NYKCool goes Russian

One of the most famous names in reefer shipping is to be revived following what appears to be a Russian takeover of NYKCool.

NYKCool announced it was to be acquired by Baltic Reefers today but gave only limited information about the deal.

The deal takes effect from the start of September but quite what impact it will have on the operation of NYKCool’s 25 vessel fleet is unclear.

NYKCool chief executive Boris Gersling says there is going to be a change of name to Cool Carriers but there are no plans to integrate the two operations.

“Cool Carriers will continue its commercial operation unchanged and operate independently from Baltic Reefers. The new ownership situation, with an owner focusing on the specialized reefer segment, gives Cool Carriers a good opportunity to further prosper in this segment,” Gersling said in an e-mailed announcement.

The news was revealed as NYKCool closed its Stockholm head office with chief executive Boris Gersling not responding to calls to his mobile phone.

There is no indication of how much Baltic Reefers, a leading Russian player in the reefer market, is paying to buy out the ownership interest of Japanese shipping giant NYK.

The NYKCool fleet consists of vessels of between 420,000 cbft 60,000 cbft with most having container and controlled atmosphere capabilities. There is no information on whether vessel ownership is changing as part of the acquisition.

Keeping the two operations separate may sidestep competition regulators interest in the deal but raises the question of how any commercial benefits is to be achieved.

Gersling who has been chief executive of NYKCool since 2009 said he will continue in this position under the new ownership as would the rest of the team.

“In short it´s business as usual, but under new ownership”, he added in the e-mail.

Gersling is a former Lauritzen executive who joined the company after the Danish group bought ownership of Cool Carriers for more than $35m in 2000.

The company was renamed LauritzenCool with the business becoming NYKCool after the Japanese shipping group became first a 50:50 partner and then full owner of the reefer business.

Cool Carriers was originally part of the business empire of Sven Salen, once the biggest Swedish shipowner.