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Maersk Tankers CEO: Maersk Tankers is considering further sell-offs

The coming sale of a part of Broström by Maersk Tankers could be just the beginning of several sell-offs of for instance the Singapore share of the company, says CEO of Maersk Tankers Hanne B. Sørensen to ShippingWatch.

Photo: Maersk Tankers

Today, Maersk Tankers CEO Hanne B. Sørensen informed ShippingWatch that Maersk Tankers will sell off the “small” part of the formerly Swedish company Broström. The sell-off could be the first of more to come, says Hanne B. Sørensen.

“The tanker market has always been very opportunistically driven. It is very common to buy and sell on a regular basis and we are also considering doing that,” says Hanne B. Sørensen to ShippingWatch and adds:

“For instance, we have received an inquiry regarding our business in Singapore where a buyer has shown interest. The process is not as far yet as Broström is right now, but it is something we are looking into.”

Maersk Tankers sell off part of Broström 

The wish for a financially secure company

The purpose of the sell-offs is part of Maersk Tankers’ strategy to make the company more profitable. Maersk Tankers has bled red ink for several years and even though CEO of A.P. Moeller – Maersk Nils Smedegaard has stated that he has “great patience” with Maersk Tankers, the business must be trimmed down, says Hanne B. Sørensen.

“Our goal is to make Maersk Tankers a more financially secure company and a healthier business. The leaner we can make our business, the better the service we can provide both during good and bad times, the better we can manage both during good and bad times. That is one of the reasons we have chosen to sell a part of Broström.”

It is the “small” part of Broström with the smallest tanker ships which will be sold to Maersk Tankers. The Broström sell-off corresponds to a 1.7 percent share of Maersk Tankers’ total invested capital and involves the smallest ships sailing in Northwestern Europe.

The small-segment is just one part of the overall tanker segment which has been beset by problems for several years.

“It is very hard to say when the market will change for the better. Some segments are having a lot of troubles. We do make some money on LPG, but it varies a lot and it is difficult to predict the development from segment to segment,” says Hanne B. Sørensen, who adds that one need not consult a shipping media in order to know that the VLCC segment is ailing.

Nova Tankers

Maersk Tankers is the leader of the Nova Tankers pool for VLCC ships.  

“The pool has been established and things are moving along according to plan. It is good that we have begun operations,” says Hanne B. Sørensen.

In late August it was revealed that Maersk Tankers will be spun off as an independent corporation in the Maersk Group. The spin-off will take effect on November 1st. The company is not doing particularly well in the first half-year of 2012. In the second quarter, Maersk Tankers’ deficit was at $9 million compared to $24 million during the same period of 2011. It is still the excess tonnage within the market, which is worsening business conditions. This was the conclusion arrived at following the second quarter.

Maersk Tankers spun off as new corporation  

What lies behind the numbers is the continued excess of capacity in the product segments and weak demand in both the U.S. and Asia. Particularly the American importation of gas was far below the 2011 level, explains Maersk in its interim report. The crude oil segment, on the other hand, did well due to high demand but the rates fell at the end of the quarter.

Maersk Tankers to move Broström activities to Copenhagen 

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