Gearbulk and Grieg Star Combine Their Fleets

The Gearbulk open hatch gantry vessel Emu Arrow (file image courtesy Histarmar)

By The Maritime Executive 2016-10-19 20:47:10

Gearbulk and Grieg Star announced Wednesday that they will be combining their efforts to form a single dry bulk shipping company.

The joint venture will operate the parties’ combined fleet of open hatch, semi open hatch and conventional bulk vessels. It will be jointly controlled by Gearbulk and Grieg Star, with Gearbulk owning 65 percent and Grieg Star owning 35 percent. The Board of Directors will be composed of five members, three appointed by Gearbulk and two appointed by Grieg Star. Chair of the Board of Directors will be Gearbulk chairman and CEO Kristian Jebsen, with Grieg Star holding the vice chair.

The name of the joint venture is not yet decided, but it will be established as an independent Norwegian company with headquarters in Bergen, Norway and with its own resources and offices around the world.

Subject to regulatory approval, the JV is expected to be operational in the first half of 2017.

"We see our two operations as complementary, making this joint venture a natural next step for our companies. In an increasingly competitive market, we believe this new entity will have the size to build and sustain a versatile and independent shipping service," says Camilla Grieg, CEO of Grieg Star.

The JV will operate over 130 vessels from the combined fleets. VesselsValue.com calculates that the combined worth of the two firms' tonnage comes to over $800 million, and it represents about one third of the world's open hatch / gantry fleet.

Existing contracts will remain fully in force and will be fulfilled by the JV, the firms said, and the two parties will retain their independent technical ship management and ownership in the vessels. 

The JV excludes terminal business, transshipment activities and various specialty vessel operations at Gearbulk, along with vessels it operates in other external partnerships. Grieg Star's terminal businesses will also remain independent.