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Maersk issues warning

Maersk issues warning
The world's largest product tanker operator Maersk has issued warning that this year would not be a robust one for owners in terms of rates and earnings.

The world's largest product tanker operator Maersk has issued warning that this year would not be a robust one for owners in terms of rates and earnings.

The world's largest product tanker operator Maersk has issued warning that this year would not be a robust one for owners in terms of rates and earnings.

The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group annual report 2008 pointed out that the first two months of this year saw ?a general decline in activity and pressure on rates? for the tanker markets.

?Production restrictions in the OPEC countries, the increase in new tonnage and reduced demand are expected to affect tanker activities negatively in 2009,? said Maersk.

This is opposed to condition in 2008 which was a ?good year? for the crude and product tanker markets, on the back of high OPEC production and ?moderate? expansion of the global fleet.

Maersk Tankers in January completed the acquisition of Swedish product tanker specialist Brostrom Tankers AB., making it the world's largest product tanker owner and operator.

Brostrom's fleet of 94 product tankers now boosts Maersk's representation in that category to more than 130 vessels.

"The ongoing economic crisis 'absolutely' sealed the deal for Maersk's complete ownership of Brostrom"Maersk Tankers now reportedly operates 180 vessels, including crude oil tankers and gas carriers aside from its product tankers.

Maersk Tankers has 51 newbuildings on order

Including gas carriers, Maersk Tankers has 51 newbuildings on order, comprising 23 owned and 28 chartered-in vessels, reports said.

This is a third of the 150 new ships, rigs and tugs that AP Moller-Maersk has on order for delivery during the next four or five years with a total contract value of about $10 billion, reports added.

The downturn in the shipping industry helped Maersk complete its acquisition of Brostrom Tankers AB.

It offered 57 kronor in cash for each Brostrom share, valuing the company at $568 million (3.62 billion kronor).

Maersk said on August 27, 2008 that Brostrum's board of directors had unanimously recommended the offer, while its A-class shareholders, who control 29.3% of the stock and 55.9% of votes, have already accepted the offer.

?The whole understanding of the deal from the start was that, that part [A-class shareholders] of the deal was in the bank,? Maersk Tankers senior general manager Simon Kruse told.

That gives Maersk a controlling stake, ?but not ownership in the old-fashioned sense, which is normally the way we do our business [wherein] we build or acquire the whole business,? said Kruse.

According to Kruse 'third party shareholders' were initially holding out for better offers, thus depriving Maersk of at least 90% voting power it needed for complete ownership of Brostrom.

Kruse told that the recent downturn in the global economy had prompted these 'third party shareholders' to come back ?and ask if the offer is still on.?

According to him, the affirmative to sell-out from these 'third party shareholders' had been confirmed only over the last three months.

The ongoing economic crisis 'absolutely' sealed the deal for Maersk's complete ownership of Brostrom, said Kruse.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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