Clive Richardson, president and group ceo of the world’s largest shipmanager, V.Group, has both welcomed and dismissed the recent mega merger of Hong Kong duo Univan and Anglo-Eastern.
The two Hong Kong firms merged last Friday. Together they have a combined fleet of nearing 600 ships under full technical management.
Speaking exclusively with Splash, Richardson said: “We welcome any moves that drive regulation and transparency in the shipmanagement industry. Prior to their merger we faced two competitors, whereas now we face only one.”
Nevertheless, Richardson (pictured) was adamant that V.Group and its shipmanagement subsidiary V.Ships have the necessary “firepower” to keep them ahead of the pack.
“We believe that we continue to have a definite competitive advantage over the merged entity,” he said, adding that he felt it was “something of a compliment” that his competitors feel the need to consolidate.
“Being backed by private equity, V.Group is the only independent shipmanager with the financial firepower to invest millions year on year for the benefit of its clients. We don’t believe that the merged entity can match our ongoing investment programme,” Richardson said.
For his part, Peter Cremers, now the executive chairman of Anglo-Eastern Univan Group, told Splash in his first interview since the merger, “There are clear advantages of size”.