Navig8 Group has spun off its shipmanagement division to give it a chance to grow independently.

It said the operation, which provides technical management services to customers worldwide, has become a new company called Suntech Maritime.

A private transaction has seen it bought by two former owners of manager Selandia, Naren Bhatt and Umesh Thakore.

Selanda was acquired in 2016 by V.Group.

Tanker pool operator Navig8 said it would remain a core investor of Suntech.

Current Navig8 Ship Management (NSM) staff will be retained and transferred to Suntech, including the crewing office in Mumbai.

Suntech will start operating with the 40 ships currently under NSM management.

Gary Brocklesby of Navig8 said: "Navig8 has a long heritage of providing the highest quality technical management services to shipowners globally.

"When considering this transaction, it was fundamental that we found experienced partners who will uphold our strong technical foundations and customer service values.

"Transferring to independent management will enable the ship operations to advance to the next level of development, through expansion plans, even greater customer service and the highest standards."