Braemar and ACM to merge?

Talk is sweeping the market that UK-listed shipbroking companies Braemar Shipping Services and ACM Shipping are in merger talks.

Braemar is due to announce its annual results on Tuesday. There is speculation that an announcement could be made at this time.

No senior executive from either company was available to confirm or deny the reports.

Braemar chief executive James Kidwell was in a board meeting Monday and did not respond to requests for comment.

ACM chairman Johnny Plumbe and chief executive James Gandy were also said to be in a meeting.

Senior shipbrokers who know both companies well say a proposal to merge the two companies has been floated before.

They comment that ACM’s tanker department would be an asset to Braemar, whose core activities now lie largely outside shipbroking, but would likely involve staff rationalisation.

ACM could in turn gain from Braemar’s experience in LPG – an area in which Plumbe’s outfit has said it would like to expand.

In early 2012 RS Platou made a bid for ACM which valued the company at £33m (then $52m). But the offer was rejected when the two could not agree terms.