The Danish owner revealed it had offloaded the five owned and five chartered ships today in a deal which marks its fourth divisional sale in a year.
Hanne Sorensen, CEO of Maersk Tankers, tells TradeWinds the mathematics of the trade made sense for the Danish company.
“We got a good offer,” she said in a short interview this morning.
“Is it not getting better for gas than for other segments? Yes it is and that is why we got a good offer,” Sorensen explained.
She says the price of the transaction, which will see BW expand its dominant position in the VLGC sector, will be kept between the two parties.
That has not stopped speculation in the market, with a figure of at at least $300m placed on the takeover which is believed to have been completed after several close calls.
Andreas Sohmen-Pao, CEO BW Group, explained in a statement: “With this purchase, we will be able to deliver even more flexible service to our customers, providing ready access to vessels in all regions at all times.”
The five owned ships changing hands are the 82,260-cbm Maersk Virtue, Maersk Visual, Maersk Value (all built 2007), the Maersk Venture (built 2008) and the 80,200-cbm Maersk Tuas (built 2011).
Also switching to BW are the chartered vessels, the 78,900-cbm Gas Capricorn (built 2003), the 83,000-cbm Gas Symphony (built 2011), and the 78,500-cbm Yuyo Spirit (built 2009), Yuricosmos and Vermillion First (both built 2010).
While the exact breakdown of the contracts is not clear, Maersk says two of the contracts run out next year, while the others are longer term.
Maersk Tankers has now sold off four divisions in recent times. Late last year Wilbur Ross led Navigator Gas bought its small LPG segment, while Teekay and Marubeni purchased its LNG ships and Erik Thun its small tankers.
Sorensen, however, notes the company is still the world’s largest owner of product tankers with LR2s, MRs, handysize and intermediate tankers in the water.
It also has a VLCC fleet, which has been rumoured for sale in chatter the CEO says is wide of the mark.
Parent AP Moller-Maersk has been an active seller of assets deemed “non-core”, but Sorensen says there are no plans right now for Maersk Tankers to offload further segments.
According to Clarksons BW was already the leading owner in the VLGC segment, ahead of JX Group, NYK and Stolt-Nielsen.