Ardmore Shipping was once described by chief executive Anthony Gurnee as “the perennial candidate” in merger-and-acquisitions rumours.

So are those rumours going to spark up again, given Gurnee’s surprise retirement announcement?

With a fleet of 22 owned tankers and a market capitalisation of around $850m, Ardmore is the perfect size for such rumours, because it is midway between being a small shipowner and a big one with the scale necessary to be an industry consolidator.