June 17, 2005
Bergesen to relist in Oslo
Back in 2003, the Sohmen family's World-Wide Shipping Group acquired a majority shareholding in Norway's Bergesen d.y. ASA and subsequently launched a successful public offer for the remaining shares, after which the company was delisted.
Now the Bergesen Worldwide group is preparing for a relisting of Bergesen as a pure gas shipping company on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The listing will take place within 12 months, with the exact timing depending on market conditions.
Bergesen is being restructured into a pure gas shipping company by the separation of offshore and dry bulk into stand-alone entities within the Bergesen Worldwide group.
Bergesen Worldwide operates a fleet of over 100 vessels in the tanker, bulk, gas and offshore segments. Its gas shipping business comprises a fleet of 67 gas carriers, with a further 11 new vessels under construction. As a leading supplier of LPG gas transportation, Bergesen operates the world's largest fleet of Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs). Bergesen has also been at the forefront of recent growth in the LNG shipping industry. Since 2000, the group has ordered 11 large LNG vessels, all of which are on long-term contracts.
Bergesen's activities will continue to be managed from Norway. Mr. Jan Hakon Pettersen, who took over as CEO in 2004, will be CEO of the listed company.
"Bergesen has a strong competence base, a reputation for reliability and close relations with major gas customers," says Pettersen. "A series of new larger gas projects are under development around the world and it is expected that these projects will boost gas transportation demand in the years to come. LPG, which is our largest business, has promising prospects for the future. In LNG, all Bergesen vessels are on favorable long-term contracts, providing strong cash flow and a solid platform for future growth."
Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Managing Director of World-Wide Shipping, says: "Through the Bergesen Worldwide group, the Sohmen family is committed to growth and investment in the maritime sector. The listing of the gas business will provide us with access to the capital markets and enable us to take advantage of investment opportunities in the gas shipping markets. The choice of Oslo as a listing location demonstrates our commitment to Norway, which remains an important center of expertise and capital for the global shipping industry."