man's name is Michael Bodouroglou. Like other shipping magnates -- George Economou of DryShips (DRYS), Peter Georgiopoulos of Genco (GNK) and General Maritime (GMR) -- Bodouroglou has his hands in multiple categories of vessel, and in multiple shipping companies. In January, Diana Shipping (DSX) -- founded by Simeon Palios -- also spun out a containership business, Diana Containerships (DCIX).

On Thursday, Box Ships' stock finished the regular session at $11.05. The company priced 11 million shares at $12 a share.

Diana Containerships, meanwhile, finished at $13 on Thursday. It hasn't performed well since its debut, either, having started trading at $14 in January. (A different kind of transportation company had a better IPO experience on Thursday: Zipcar (ZIP) priced at $18, above its expected range, and then soared during first-day trading to $28.)

For the uninitiated, dry bulk ships haul raw materials such as iron ore or grain or coal. Containerships carry finished goods, stuff loaded high in their holds and on their decks inside those big steel boxes that can become semi trailers or railroad cars.

Thus, the containership business is closely linked to the health of the world's consumer economies, especially the U.S. and Europe. Dry bulk shipping is much more linked to the health of manufacturing and heavy industry.

One of the vicious ironies of the dry-bulk shipping business right now is that it hasn't been able to participate -- not since the end of last year, at least -- in an extraordinary boom in commodities driven largely by China's continued hunger for raw materials to feed its explosively growing economy. That's because of a heinous glut: there are simply too many dry bulk ships either on the water or expected for delivery this year for the amount of demand.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Eden.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/ScottEden.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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