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Berlian Laju snaps up Eitzen, becomes world's largest chemical tanker owner

Berlian Laju snaps up Eitzen, becomes world's largest chemical tanker owner

Jakarta: Asia's rise to the top of the shipping heap has once again been clearly demonstrated with the announcement this morning that one of Indonesia's best known shipping firms is to buy out a blue chip Norwegian owner. PT Berlian Laju Tanker (BLT) plans to submit a voluntary exchange offer for all outstanding shares in Camillo Eitzen & Co (CECO).
The offer is based on payment of NOK 25 per CECO share, payable in securities which will be converted into BLT shares, representing a premium of 270 % on the CECO share price as of market close on 2 October 2009.
The board and main shareholders of CECO support the offer and it is expected that the deal will pass through quicly. CECO has hit financially tough times during the recession, while BLT has long struggled to grow organically to the size that Jakarta would like it to be.
'The proposed transaction will combine two strong maritime traditions and create a leading international shipping group within the chemical, gas, oil, dry bulk and maritime services segments. The group will comprise the world's largest and most modern chemical tanker fleet,' the two companies said in a statement.
Total revenues of the combined company for the past 12 months amount to approximately USD 2.3 billion with an EBITDA of USD 499 million. Including newbuilds the group will own and/or operate 157 chemical tankers, 14 oil tankers, 42 gas tankers, 50-60 bulk carriers and 1 FPSO, in addition to services offered through Eitzen Maritime Services.
'We are truly excited about the industrial prospects the combination of CECO and BLT can deliver. The transaction with CECO, which has extensive shipping networks and a global customer base, is part of BLT's strategy to expand its footprint in all regions worldwide. It will enhance our global trading routes, bolster our strategic presence in the chemical and gas tanker segments, and diversify the business to dry bulk and maritime services,'said Ms Siana Anggraeni Surya, Director of Business Development in BLT.
'I believe this combination would have significant commercial potential and can deliver valuable synergies in all segments. The group will be truly international in all respects, with the advantage of exploring the significantly increasing cabotage locally in Indonesia, coupled with the organic growth in the South East Asian markets. I believe the indicative offer presents our shareholders and employees world-wide with strong possibilities to explore renewed opportunities and to develop each core segment substantially. Majority shareholder Eitzen Holding and the board of CEOO is in principle positive to the indicative offer,' said Axel C. Eitzen, Chairman of CECO. [05/10/09]


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