A.P. Møller Holding buys Maersk Tankers for $1.17bn

A.P. Møller – Mærsk has taken another important step on the path to becoming a pure container play. The giant Danish maritime conglomerate has today signed an agreement to sell Maersk Tankers to APMH Invest , a subsidiary of A.P. Moller Holding, the family investment vehicle of the Mollers, for $1.17bn in an all-cash transaction.

Maersk Tankers has been a part of A.P. Moller – Maersk since 1928 and is one of the largest product tanker companies in the world, employing 3,100 people.

The fleet consists of 161 product tanker vessels, of which Maersk Tankers owns 80, across four segments; intermediate, handy, medium range and long range 2. The company will continue trading as Maersk Tankers, using the A.P. Moller – Maersk seven-pointed star-logo as part of its brand.

The transaction entails a market upside provision regulating total payment should the product tanker market significantly improve with a rebound in vessel values before the end of 2019. The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce debt.

“Maersk Tankers has served A.P. Moller – Maersk well for almost a century, building an industry leading position within the product tanker market. As former CEO of Maersk Tankers for more than 10 years, I recognise the importance of having an owner with a long-term market view in this industry, and this is why I am pleased that Maersk Tankers can continue to build on its strong name and position under A.P. Moller Holding,” said Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The sale of Maersk Tankers is the second transaction as part of the strategy to separate the oil and oil related activities from A.P. Moller – Maersk. Recently, France’s Total came in for Maersk Oil.

A.P. Moller Holding has announced that the company will establish an ownership consortium for Maersk Tankers’ fleet with Japan’s Mitsui & Co and other potential partners, in which A.P. Moller Holding will be majority shareholder.

Closing of the deal is expected to take place next month.

Skou and his team will now seek buyers for the remaining oil-related divisions within the group, namely Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service.

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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