Sohmen-Pao becomes chairman of new large gas carrier BW Epic Kosan

New major gas carrier BW Epic Kosan, the result of a merger between Lauritzen Kosan and Epic Gas, has finally fallen into place and been approved by relevant authorities. BW Group's strongman Andreas Sohmen-Pao will chair the board.

Photo: BW Group

The merger between BW Group-controlled Epic Gas and Denmark-based Lauritzen Kosan is now a reality. The financial deal as well as the approval from authorities are in place, informs a statement from Epic Gas.

The new joint gas carrier, named BW Epic Kosan, will become a major player in transport of LNG via a total fleet of 76 gas tankers.

Lauritzen Kosan, owned by Danish carrier J. Lauritzen, has put its 34 ships into the new gas company in exchange for a 26 percent stake in the new BW Epic Kosan. The main shareholder in the company will be BW Group with 58 percent.

According to the announcement, there has also been a "full financing" of Lauritzen Kosan's fleet through a number of banks – SEB, Danske Bank, Nordea, Danmarks Skibskredit and Crédit Agricole CIB.

Digitalization and decarbonization

With the settlement of the deal, the board was selected as well. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, who is also chairman of Singapore-based shipping group BW Group, was appointed as the new chairman. Tommy Thomsen, CEO of Lauritzen Fonden, owner of J. Lauritzen and main shareholder in DFDS, who is also chairman of Lauritzen Kosan, will be on the new board as well with Kristian Mørch from Odfjell, among others.

"This transaction marks a new, exciting chapter for the Company. With 76 gas carriers, the Company is further strengthened for last-mile delivery of LPG, specialty gases, and petrochemicals. Digitalisation and decarbonisation are a necessity in today’s market to provide superior customer service and maximise shareholder value, and this consolidation will allow us to do so more effectively," says Tommy Thomsen in the statement.

The merger between Epic Gas and Lauritzen Kosan is the latest example of a wave of consolidation that has swept across the LPG sector. Charles Maltby, who will become CEO of the new BW Epic Kosan, recently told ShippingWatch that he expects less activity moving forward, however, because many shipowners will be preoccupied with various climate requirements from the IMO and the EU.

"The focus of most shipowners right now is the future of sustainability and finding the right vessels. It will take some years to solve, before shipowners can focus on whether or not to consolidate," he said to ShippingWatch.

The name of the new gas company will be finally confirmed in a meeting on March 24, 2021.

English Edit: L. N Barnes

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