By Jonathan Saul
LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen has teamed up with investment bank Arctic Securities to form a ship broking company aimed at taking on bigger rivals and betting on a recovery in the global shipping market.
Many segments of the shipping industry, including dry bulk commodities, are struggling with tougher conditions due to world economic worries and a surfeit of vessels.
Fredriksen, via his family’s investment company Geveran Trading Co, and Oslo-headquartered Arctic Securities said on Monday they had established a 50-50 joint venture broking company, Arctic Shipping Norway, which they expect to start operations in the first half of this year.
“I am truly convinced that both the shipping and the offshore markets will recover. Establishing a new business during tough times is not new to us. Arctic Securities was established in 2007, a short time before the financial crisis,” Arctic Securities chief executive Mads Syversen said.
The tough environment for shipping has resulted in tie ups in the ship broking world, as companies hunt for scale.
Last year, ICAP’s shipping business completed a joint venture with rival shipbroker Howe Robinson. This followed leading ship broker Clarkson’s acquisition of Norwegian broker and investment bank RS Platou in 2014 and Braemar Shipping Services’ acquisition of fellow British shipbroker ACM Shipping in 2014.
Fredriksen is among the world’s top players in global shipping and other sectors – with many interests controlled via his Fredriksen Group such as rig firm Seadrill, fish farmer Marine Harvest, tanker company Frontline and dry bulk carrier Golden Ocean . (Editing by Alexander Smith)
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