Thursday, January 7, 2010

MOL Increases Share Holdings In Gearbulk Shipping

Takes Greater Stake in Specialist Bulk Carrier
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN / SWITZERLAND – Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. (MOL) has increased its investment share in Swiss specialist commodity bulk freight carrier Gearbulk Holding Limited from 40% to 49%. The increase has been in effect since the end of December 2009.

Gearbulk claims to be the world's leading open hatch shipping company, with a fleet that is composed of purpose-built open hatch gantry craned (OHGC) vessels and hatch jib craned (Fleximax) vessels for carrying forest products, non-ferrous metals, steel and other unitised breakbulk cargoes.

The company currently has sixty-four vessels in service with an additional twenty ships on order.

The new share alignment means that the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen family, who founded the business, now owns 51% of the shares in Gearbulk, which is expected to post revenues of $941million for 2009.

In a statement concerning the acquisition MOL, which has been a shareholder in Gearbulk since 1991, said that: “The increased shareholding of MOL reflects the long standing partner relationship between the shareholders. It also demonstrates the firm future commitment of MOL to Gearbulk.”

MOL has also seen a gain of 3.9 percent in its share value yesterday after gains were made at London’s Baltic Dry Index, which gauges marine bulk freight rates.