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March 20, 2002

Røkke eyeing CSX Lines?

Here's a rumor from this week's CMA gathering in Stamford, CT: Kvaerner's Kjell Inge Røkke is interested in adding CSX Lines to his empire.

Røkke's Kvaerner Philadelphia shipyards is building two containerships. Røkke would quite like Matson to buy them, but he's not about to give the ships away.

Røkke is believed to have intimated that if Matson won't take the ships, he'll operate them in competition. Acquiring the CSX Lines operation would certainly give him a means of mounting such competition.

The nuts and bolts of how Røkke would deal with such issues as U.S. citizenship requirements for operations in the Jones Act trade would represent quite a few lucrative billable hours for a suitable law firm.