World’s Largest Shipbroker Clarksons in Talks to Buy RS Platou

By Rupert Rowling

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker, is in talks about purchasing Norway’s RS Platou ASA, a transaction that would create a business with double the sales of its closest publicly traded competitor.

Clarkson, which is based in London, said in a regulatory statement that it’s in talks to purchase all of the Oslo-based firm’s issued share capital. The two companies’ sales last year amounted to $500 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Braemar Shipping Services and ACM Shipping Group, which merged in July, had combined revenues of about $241 million, according to their most recent financial reports.

Clarkson’s shares rose more than threefold over the past five years even as most parts of the maritime industry were beset by a glut of ships. Platou gets about 70 percent of its sales from investment banking and providing services to the offshore oil industry, today’s statement showed.

“You have one huge entity if it goes through,” Erik Nikolai Stavseth, an analyst at Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo, said by phone. He doesn’t cover Clarkson and Platou is a private company. The Norwegian firm’s access to serving the offshore oil industry might appeal to Clarkson, he said.

Clarkson’s shares rose as much as 2.6 percent in London trading. They were up 2.1 percent at 22.76 pounds ($35.64) at 12:25 p.m. in London.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.