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Shipping downturn helps Maersk

Shipping downturn helps Maersk
The recent downturn in the shipping industry helped Maersk seal complete ownership of Brostrom Tankers AB.

The recent downturn in the shipping industry helped Maersk seal complete ownership of Brostrom Tankers AB.

In a move which would make it the world's largest product tanker owner and operator, Maersk had more than a year ago set into motion an acquisition of Swedish product tanker specialist Brostrom.

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 has prompted these 'third party shareholders' to come back ?and ask if the offer is still on.?

Kruse said the Maersk reply was ?yes, but only if we do the deal now.?

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.

Brostrom's fleet of 94 product tankers will boost Maersk's representation in that category to more than 130 vessels and make it the world's leading product tanker owner.

A.P. Moller ? Maersk Group CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said in Singapore on Tuesday that official finalisation of the Brostrom acquisition is due within the next two weeks.


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