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India's Siva Ventures buys Norwegian shipping firm

Mumbai: Siva Ventures Limited (SVL), a subsidiary of India's Sterling Infotech Group has entered the shipping and logistics arena through the purchase of Norwegian shipping firm J.B. Ugland Shipping for approximately $300m. The transaction, which was agreed at the start of the year with the merchant shipper's parent group J.B. Ugland Holding, was closed on 15 February 2008.

Sterling Infotech Group chairman Sivasankaran said, "I believe that the shipping industry, especially the bulk commodities segment - both tankers and dry bulk carriers - will increasingly revolve around the broader Asian commodities story. In particular, the bulk shipping tonnage demand from India is likely to see explosive growth on the back of the increased raw material demand for the new power and oil refining projects coming up in India, a large number of which are based on imported raw materials.

We believe this transaction brings two of the most critical success factors for exploiting this opportunity - the Sterling Group's presence and relationships with the businesses in India which will be users of tonnage and the reputation of the JB Ugland name in the global shipping industry combined with the management's acclaimed skills in the sector."

JBUS will continue to be managed by its current team and has the rights to use its current brand name (JBUS) for the next three years.

JBUH Chairman, Johan Benad Ugland said, "I am very proud of having developed a company attracting interest from a global player such as Siva Ventures. Along with China, we believe India will be one of the main growth engines of the overall world economy in the coming years. In this respect, it will be important for Norwegian companies to further strengthen the business relationships with Indian companies. We believe this transaction contributes to this."  [19/02/08]

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