Takeover talk returns

A potential merger between Knightsbridge Tankers and Golden Ocean will again be in focus tomorrow as the Oslo-listed bulker owner issues its second quarter report.

Knightsbridge’s second quarter results passed without any update on the potential union, which shipowner John Fredriksen has previously said could make sense.

“Golden Ocean still has ample firepower to do acquisitions, but we see a merger between Golden Ocean and Knightsbridge as more pressing than adding more tonnage at this point,” said Arctic Securities analyst Erik Nikolai Stavseth in his morning report today.

“In this respect, we expect the report to contain some guidance as to where Golden Ocean is focusing its efforts.”

Placing the two companies under one umbrella would again see Fredriksen sport the largest capesize fleet on Wall Street with 44.

Fredriksen was crowned the capeize king of Wall Street when the Knightsbridge tally hit 39 after its takeover of the Frontline 2012 newbuildings. 

Its haul has since been equaled by Star Bulk after two takeovers in as many months, first of Oceanbulk and then Excel Maritime.

According to Pareto, consensus is expecting Golden Ocean to report a core operating profit of $12m for the second quarter.

Fredriksen told TradeWinds in May Knightsbridge and Golden Ocean could be pulled together.

“Yes, it is possible to consider merging the two companies. In many ways it would make sense,” said Fredriksen.

“Alternatively, all the capesizes could be put into Knightsbridge.”