A profitable fourth quarter and improving chemical carrier rates could be moving a tanker spin-off quickly up the agenda at Norway’s Stolt-Nielsen.

The Oslo-listed group has been talking about an initial public offering of Stolt Tankers since 2017 — but the timing has never been right.

But the company is now coming off its best quarterly results in 14 years.

Chief executive Niels Stolt-Nielsen told a conference call with analysts: “I think that [for] an IPO at the right time, you need to have several quarters behind you showing the actual earning potential from a strong market, instead of trying to do an IPO based on the market [that] is coming.