zoom The European Commission has approved the creation of a joint venture between Japan’s shipping giants Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line).“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the limited impact of the transaction on the routes to and from Europe and the fact that there would be sufficient competitive pressure from other competitors post transaction,” the EU Commission said.The approval comes weeks after the South African Competition Commission blocked the deal having found that the structure of the container liner shipping market “is conducive to coordination based on previous collusive conduct in the container liner market in other parts of the world.”The commission added that the merger “increases the likelihood of coordination as it creates further structural linkages in the container liner market,” stressing that the proposed transaction creates a platform for coordination in the car carrier market as well.In May 2017, the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) rejected on jurisdictional grounds the agreement, saying that the action “is among the type of agreements excluded from FMC review.”The deal was so far okayed by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) in March 2017.Under the proposed deal, the joint venture would integrate the global container liner shipping activities and container terminal businesses (excluding their terminals in Japan) of NYK, MOL and K Line.The joint venture would operate a fleet totaling 1.4 million TEUs, placing it as sixth in the market with approximately 7% of global share.K Line and MOL, which will each hold 31 percent, and their compatriot NYK Line, which will hold the remaining 38 percent, aim to establish the new joint-venture company on July 1, 2017, while business commencement was expected to start as of April 1, 2018.World Maritime News Staff
zoomImage Courtesy: GOGL Norwegian dry bulk shipping company Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) has secured a USD 120 million loan facility to refinance ten ships at favorable terms, the company said.The loan would be used to refinance USD 58.3 million due under two loan facilities maturing in 2018 and seller credit loans of USD 65.5 million.The facility has a seven year tenor, will be repaid in quarterly installments based on a 20-year age profile, and bears interest of LIBOR plus a margin of 2.25 pct.“Our new USD 120 million loan facility that refinanced 10 vessels was completed on attractive terms. It reduces our interest expense and pushes out the average tenor of our debt. We remain focused on maintaining a moderate amount of leverage on our balance sheet, and have repeatedly been successful at accessing attractively priced capital,” Per Heiberg, Chief Financial Officer of Golden Ocean Management AS, commented.Since the start of the year, GOGL was busy making room for the arrival of five newbuilding Capesize bulkers and one second-hand acquisition, the Golden Monterrey.In April, Golden Ocean sold the 2010-built Golden Eminence, a Panamax vessel, to an unnamed buyer for USD 14.7 million. The vessel is expected to be delivered to its new owners in the third quarter of 2018, and the estimated net cash flow from the transaction is expected to be approximately USD 5.4 million in the third quarter of 2018.In terms of financial performance for the first three months of 2018, the company ended the quarter with USD 16.7 million of net profit, rebounding from last year’s loss of USD 17.8 million.Operating revenues amounted to USD 149.9 million, up from last year’s USD 81.9 million. However, on a quarterly comparison, there was a decrease of USD 1.5 million due to a softer freight rate environment, in particular for the company’s Capesize vessels, which was partially offset by an increase in the number of vessels chartered in on spot voyages.“Golden Ocean continued to generate positive results in the first quarter of 2018 despite some seasonal weakness late in the quarter, reflecting primarily a strong entry into the year and period charters at decent rates,” Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Ocean Management AS, said.“As market conditions improve, we are well positioned to generate substantial cash flow with a large, modern fleet and competitive cash breakeven levels.”In terms of outlook, Golden Ocean said that average rates are steadily increasing, and that the outlook appears positive for tonne-mile demand growth on the back of positive trends in the global economy.“The risk on the demand side is primarily related to a slowdown in the global economy and steel production in particular. The number of newbuilding orders reported is slowing, and this remains the most important factor for a prolonged positive rate environment,” the company concluded.