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EC approves merger of Nordic Tankers and Borealis Maritime

The European Commission (EC) has greenlit the formation of Crystal Nordic, a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Nordic Tankers and Borealis Maritime, which is backed by US-based investment firm KKR & Co.

The two companies first announced the merger in early November and plan to operate their ice-classed stainless steel chemical tankers through Crystal Nordic.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the moderate market positions in the tramp shipping sector resulting from the transaction. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure,” the EC said in a release today.

The JV is expected to begin operation this quarter, now that regulatory approval has been granted.

Crystal Nordic will control a fleet of 15 stainless steel ice-class 1A/1B chemical tankers of between 4,000 and 11,400 dwt, which are currently operated by Nordic Tankers and the Crystal Pool.

The joint venture will focus on serving Europe’s oil and chemical industry, particularly in the Baltic Sea and the northwest Europe regions, the companies said in November.

Crystal Nordic will be incorporated and headquartered in Copenhagen and will operate under the Danish tonnage tax system.

In July 2015, KKR and Borealis’ joint venture Embarcadero Maritime III paid $254.5m to acquire Hanseatic Ship Asset Management from Germany’s Commerzbank. Hanseatic’s fleet at that time comprised of 18 “modern” containerships and bulk carriers.

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Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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