Brokers agree merger

UK-listed shipbrokers Braemar Shipping Services and ACM Shipping announced Tuesday that they intend to merge.

The deal, which TradeWinds first disclosed on Monday, will see Braemar acquire the entire issued capital of ACM.

ACM shareholders will be entitled to receive two new ordinary shares and £2.50 ($4) in cash for every five ACM ordinary shares.

This will result in Braemar shareholders owning 72% of the enlarged share capital and ACM shareholders holding the remaining 28%.

Following the merger Braemar’s chairman Sir Graham Hearne CBE, chief executive James Kidwell and chief finance director Martin Beer will assume the same top three roles respectively at the new enlarged company.

ACM executive chairman Johnny Plumbe and Braemar executive director Denis Petropoulos have been appointed as executive directors.

In addition, it is anticipated that the new board of directors will also include five non-executive directors drawn from the existing non-executive directors of both ACM and Braemar.

These are expected to be Alastair Farley and David Moorhouse CBE from Braemar, while ACM will contribute Tim Jaques, Jurgen Breuer and Mark Tracey.

The enlarged shipbroking business will be managed by a board that will consist of James Gundy as chief executive shipbroking, Mike Rudd, Sebastian Davenport-Thomas, Andy Williams, James Kidwell plus further representation for the dry cargo departments.

Following completion of the merger, the enlarged group will comprise 1,026 employees globally of which 426 will be in the shipbroking division.

There is no word yet as to whether there will be any redundancies caused by a duplication of roles at both companies.

However, both firms said a general review of the operations, assets and employees of each other had led to the identification of “potential synergies” resulting from the merger.

Commenting on the merger ACM executive chairman Johnny Plumbe said: “Since becoming a public company in 2006, ACM has successfully developed and grown its business.”

“The merger with Braemar provides a unique opportunity to create a global, diversified shipping services group, with a significant combined shipbroking division which we expect will be a strong engine for future earnings growth.

“Our committed management and broking teams will complement those at Braemar, enabling a successful integration for the benefit of our clients, employees and shareholders.”