CEO and partner of Clipper Group, Kristian Mørch, left the board of the Stadil-owned Thorco Shipping a few days ago following a dispute concerning the future strategy for the carrier, says Kristian Mørch and Thorco's chairman in comments to ShippingWatch.
"I have chosen to step down from the board of Thorco because we disagreed on the strategical direction for Thorco. If you can't agree over a long period of time in the board room, you might as well take the consequence and step down, as I have done," says Kristian Mørch, adding that Clipper will no longer be represented on the board of Thorco:
"But it's not a bigger deal than that the vessels, which Clipper still has in the multipurpose sector, will continue to be operated by Thorco in the future."
Clipper Projects merged with Thorco Shipping in the summer of 2013 as a new company under the name Thorco, a move that created a carrier which - with a fleet of 90 vessels - was the world's second-largest multipurpose carrier, project-owner and operator.
Isn't it a little weird that you won't be replaced, considering that Clipper still owns a number of the ships in Thorco?
"Yes, you could say that, but in the end we still can't reach any agreements," says Kristian Mørch.
Does Clipper have plans to sell the remaining multipurpose vessels?
"Its hard to answer that clearly. It depends entirely on how the market, the prices and the profits evolve."
Since the merger in 2013, Clipper has performed significant divestments from the company's fleet in Thorco, which according to chairman Thor Stadil included about 40 vessels, owned and chartered at the beginning of the cooperation. Today Clipper only has 10 ships left in the Thorco regime.
Thor Stadil tells ShippingWatch that Kristian Mørch's exit from the Thorco board was "completely undramatic", though he declines to elaborate on the details of the split.
"We still administer Clipper's vessels and we continue to be the best of friends as well as have a good cooperation. But its a tough market we work in, and we had different ideas of what the strategy for the company should be. So instead of one of us overruling the other, we agreed that it was better for Kristian to step down," says Thor Stadil.
The board of Thorco consists of Thor Stadil, his son Christian Stadil and Thorco's CEO Thomas Mikkelsen.