Hafnia swoops for Oaktree’s chemical tanker fleet

Oaktree Capital Management, which only took control of its chemical tanker joint venture with Navig8 in August, has moved quickly to sell off the fleet with Andreas Sohmen-Pao-controlled Hafnia today announcing the acquisition of Chemical Tankers Inc (CTI).

Oaktree had bought out Navig8’s stake in the joint venture this summer rebranding it from Navig8 Chemical Tankers to CTI. Months later, the private equity concern has found a buyer for the 32-ship fleet in the form of acquisitive Hafnia.

The CTI fleet consists of six 49,000 dwt MRs, eighteen 38,000 dwt handies and eight 25,000 dwt stainless steel tankers.

In exchange for all outstanding shares in CTI, CTI’s shareholders will receive shares in Hafnia representing 21.5% of the outstanding shares in the combined entity, a popular modus operandi for how Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, has expanded his shipping and offshore empire in recent years.

Hafnia, like parent BW, has long been an advocate of consolidation. “Consolidation enables Hafnia to achieve improved earnings capability through the shipping cycle,” the company said in a release to the Oslo Bors today.

“The addition of the CTI fleet will help enhance our resilience in the face of volatile markets and create a more sustainable and future-proof transportation business that will include the ability to transport methanol, in addition to many other cargoes,” said Hafnia CEO Mikael Skov.

Following the transaction, likely to be concluded by February, Hafnia will operate a fleet of 233 product and chemical tankers, making it the world’s largest operator in the product and chemical tanker segment. Its owned and chartered-in fleet will grow to 133 product and chemical tankers ranging in size from 25,000 dwt to 115,000 dwt.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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