Niels Stolt-Nielsen says the group is “ready to go” for the long-mooted initial public offering (IPO) of chemical carrier company Stolt Tankers.

But debt levels in the remaining Stolt-Nielsen businesses have to be right before the trigger is pulled.

The Oslo-listed group’s chief executive told a conference call: “We’ve said that the shipping market needs to be there, but also the equity market needs to be there.